Cannibal Special: 1965 Oldsmobile 442

oldsmobile-442

“The Cannibal chews up Tigers, Barracudas, Wildcats… the works.” At least that’s what the radio spot said when Brace Oldsmobile in Kansas City, Missouri attempted to drum up some extra 442 sales. There isn’t much information about this dealer special so it would be interesting to know if the package was more than just a few visual add-ons. This one is located in Bellwood, Nebraska and is listed here on eBay where bidding is up to $6k with no reserve. The auction ends tonight!

whats-a-cannibal-ad

Here’s a scan from a dealer trade magazine that proves that the Cannibal really did exist. This excerpt makes it sound like they sold quick a few of these, but it would seem that no one knows anything about them today.

442-dash

Besides a couple of exterior badges, what did this special package really consist of? Dealers and manufacturers have used visual gimmicks to generate interest for years, but there has to be more here than a badge. Right?

400-cubic-inches

The 400 cubic inch V8 fitted to the Olds 442 was already potent, so I suppose there was nothing wrong with claiming that it could chew up Tigers and Barracudas. Still, most dealer specials had a little more substance to them.

cannibal-by-brace-olds

Here’s the badge – Cannibal by Brace Olds. The name was catchy and the idea was good, but I’m guessing that they didn’t actually change much on these cars before slapping a badge on the trunk and running a few ads. It may have gotten people into the showrooms, but most car guys probably wanted more than a badge. Then again, it doesn’t seem to have hurt bidding any…

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Comments

  1. RH FACTOR

    I think they were only 330 cu.in. in ’65. Nice car, though.

  2. 68 custom

    I thought the 64’s had the 330 and 65 was first year for the 400? the cannibal package doesn’t appear to be much more than an emblem mounted to the trunk lid. I kinda doubt much hot rodding was done to this car at the dealer since it is equipped with a 2 speed auto and A/C. even the aircleaner is stock and meant to be quiet. it looks like an OK starting place if you really want a 65-442 but the cannibal moniker should not add much to the price though it appears to be fetching good money but not crazy money. maybe someone else knows more about the cannibal, but I lived in KCMO for 30 plus years and this is the first time I have ever heard of such a beast. comparing it to a Yenko is a joke IMO.

    • Martin

      I had a 1964 Olds Cutlass 442 Cannibal. 330 cu in. Four barrel carb. Muncie 4speed 3.08 posi-tract rear end. dual exhaust, ran real good until put a 3.90 gear in the rear….to much gear for the HP..

  3. ccrvtt

    If I recall, 442 originally stood for 4-barrel carb, 4 on the floor, & dual exhaust in 1964. In 1965 you were allowed to get an automatic with the package and 442 then meant 400 cu. in., 4-barrel carb, & dual exhaust. As a kid growing up in Lansing I remember how disappointed I was when I came across a 442 that had an automatic in it. Or worse, a bench seat.

    • 68 custom

      the bench seat or automatic didn’t and still don’t bother me as much as the econo 2-barrel equipped motors available in many GM products in those days!

      • ccrvtt

        I had a ’69 Cutlass with the 350/2bbl rated at 250hp. My mother commented how “peppy” it felt. I think 0-60 was something like 10 sec. My friend’s parents had a similar vintage Imperial with a 440 in it and we decided to race. Needless to say, he smoked me and delivered a huge blow to my ego and a severe reality check.

        This is why you see old farts like me in Corvettes and Challengers and Vipers. I want a rematch with that Imperial.

    • Tre Deuce

      4-4-2 continued to mean 4-Barrel – 4-Speed – Dual Exhaust throughout its ‘option’ and ‘model’ run. The first few years of the 4-4-2 was actually an option. Later a separate distinct model, and then again and option.

      The 400″ became available in 65′ at which time the 4-4-2 became a true Muscle car.

      • Rizzo

        Uh no it didnt. The 4 speed, 4 bbl, dual exhaust thing was for 64 only. In 65 it switched to 400, 4bbl, Dual Exhaust. In 65 the 400 big block debuted, and the standard tranmission became the 3 speed on the column. The 4 speed and Jetaway became options. The Jetaway was NOT a Powerglide. After 65, 4-4-2 ceased to mean anything. 64-67 it was an option. In 68 it became a model.

        Like 3
      • BRO

        Rizzo’s almost right……The stock tranny for 65 was a 3 speed (with the 4 speed & auto being an option) but it was also available with the Ford toploader M14 heavy duty 3 speed and a Hurst floor shifter from the factory.

        Like 2
  4. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    ccrvtt got it….and originally they were targeting it as a police pursuit 4 door….a little before Doc Olds came along….

  5. Jeffro

    Got to start wearing my glasses. I thought the headline was a Cannabis Special. Lol. I was quickly trying to see how much it cost…for my glaucoma of course. (wink-wink)

    Like 1
    • Srt8

      Yeah but then it would’ve went on to say it chews up Doritos and Ho Ho’s

  6. Tre Deuce

    Ah! The memories,

    My first new car was a Yellow 64′ 4-4-2 convertible, which was traded in for a new 66′ 4-4-2 _ Sport Coupe. Great cars for the time with the suspension and police upgrades. The 64′ was not a Muscle car as the definition at the time and historically is a mid-sized car or smaller with a big block engine, so the first 4-4-2’s and GTO’s were not true muscle cars.

