454 Equipped Dragster: 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442

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The seller says this might have been a genuine Oldsmobile 442 at one time, but its conversion to a race car in the 1970s has all but erased any traces of what once was. Now, it’s a classic drag car that still wears its trick bits and old-school sponorship decals. You can find this recently discovered specimen here on eBay where the bids are just over $2,500 and there’s no reserve in sight. 

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How cool is this thing? From the colors to the fat slicks, I see a lot to like here. The “Rapid Transit” nickname is appropriate for a muscle car of this vintage, but you haven’t likely seen this Olds on the track – it’s been in storage somewhere near Plainville, Massachusetts for many years. You can just make out the old-school license plate on the back, and the period correct Centerline wheels are a blast from the past.

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Unlike so many former drag cars, the Olds has an actual powerplant that was supposedly refreshed before going into storage. The Chevy big block has been tweaked with some popular enhancements, and the seller claims – but can’t verify – that this may even be an LS7 crate engine. There’s no title and the VIN tag is missing, so this will perpetually be a race car, meaning this likely won’t be the last engine to sit under the hood.

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Inside, you get a plain-jane, all business drag car, yet it retains its factory roll-up windows – which I kind of like, as driving home from an event in the rain with no glass to shield you must get old. Elsewhere, glass has been replaced with plexiglass pieces, and the racing seat is the sole occupant of the interior. The brakes will need work and the seller claims rust isn’t anything to worry about in the short term, so this looks like a hot rod you can begin enjoying without too much heavy lifting. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. Jim

    Okay I get it, the holes in the valve covers are to adjust the lash, but WTF? I’ve never seen that before.

  2. edh

    Wouldn’t a good amount of oil get slung out of those holes?

    I can’t imagine that would have been allowed at any strip during any era.

    • Bill Lawrence

      I think the idea was to use this valve cover while adjusting lash to keep the oil (most of it anyway) inside the engine. Then change back to the solid valve cover for normal use.

    • Mark S Member

      The holes would be in a spare set of valve covers to minimize the oil splash during adjustment then replaced for driving.

  3. Blindmarc

    Some states it is illegal to be in possession of a vehicle without a vin.

  4. Jim Clark

    Looks more like a 1966 Cutlass front clip, not a 442. Not that it matters as it’s not usable for anything other than a drag car. Dash is Cutlass, no 442 trim and 1967 tailight lenses.

    • George

      Those are 1966 taillight lenses. Google images may help convince you if you don’t want to take my word for it. Many people confuse the two years. We had a brand new 67 that stayed in my family for many years.

      • Jim Clark

        Not disputing you George as they may have used both, but my mom and dad’s 66 442 had no chrome dividers on the taillight lenses.

  5. Bingo

    Wasn’t Rapid Transit a mopar thing?

  6. Ron

    mute point, but NOT an original 442. Wrong hood,( no chrome on 442), wrong tail lights, (no horz bars on 442), if I could see the frame, I could point out differences.
    It was a Cutlass though not very important at this stage! Original ’66 442s had a
    (5 vy) on data plate, which is missing.

  7. erikj

    On those valve covers, we did the valve lash running with a set of cut uo covers and also there are oil deflickters that also helped MOST of the oil inside. Very handy and I still have a set around somewhere.

  8. Denis Flaherty

    I bought the beast…currently under construction for bracket or nostalgia racing and will have a genuine big-block OLDS sitting in there…

    Like 1

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