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The Olds 442


PROJECT Overview


Back when GM reluctantly allowed John DeLorean to create what is now the legendary Pontiac GTO, the folks at Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac, and GMC were convinced that the GTO would fail. They suspected that nobody wanted a midsize sedan (Pontiac Tempest) with a big car engine (400ci). They were completely wrong, sending them all back to the drawing boards where Oldsmobile came up with the 442, so named because it had a 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed transmission, and dual exhaust (hence 4-4-2). It didn’t sell quite as huge as the GTO but it was a legitimate muscle car from Oldsmobile in the GTO’s vein, and we’ve always loved them.

Historical Context

The Pontiac GTO is often credited with kickstarting the muscle car era in the 1960s. When it was first introduced, its blend of performance and style captured the imagination of car enthusiasts across America. This success spurred other GM divisions to develop their own high-performance models, leading to the creation of the Oldsmobile 442 in 1964. The 442 was named for its combination of a 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts. Though it never achieved the same level of fame as the GTO, the 442 became a respected muscle car in its own right, known for its robust performance and distinctive features.

Discovery of the 1964 442

We found this 1964 442 in the hills of northern Nevada. The car, a relic of a bygone era, was in rough shape but held the promise of a rewarding restoration project. Hidden away for decades, this 442 had managed to retain much of its original character, making it a perfect candidate for a thorough and loving restoration. The significance of finding such a model lies not just in its rarity, but in its representation of a pivotal moment in automotive history.

Restoration Process

The restoration of this 1964 Oldsmobile 442 was a labor of love, aimed at bringing this classic muscle car back to its former glory. Our restoration goals were to maintain the authenticity of the vehicle while making necessary upgrades to ensure its performance and reliability.

Step-by-Step Outline of the Restoration Process:

  1. Assessment and Planning: Evaluating the car’s condition and creating a detailed restoration plan.
  2. Disassembly: Carefully dismantling the car to inspect all components.
  3. Bodywork: Repairing and restoring the body to its original specifications.
  4. Engine and Transmission: Rebuilding the original 400ci engine and 4-speed transmission, or sourcing period-correct replacements.
  5. Interior: Restoring the interior to match the original design, using authentic materials.
  6. Reassembly and Testing: Reassembling the car and conducting thorough testing to ensure everything functions correctly.

Technical Specifications and Modifications

The original 1964 Oldsmobile 442 came with:

  • A 400 cubic inch V8 engine.
  • A 4-speed manual transmission.
  • Dual exhaust system.
  • Distinctive 442 badging and trim.

Modifications and Upgrades Completed:

  • Modern suspension components for improved handling.
  • Upgraded brakes for better stopping power.
  • Enhanced electrical system to support modern conveniences.

Project Completion and Highlights

We are thrilled to announce that the restoration of our 1964 Oldsmobile 442 is now complete. This iconic muscle car has been restored to its former glory, with meticulous attention to detail and several modern upgrades to enhance performance and reliability.

Project Highlights:

  • The engine roars to life with the power and aggression expected from a classic muscle car.
  • The bodywork and paint job reflect the original design, capturing the essence of the 1960s era.
  • The interior has been restored to match the original design, providing an authentic driving experience.


Our 1964 Oldsmobile 442 stands as a testament to the golden age of American automotive engineering and a tribute to the dedication and passion of our restoration team. We invite you to explore the photo album to see the progress and details of our restoration project. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to celebrate this classic beauty and share our journey with fellow car enthusiasts.