    • Rizzo

      WTF? The 64 GTO came with a 389. 4bbl or optional Tri Power. Thats not a Muscle Car?

      Like 1
      • PatrickM

        Ever drive one? It’ll still scoot.

  7. Tre Deuce

    It is amazing too realize, that today’s Accord V6’s and Camaro V6, and even the new turbo 4-s in the Mustang and Camaro will run with or out run most of the old Muscle cars. Plus, stop on a proverbial dime, generate up to 1G or more, and get up to 30+ MPG.

    Not long ago, I drove a beautiful and pristine 64′ Galaxy _ Lightweight. What a scary experience with its recirculating steering, 60’s ball joint suspension and little drum brakes. Was glad I made it to the shop without sideswiping parked cars or rear-ending one, or clipping a bicyclist on the narrow city streets. And the dual-Quad 427″, just didn’t seem that fast, anymore. And so it goes……

    Like 1
    • ccrvtt

      True about the Accords, et al. But if you have $30K disposable are you going for the Honda or a pristine 1969 GTO?

      And 5 years from now which one is going to be worth what you paid for it?

      I know it’s not apples to apples, but it’s food for thought. (Pun intended.)

      Like 1
  8. Tre Deuce

    It was not about values, perceived or otherwise. It was about performance. But since you raised the issue, ccrvtt, the Accord has day to day value that can’t be matched by a GTO and conversely, the GTO has sustained investment values the Accord will never challenge.

    Back in the day, a three to five year old GTO/442/Charger R/T etc, had little value, they could be had for peanuts. Accords keep their value for a much longer time then the old performance cars, because they have sustained practical value in their daily use. There are many reasons for the current values for period performance cars and classic/collector cars, and none of them apply to appliance vehicles.

    Another point I was trying to make, is, that today’s performance cars are light years away better then the old iron. The 2017 LT2_1LE that I will be ordering when the order books open on it, will be the best performance car I have ever owned, even better, in the sum of things, then my old 365GTB/4. Performance is nearly identical, but the Camaro will be more practical, have a great sound system inside and out with its Dual-Mode exhaust, though, it it hard to argue with the visceral mechanical music out the pipes from a Colombo V12, be safer, with better brakes and dynamic nannies and airbags, be more comfortable for cross country trips, be insurable and have a product warranty. Did I mention reliability and easy access to service should it break a cam(GTB/4) while on a cross country trip.

    The monetary values of GTO’s and other collector cars, means next to nothing to me, as cars for me are about fun. I’m disappointed when someone sees my collection and typically says ‘Boy, your collection is worth a lot of money’. They just don’t get why the collection exists….the visceral enjoyment that a car can provide and the satisfaction of turning a dead heap from scrap into a beautiful living incarnation of itself.

    • ccrvtt

      No disagreement about the performance, comfort, safety, or transportation convenience. I’d much rather have a new Corvette than my old one. But as a personal preference, I’d much rather have my old Corvette than a new Camry or Accord.

      As you yourself so eloquently stated, “They don’t get why the collection exists….the visceral enjoyment that a car can provide…”

      You’ll get that from your new Camaro. From a new Accord – not so much.

      • Tre Deuce

        CCRVTT, I suspect neither you or I do FWD’s. They have their value in the appliance market, but are weirdly ungainly to drive, and for me, absolutely no fun. I don’t do appliances unless they are connected to an electrical system and make ice for my Rita’s

        The Camaro will be the first America car I have bought for fun Since the 2,000 SVT Cobra ‘R’. The previous car to that was the SVO. It has been a long run of German performance cars, and would be again if the Camaro hadn’t been as good as it is. Its handling matches up well with the Euro performance machines and is a bargain to boot.

  9. Don E

    This “package” reminds of a wanaby hipo dealer installed package like the race prepped units that Royal Pontiac treated.

  10. Miriam

    My dad bought a ’65 Olds Cannibal 442 when I was still living at home. He says it was a 442 with a 400 in it. I took a couple of photos way back when, and I am searching for them. He sure wishes he still had it. I hate that people had to part with these cars during hard times. My dad will never be able to afford one again.

    Like 1
  11. Andy

    Unlike Yenko Chevrolet who truly made their own version of the Camaro’s and Nova’s much, much more high performance than stock. Google a Yenko Nova or Camaro. They were a Pennsylvania dealer who made some very collectible cars. I only ever came across one , a Nova in Great Falls Montana with the non original 350. Had a chance to trade my nice 72 Nova 2d 307 with headers and a 4bbl but just didn’t know the value.

  12. Robert Krouse

    My dad new the owner of the car,I believe it was the 425cubic inch motor from full size Starfire .This was in KC Mo.

  13. Jeff k

    I know the Brace family. Mr Brace was my Scout master. Steve Brace, the son and one year younger than me, drove a 64 and 65 Cannibal. I also got to drive them. 400 cu in, 4 on the floor. duo exhaust. 442 Cannibal. Engine and carbs finely tuned.

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