Oldsmobile 442

The Olds 442 for ’73 landed on the new colonnade A-body platform. Buyers had a choice of two bodies which duplicated the lines of either the Cutlass S or the Cutlass Supreme. Powering the ’73 were a 350 CID 4bbl V8 with single exhaust rated at 180hp, or a 350 4bbl with dual exhaust rated at 200hp. Two big blocks were available also. Those were an L75 455 CID 4bbl V8 making 250hp with the automatic transmission, or an L77 455 CID 4bbl V8 putting out 270hp with the manual.

For 1974, the appearance was updated slightly. The manual transmission was dropped, therefore no more 270hp 455, but the automatic backed version was still around, down to 230hp.

In 1975, a 250 CID 1bbl Chevrolet I6 was now the base engine with a paltry 110hp, but could be had with a 3-speed manual. The freshly created 260 CID 2bbl V8 was now an option. The 350 with duals was dropped thanks to a catalytic converter. However, the 350 with single exhaust and the 455 V8 were both still available, though the 455 was now rated at 190hp. A 3-speed manual was available on the I6, but automatics only on the V8s.

The 1976, 442 received the same quad headlamp arrangement as all Cutlass variants did this year. Only one body type was sold now which was the Cutlass S variant. The finale for the remaining big block 455 was also this year. Some good news for powertrains was a 5-speed manual was newly available for the 260 V8.

For 1977, the 250 I6 was dropped and replaced with a 231 CID 2bbl Buick V6 with 110hp. The new ‘big’ engine was now a 403 CID 4bbl V8 rated at 180hp.

In 1978, the 442 landed on the newly downsized A-body platform. The body was borrowed from the slantback Cutlass Salon. The 231 and 260 remained, but a 305 CID 2bbl Chevrolet V8 was added. The 3-speed manual was still available for the 231, as well as the 5-speed for the 260. Plus, the 305 could have been had with a 4-speed. The 3-speed automatic was available with any of the three engines too.

The car was essentially a carryover for 1979, but the 305 2bbl V8 was replaced by a 305 4bbl V8.

When 1980 rolled around, the 442 was now on the Cutlass Calais body style. A choice of gold over white or gold over black paint could be had, either of which had a gold painted grille. Also included were aluminum mag wheels, raised letter tires, FE2 rallye suspension, and sport mirrors. The great news was a 350 CID 4bbl Oldsmobile V8 was back, and it was the sole engine. This engine was rated at 170hp and 275 ft/lb. The 3-speed automatic was the only transmission. This was the last year of the smog era 442, and it was not available in California.

  • For complete history of the 442, see the Rocket100 page HERE.
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