1970 Oldsmobile 442 The Concept of American Performance

The Oldsmobile 4-4-2 got its name from the FOUR barrel carburetor, FOUR speed manual transmission and TWO exhausts, it was actually pronounced four four two, rather than four forty two or whatever other ways there are of pronouncing those numbers.

It was described as “The pinnacle of performance for Oldsmobile”.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 brochure

1970 Oldsmobile 442 Design

This is a great looking classic muscle car; bulges in all the right places, fat tires, huge rear wing. For 1970 only, there were vertical bars in a silver grille at the front, rectangular parking lights set in to the bumper and vertical tail lights.

It came in a Sports Coupe, Hardtop Coupe, Convertible and Rallye 350.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 design

The Rallye 350 was painted in a bright Sebring Yellow on the body, wheels and bumpers and had orange & black accents on the hood scoop and trunk lid spoiler.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 Interior

Pretty much the same as every other late 60’s and early 70’s muscle car; bucket seats, chrome, faux wood and vinyl, plenty of vinyl.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 interior

1970 Oldsmobile 442 Specs

Three different motor choices and four different transmissions; 4-speed manual wide ratio, 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic auto, 4-speed manual close ratio and a heavy duty 3-speed manual.
There were a number of options available for the 4-4-2, including an all aluminum differential housing, variable-ratio power steering and rear shoulder-seatbelts ($23!).

1970 Oldsmobile 442 engine

1970 Oldsmobile 442 Performance

Such was the reputation for the 4-4-2’s performance, the officials of the Indy 500 race asked Oldsmobile to allow them to use it as a pace car for the 1970 race.

The 4-4-2 came with three choices for power, but looking at the specs for the engines, it’s hard to see how the power figures are right; first up, there was the Rallye 350: a 350 ci (5.7 liter) V8 with 310 BHP and 490 ft//lb of torque. The standard 455: 455 ci (7.4 liter) V8 with 365 BHP and 500 ft/lb of torque and then the 455 W-30: 455 ci with 370 BHP and 500 ft/lb. The W-30 had different an aluminum intake manifold and special cylinder heads, camshaft, distributor and uprated carburetor. Give the changes, it is hard to see how they are so closely matched – all three variants.
Standing ¼ mile in 13.9 sec @ 103.2 MPH

1970 Oldsmobile 442 performance

1970 Oldsmobile 442 Collectability and price

These little beauties are collectible, the cheapest we found was $22,000 and the most expensive (admittedly for a full body off resto) was $159,000. They command big bucks but … they are pretty legendary.

In total, there were 22,877 of the 4-4-2’s sold, just 2,933 were convertibles.

1970 Oldsmobile 442 images

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