The last time General Motors used the 442 nameplates, it was in reference to a high-output variant of the four-cylinder Cutlass Calais in 1991. The Oldsmobile brand became defunct 13 years later in 2004, so memories are all we have of some of the world’s most impactful performance cars from GM.
The Pick of the Day is a 1987 Oldsmobile 442 listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Oakley, Michigan. (Click the link to view the listing)
The 442 model, first launched in 1964, was launched as a performance-tuned sport coupe when the muscle car era was just about to heat up. Its name was derived from the fact that the car had a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts.
In the decades that followed, the 442 underwent architectural and engineering changes to keep up with the times. The nameplate took a break between 1981 and 1984 as General Motors was moving it from the A-body platform to a new rear-wheel drive G-body platform. Then, beginning in 1985, the 442 was a performance-tuned version of the Cutlass Supreme.
Showing 63,228 miles on the odometer, this example for sale looks well-preserved. “Show-quality glossy new paint, chrome alloy wheels with new BFGoodrich T/A tires, new battery, new exhaust system,” the seller states. The exterior finish has a two-tone black and silver theme with gold decals and accent striping. For being a Michigan car, the underbody is shown to be miraculously corrosion-free in the photo gallery.
Appointments were generous for the time with bucket seats, a tilt steering wheel, air conditioning, a center console, a sunroof with a sliding shade, power windows, and a Delco “Symphony Sound” AM/FM/cassette audio system with a built-in graphic equalizer. The photo showing the dash brings back fond memories of my first car, a 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity, because of the keys in the ignition. For many years during this era, General Motors vehicles were issued with two keys: one with a rectangular tip for the ignition, and one with a circular tip for the doors and the trunk lock.
Under the hood, torque comes from a 307cid V8 mated to a 700R4 four-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain was rated at 170 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque which were respectable figures for the time. The seller states that the battery and exhaust system have been replaced.
The asking price is $23,000 for this clean, restored 442 which brings back memories of one of Oldsmobile’s high points.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.