Muscle Car Spotlight – 1966 Oldsmobile 442

By Auto News Log • November 21st, 2009

Technically, pre-1968 Olds 442s weren’t an actual model, but rather “442″ was an option package available for the Oldsmobile Cutlass. The standard L78 400 cid engine incorporated a single 4bbl carburetor and was rated at 350 hp. The favored set-up for muscle car buyers was the upgraded L69, which was a one-year-only configuration that featured a hotter cam and a triple 2bbl carb “tri-power” arrangement, which helped increase the power rating by another 10 horses.

Quarter-mile runs were as quick as 14.8 seconds. Rarest of the rare was the W-30 version of the tri-power motor, which also incorporated an air induction system via tubing from the front bumper. There were only 54 factory-released copies of the W-30, although another 97 were dealer-modified installations. Finding a W-30 442 today is next to impossible (at this writing, one is available on eBay for $70k!), but lacking that, the “regular” tri-power L69’s are most desired by collectors.


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