Saturday, May 27, 2023

Automotif CCCLXXV...

Here's a car born of intramural rivalry at General Motors. In 1964, John DeLorean and the gang at Pontiac introduced the GTO as an option package for the midsize Tempest LeMans, replacing the 326 cubic inch V-8 normally found in the midsize model with the 389cid motor from the full-size Bonneville.

Oldsmobile, the next brand up in General Motors' internal hierarchy, saw all those sweet, sweet sales to the burgeoning sporty car market and came up with a performance package for their own midsize car, the Cutlass. It had a performance version of the Olds 330cid Rocket V-8 and a bunch of suspension upgrades. They called it the "4-4-2", for its 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed transmission, and dual exhausts.

With the second generation of both cars in 1968, the GTO and 442 became their own models, and the base V-8s in each had swole up to 400 cubic inches, which was GM's self-imposed displacement limit at the time for motors in midsize cars.

The car in the photos is a 1969 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 convertible in Ebony Black with some classy racing stripes.

Depending on the option boxes checked, the 400 cubic inch Olds Rocket V-8 in the '69 ragtop could put out anywhere between 325 and 360 SAE gross horsepower, and could be had with the 4-speed manual, 3-speed manual, or 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission.

Olds built 26,357 4-4-2's in 1969, of which 4,295 were convertibles, making this ride relatively uncommon. There certainly can't be that many left in such nice shape out driving around.