IT’S BEEN over 12 years since the Oldsmobile brand died, and arguably longer since a truly great car was born of it. Founder Ransom Eli Olds would likely be rather upset with some of the cookie-cutter sedans that were produced in the 90s, but there was a time when Oldsmobile sat pretty close to the sharp end of GM’s pyramid of marques.
In the mid-sixties Pontiac came up with the GTO, a beefed up version of their already established LeMans.
Rivalry between GM divisions meant Oldsmobile would have to retaliate, so they started tinkering with their model most likely, the Cutlass.
They branded it the Cutlass 4-4-2 until, much like the GTO, the upgrade package became a new model in itself.
The one we’re featuring is a ’67 model, that still has a fair bit in common with its knockabout Cutlass cousin, but this didn’t apply to the the interior trim. Prior to ’67 the 4-4-2 was based on the regular Cutlass but the 4-4-2’s growing profile meant that its interior was now from the more upmarket Cutlass Supreme model. It was proper ‘top of the range’ stuff.
The 4-4-2 upgrades consisted of extra power and stiffer suspension for the most part. It was a muscle upgrade for a family car, much like
the difference between a base model Kingswood and its SS companion.
In terms of being competition for the GTO and the likes of Ford’s Mustang, the 4-4-2 kept up comfortably.
A ’67 4-4-2 would outrun a standard Mustang of the same vintage, but within a couple of years, GTOs and Ponies were hitting 60mph around a second quicker than their Oldsmobile rival.
These days you’d be hard pressed to get a 60s V8 working that hard unless you’d done some work to it, or are prepared to when you break it.
The car featured here is pretty much original, according to the seller, so if you do buy it you’d be smart to just take our word on the performance stats.
The matching red interior is something to brag about, as well as the automatic three-speed which the seller says makes it lovely to drive. If you’ve been after a muscular 60s cruiser, or you’re just really into red things, now might be the time to scoop some dollars out of the piggy bank.
The 4-4-2 name was originally used for upspec Cutlasses, but soon became a model name in itself. Even though the 4-4-2 was still based on the Cutlass, it was its own entity. The name wasn’t just made up on the spot. It comes from the engine configuration of quad-barrel carburettors, the four-speed gearbox, and the dual exhausts. Oldsmobile continued to use the name (eventually without the hyphens, as 442) on other models such as the Cutlass Calais, as an optional upgrade.
BODY two-door coupe ENGINE 400ci V8 POWER 350hp @ 4800rpm TORQUE 440 ft/lbs (597 Nm) @ 3600rpm PERFORMANCE 0-60mph 6.5 sec TRANSMISSION three-speed auto SUSPENSION Independent coil-springs, counter dive, sway bar, heavy-duty shocks (f), coil springs, four-link, twin-triangle live-axle with sway bar, heavy-duty shocks (r) BRAKES Drums – pwr boost and front discs optional PRICE $41,900 CONTACT billsusclassics.com