Canadian Cutlass: 1965 Oldsmobile 4-4-2

The 4-4-2 (later just 442) was Oldsmobile’s version of the successful Pontiac GTO. It was in the lineup from 1964-87 and made appearances sporadically after that. This 1965 edition is built on the Cutlass Holiday Coupe and has a newer 425 cubic-inch “Rocket” V8 under the hood. While it looks good from a distance and after a bath, the sheet metal and paint have quite a few issues, but we’re told it has good “bones” to work with. Available in Lantzville, British Columbia, and here on craigslist, the asking price is $12,500 USD. Thanks for another great tip, MattR!

Depending on who you ask, 4-4-2 stands for the car’s 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts (or limited-slip differential). Or it could mean a 400 cubic-inch engine, 4-barrel carburetor, and dual exhausts. Whichever legend you go with, these cars were made to go fast – and they did. After a limited run of fewer than 2,000 units the first year, 1964, production jumped to more than 25,000 in 1965, including nearly 15,000 Holiday Sport Coupes like the seller’s car.

While not immediately obvious, the body and paint will need some attention. The trunk floor has issues and there are a few holes in the floor pans. Also, you’ll find some evidence of earlier sheet metal repair that will have to be redone. The car’s original paint was Target Red, which may or may not be the shade on the Oldsmobile now. The interior is going to need some time and effort applied, but to a lesser extent than the body. What was original white upholstery was changed to black at some point.

The seller reminds us this is a real-deal 4-4-2, although the original 400 engine has been gone for years. In its place is a later 425 that we’re told runs great and video clips of it doing just that are available from the seller upon request. The odometer read 58,000 miles, which may or may not be accurate. The car is described as a “shelter find” meaning it may have been out of circulation for a while.

This car resides in Canada and has a clean British Columbia title. The seller says he/she can assist in getting the car across the border if needed. I don’t know how easy or hard that process is on used cars. A solid original or nicely restored 4-4-2 can be a $50-60,000 car, but this one needs work and the engine is not numbers-matching, so what’s top dollar for the car in its present situation?


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  1. Dave

    Back in the day, you asked your local salvage yard man to call you when a wrecked Toronado showed up. The 425 was rated at 385 horses versus the 400’s “meager” 345 horses. A 40 horse upgrade accomplished in the back yard over pizza and beer in one afternoon. Those were the days…

    Like 21
    • S

      That makes me wonder why Oldsmobile didn’t install a 425 from the beginning then, instead of creating a 400 engine for this car. It seems like it would have been easier for them to do that. Wasn’t the 400 a bored out 330?

      Like 2
      • Norman K Wrensch

        Actually the 400 was a big block, same stroke as the 425 but a smaller bore 3.870. And up to 1970 GM had a limit of 400 ci in the intermediate cars. So 400 was the max.

        Like 6
      • LarryS Member

        GM had a mandate that the intermediates in the mid-60’s could have no larger than a 400 cubic inch engine.

        Like 2

      When I got married to my first wife her aunt gave us her ’65 Cutlass with the 425, AT … had a few dents (this was in Chicago), no AC, AM radio, bucket seats, plain Jane beige … but it would leave a block-long streak of rubber – from the right side – no LSD … sold it for $25 after we bought a new ’72 model in Oct, ’71 …

      • LarryS Member

        If it was a ’65 Cutlass with a V-8 it would have been a 330 (the standard V-8) or a 400 (optional). Olds didn’t offer a 425 in the Cutlass in 1965.

        Like 3
  2. Sarge

    Little off subject but back in the day my mom had a brand new red 65 F-85 4dr. w/330 (spitting image of the car featured) I used to pretend it was a 4-4-2. It was a relatively light car and boy could it burn rubber!

    Like 4
  3. Brian

    I had a 65 442, original 400, 4 speed car. I can tell you from experience that it was a fast car. Mine was a white interior car, black carpet. Origially, it was a light metallic blue but had been painted copper that looked good on the car. I got mine in ’73, just before the gas shortage when prices went crazy. To make matters worse it used high test only.

    Like 2
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Price has now been reduced to $10,500.

  5. Sarge

    If I remember correctly you could reach behind the dash and disconnect the speedo cable. I used to hook the end of the cable up to a drill and roll back the mileage until the old man wised up.

    Like 3
  6. David

    Very nice car. Did someone cut speakers into the door panels? I find them tacky. I think they should have at least been black to blend in. I don’t recall door speakers in this car. Please educate me if I am wrong.

    • DON

      some definitely cut the holes in the doors for the speakers.

  7. Otto Leslie

    If 4-4-2 means 4bbl 4sp 2 door , where did it get an auto trns? No clutch pedal and no H for shift pattern

  8. Otto Leslie

    This is not a 4 speed. No clutch pedal and a slot for shifter instead of H.

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