Olds’ Hottest Number! 1965 Oldsmobile 4-4-2

As Yard Art goes, this 1965 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 is highly attractive. GM’s recognition that mid-sized muscle made for increased sales had kicked into gear by 1965, and the 4-4-2 included a number of upgrades to hit the mark. Oldmobile’s sales literature called the 1965 4-4-2 “Olds’ Hottest Number.” While the listing here on Cleveland, Ohio craigslist indicates a three-speed automatic transmission, Oldsmobile’s only automatic offering in the 4-4-2 was the two-speed “Jetaway” automatic. Thanks to myclassicgarage.com for some details, and to reader Pat L. for spotting this mid-’60s muscle car. Showing decent condition overall, many questions would need to be answered to earn the $10,000 asking price.

Over the years, “4-4-2” meant different things, but it always meant *something*. For ’65 it signified the 400 cid engine, four-barrel carburetor, and dual exhaust. By the early ’90s, 4-4-2 meant “Four Cylinders, Four Tires, and Two Turn Signal Indicators.” OK; that’s not exactly true, but let’s just say this one is more of a classic. A rusted gas-tank and bad starter (at least) has this Olds sidelined but it “was last started a year ago.” The interior is not pictured but described as blue with console shifter and bucket seats. Though Ohio is not known for its kindness to classic cars, the panels and trim look fairly straight and well-preserved. What look like later Pontiac wheels wear not-too-ancient-looking tires.

Before you disrespect the 400 cid mill and say you’re rather have the ’70 model’s 455 cid engine, remember that the “Ultra Extra High Compression” 400 represented the top engine choice in  ’65, making 345 HP in a sub-3500 lb car. For reference that’s about 500 lb less than a 2019 Camaro SS, and you can put people you don’t hate in the back seats of the 4-4-2. The apparently-stock air cleaner indicates it may be highly original, as that part often became the first thing chucked aside when owners dropped $20 on a generic chrome housing at the local Jamesway. What would you offer for this original-looking 4-4-2?

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Seems kind of steep.

    Wait, the price is “negotiable”. Thank Goodness!


  2. Ted

    Look at the rust on this thing along the belt line. Sorry seller, this is a $500 car at most, if you can’t be bothered to get a car running or submit proper photos how do you truly expect 10K? Oh wait, one sold at barrett-ripoff for 40K………..

  3. ccrvtt

    That curtain of flaking paint on the driver’s door can only mean that rust has detached it from the backside. Ted is right, if a bit generous at $500.

    I love mid ’60’s Oldsmobiles but this one is a post coupe with a 2-speed automatic missing its Magnum 500’s.

    Can’t blame Barrett-Jackson for this. I blame the mothers for telling their kids that they’re special and everything the have is special, too.

  4. Mark S.

    The asking number is way out of line. You would have to do some serious negotiations to get to reality. This thing needs everything. The three things to consider when looking at something that has been sitting around is, location, location, location; The Rust Belt isn’t kind to old steel.
    Hopefully someone with a lot of ambition will save this one.

  5. LT1 Mike Member

    “Ultra”(not extra) High Compression. Love these cars, my dad had a ’65 98 with a 425 for years. I used to own a very original ’66 Cutlass, that was just a cool car to cruise in. This is a project worth undertaking in my opinion, and I would love to see it restored to its former glory. Good luck to whoever buys this Olds Rocket.

  6. Tom

    Looks like it has been sitting outside for a very long time. Floorboards,trunk,& frame may be too rusty to restore. It would of helped if it was parked on concrete. So sad.

  7. John Budd

    442 actually stood for 4 speed, 4 barrel, duel exhaust. It was a parts bin car. They already produced the parts for their police car fleets.

    • Vince H

      @john budd

      Fighting exhaust. I know you meant dual exhaust.

  8. John Budd

    B07 was the option code, I think. Been so long it’s tough to remember.

  9. local_sheriff

    The 65 Olds 442 and its lesser Cutlass brother seems somehow to be the forgotten A-bodies of the mid-sixties. Personally I think they look very nice and anything you can do with a Chevelle can also be done to a Olds.

    Though this is a 442 it’s priced …well,optimistically… A regular 330 powered Cutlass in excactly same colors, in nice driver condition and no issues sold for 10k around x-mas – so why pay the same to have a 442 that will have to have ‘everything’ fixed?

  10. Roger

    1967, 1970 and 1971 are my favorite years for a 442. Not in any particular order. Never really saw many 65’s around.

  11. William Decker

    Always liked the ’65’s.The ’64-’67 400 & larger displacement 425 (used in full size Oldsmobile’s) are outstanding engines even though they are often overlooked/forgotten. Built with tough, high nickel content blocks, all had forged cranks, make excellent torque with a 7,000 RPM redline. Favorite year,of course,is ’66 as that’s what is in my garage, followed by ’68, then ’65. All with few or no options & M21 Muncie.

  12. Rhett

    65 is the underdog of 442’s- the 400 would punch above its weight (a much much better engine than the 68-69 400), and the 2 speed was no penalty box…a high first gear helped off the line traction if you were racing, switch pitch converter made a 3.08 gear perform like a 3.55, and more or less 10-15 hp less parasitic drag than a ST-400. Team that with handsome understated styling and you’ve got a winner..this car may be rough, but I’ve seen far worse restored..

  13. Ronniev

    The only year 442 meant 400 4speed duel exhaust was 1964 and it was a police package offered on the 4 doors as well.

  14. Pete Phillips

    I restored the Buick version of this recently–1965 Skylark Gran Sport two-door sedan. Beware of rust-through around the valley that the back glass reveal molding sits in. It’s a major design flaw in these cars and collects all the dirt and leaves, then never dries out, sending rust and water into the trunk, rear package shelf, and rear seat carpet.
    That said, this car is certainly restorable–I have started with much worse ones.

  15. stillrunners

    Yep….hard to find a 1964 or 1965….nice it’s still around.

  16. Mike H

    Dad had a 68 Delta 88 highway patrol interceptor with the 455 interceptor engine in it and a TH400 trans. It had a big four barrel and two and three quarter inch duel exhaust and a positrac rear don’t know the gear ratio on the rear but it was an interceptor and it had long legs.

    I got to drive it to school in the early 70’s It outran every thing in town in the quarter and top end it topped out around 150 and outran a 383 charger in the quarter. running from a dead start off the line against the Charger we would be neck and neck to about 110 then it was like he hit a wall when he ran out of gearing and the Olds would walk off and leave him.

    I have read those cars had about 385 HP cant verify it. it was far from stock I broke a valve spring once and my dad said the mechanic told him he had never seen an engine like that it had 2 springs per valve an inner and an outer.

    Dad bought it at an auction it used to be the Attorney General of the state of Illinios’s State Car it was black with a black interior with PS, PB, AC and cruise

    Sure wish I could find that old I would at least restore it mechanically.

  17. Donnie Stevenson

    I’ve had 3, 1965 442’s and on my second cutlass which is a beautiful f85 convertible. The 2 speeds is a very strong transmission. I put it down in low going 70 and it just took off. My favorite of all the cars I’ve had.

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