1968 Oldsmobile 442: the mighty persuader

Oldsmobile 442 was born as a prompt response of Oldsmobile to competing GM’s Pontiac division with its highly successful GTO model. Initially, this was the option package for Cutlass called the “B09 Police Apprehender Pursuit” and technically based on the 5.4-liter engine with 330 CID four-barrel carburetor, producing 310 hp power and 354 ft lb of torque. The package also included a body frame with increased rigidity, upgraded suspension, clutch for a more powerful engine, four-speed manual transmission, reinforced driveshaft, improved brakes.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 brochure

The package has alternative name – 4-4-2 numerical designation based on a combination of main options: 4-chamber carburetor, 4-speed transmission and exhaust system with two mufflers. This set of improvements cost $285 and was offered for any modifications except Cutlass station wagon, although most of the options installed on the version of 4-4-2 in the back of a hardtop coupe. According to tests, 4-4-2 modification of the first version could accelerate to sixty in 7.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 115 mph.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 review

1968 Oldsmobile 442 review

In 1968, when Oldsmobile 442 became an independent model, the base engine was the 400 CID big block and its more powerful alternative 455 engine has become established, which combined only with an automatic transmission W-30 Turbo 400.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 coupe

The car features smooth lines of the body, 1968 Oldsmobile 442 was available in three different versions – 2 door sport coupe (with pillars), 2-door holiday coupe (hardtop coupe) and convertible. One of the most notable distintive design features of 1968 car was a unique front fascia with 4 headlights not glitched together in pairs, like it should be, but positioned with space where turning lights were put.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 interior

The interior of the ’68 442 was also unusual, just like the strange positioning of headlights – the most notable feature – 3-well gauges dashboard, and interesting shape of the front panel. The car was mainly equipped with bucket seats and 3-spoke sporty steering wheel.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 interior

1968 Oldsmobile 442 specs

The car was available only with two engines. Both of it was a huge big block V8. The first one is 400 cubic inches (6.6L), producing 290 hp (350 HP net). The second is 455 cubic inch V8.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 engine

This 7.5-liter monster in top charged configuration gave 390 horsepower, which allows the car to accelerate to sixty in 5.9 seconds, top speed was declared at around 130 mph.Standard transmission for 400 CID engine was a 3-speed manual, with optional 4 speed. 4 speed automatic transmission was also available, with those power rated to 325 HP.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 specs

1968 Oldsmobile 442 Hurst/Olds

In 1968 Oldsmobile , together with Hurst Performance established 1968 Oldsmobile 442 Hurst/Olds model. Only 459 Holiday Coupes and 56 Sport Coupes were made. All cars were painted in the “tornado” with alternating black and white stripes on the body and the walnut inserts on the interior. The model has received 445 CID W45 engine with 390 HP and rear disc brakes.Tests shows 1968 Hurst/Olds modification accelerate from 0-60 in 5.4 seconds, 1/4 mile in 13.9 seconds at 103 mph.

1968 Oldsmobile 442 hurst olds

1968 Oldsmobile 442 images