The Oldsmobile 442 (pronounced four-four-two) was a muscle car produced by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors. It was introduced as an option package for F-85 and Cutlass models sold in the United States beginning with the 1964 model year. It became a model in its own right from 1968 to 1971, then reverted to an option through the mid-1970s. Oldsmobile revived the name in the 1980s on the rear-wheel drive Cutlass Supreme and early 1990s as an option package for the new front-wheel drive Cutlass.
The 1971 442 was available in a hardtop coupe and covertible body type. The sport coupe disappeared for the first time since 1964, only to return in 1972. Engine output was down for 1971 due to a lower compression ratio (8.5:1), which affected all of GM’s engines. The base 455 was rated at 340 hp (254 kW), with the W-30 achieving a rating of 350 hp (261 kW).
Quarter mile performance as reported by Road Test magazine was 15.2 seconds @ 99 mph (159 km/h), and 0-60 in 8.9 seconds, using the TH400 automatic transmission.
Origin of the 442 name
Some people mistakenly believe that the designation "442" referred to the displacement of the engine in cubic inches. The reality is that a 442 has never had a 442 cubic inch engine. Rather, the genesis for the name 4-4-2 came from the attributes of the 1964 model:
1964 (Original meaning)