What Does “Olds 442” Stand For?

In 1965, Oldsmobile introduced its 400-cubic-inch engine and dubbed the muscle car ‘4-4-2’ for its four-barrel carburetor, four-speed transmission and dual exhaust. Variations of the 442 intermittently remained in production until 1993.

Oldsmobile wanted to give 442 prospective buyers a choice of automatic or standard transmission, and the Oldsmobile 442 was offered as an option package for F-85 and Cutlass models, though the motor struggled in the early years. By 1970, Oldsmobile had revised its bore and stroke to meet emissions and cost requirements, resulting in a “high-performance” vehicle packed with subpar durability. The company produced 19,330 of the 1970 Oldsmobile 442, of which 2,933 were convertibles; 1,688 were club coupes and 14,709 were hardtop coupes.