Muscle Car Project: 1967 Oldmobile 442

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Ask a muscle car fanatic what 442 (or 4-4-2) stands for, and the answer will be the four-barrel carb, four-speed, dual exhaust. Variations on this answer include 400 CID engine, four-speed, dual exhaust. Who’s right? It’s a matter of what model year is being referenced. In any case, the first 442 was not a standalone model, but an accessory package offered between 1964 and 1967 when this Cutlass 442 was sold. The car is in Vernon Hills, Illinois, and available here on eBay with a suggested starting bid of $20K but no takers as of yet. Thanks for this tip, Barn Finder TJ.

This 442 has the fat 400 CID V8, an engine that has traversed only 61,342 miles. That mill is backed up with a three-speed automatic transmission. Photos show that it’s very stock and original appearing under the hood, needing only a thorough engine detailing to make that compartment show-ready. But before you imagine yourself winning trophies with this car, wait. The description of the car says, “It’s in great condition minus some rust and some interior work,” as if that’s no big deal. But it is a big deal, and the photos tell the story, as do the words.

The driver’s side has bad rust in the bottom of the door and the close edge of the rear fender, in fact, all along that fender line. There’s also rot at the trailing edge of the front fender on that side. There’s no photographic indication of equal tin-worm on the passenger side despite what the description says, but why would we think that side is any different? If you’re planning to make this Cutlass yours, in other words, realize that it’s going to need bodywork, and, because the last restoration was obviously done without proper excising of rust, this could be a substantial project, the extent of which will only be clear after it’s been to the stripper. There are also some needs in the interior, though those sound minor, and the instrument panel looks tidy and original. But what’s with the leaves all over the floor in the interior shots? Have some pride, man.

On the plus side, there’s a ton of original paperwork included in this sale, such as the manual, bill of sale, title, and invoice. That’s pretty cool, but before you do anything with that, you’re going to have to commission the aforementioned extensive body repair and paintwork. Perhaps that’s too daunting for buyers, who have not yet bitten on the $20K starting bid price.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Joe Padavano

    Starting in the 1965 model year, 442 stood for 400 inch engine, four barrel carb, and dual exhaust. Starting in 1965 you could get an automatic, (the two speed Jetaway) or a three speed manual trans (either column or floor shifted) in addition to the four speed. This is directly from Oldsmobile marketing material, so there’s no fuzz on it. By 1967 the base trans was the three speed manual “Dearborn” top loader, with the Muncie four speed and TH400 as available options. Again, this is directly from Olds.

    Like 2
    • Steve

      Yes, I had a 68 442 that had a 3 speed manual and it was a Ford top loader. Changed it out for a Muncie which felt faster but the drag strip slips didn’t show that it was.

      Like 1
      • Joe Padavano

        If you look at the gear ratios, the three speed really was pretty well matched. First was 2.42:1, second was 1.61:1, and of course third was 1.00:1. If you installed a close ratio Muncie (2.20 first) that would have slowed the car down in the quarter. Even with a wide ratio Muncie (2.52 first), the 1.88 second gear likely required you to shift into third before the end of the quarter, causing a loss of time.

        Like 1
  2. Michael Berkemeier

    Those aren’t leaves on the floor, it is old insulation that has blown out of the vents from the firewall and vent ducts. Any old car guy knows this. It’s the stuff that gets in your eyes when you’re going down the highway at 70mph, in 90-degree weather, with the windows down, sweating your a** off because the air conditioning doesn’t work in your rusty 442 with the slushbox on the column, lol.

    Like 4
    • bone

      Or loosened up from Mice trying to build a home in it

      Like 1
  3. Shuttle Guy Shuttle GuyMember

    It’s a crying shame to it this way. Nothing wrong with the starting price of$18,000 on eBay. Hopefully a lover of these will fix it proper.

    Like 0
  4. terry blakeslee

    4-4-2 actually stood for 4 speed, 4 bbl, and dual exhaust and the option was available on 4 door models as well.

    Like 1
    • Joe Padavano

      The “four speed, four barrel, dual exhaust” was only in the 1964 model year, and there were 11 four doors built that year, four base F85s and seven F85 Deluxe models.

      Like 2
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I looked at the pictures on the carpet and don’t think that’s leaves in the pictures, I think it’s either insulation or seat stuffing. If I’m right then I suspect something was living in the car cat some time.

    Like 1
    • Joe Padavano

      It’s the tan fiberous under-dash insulation. The stuff crumbles with age and falls out like this. All of my cars of this vintage have that problem. All the speculation is apparently from people who don’t own one.

      Like 4

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