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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1968 Oldsmobile 442 - ONE OF THE BEST MUSCLE CARS

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Photographed at the Show and Shine car show at Ypsilanti, Michigan on May 4, 2008.

1968 would prove to be a dramatic year for the 4-4-2. For the first time, the 4-4-2 became its own model, still based on the Oldsmobile A-body midsize platform. For 1968, all GM A-body two doors lost three inches of wheelbase and gained shapely new sheetmetal. Although both the standard and Force Air induction engines sported an increased stroke and decreased bore (the opposite of general practice), their displacement and power ratings remained the same. The Force Air engine now had air intakes positioned under the bumpers while the Turnpike Cruiser engine was detuned slightly. The big news for enthusiasts was the introduction of the Hurst/Olds. The prototype had been designed as a one-off by Jack "Doc" Watson for his boss George Hurst, the designer of the Jaws of Life and the most respected name in transmissions. Watson took a 4-4-2 and dropped in the 455 cid V8 from the Oldsmobile Toronado. Encouraged by the success of the transplant, Jack Watson was able to convince Oldsmobile executives to authorize a limited run of Hurst/Olds. All Hurst/Olds featured Force Air systems and Turbo Hydromatics with Hurst Dual-Gate shifters and came in only one color combination, Peruvian Silver with Black accent stripes and rear-deck panel. Only 515 were produced for 1968, and they are highly prized today.

Production:
2D Sport Coupe: 4,282
Holiday Hardtop Coupe: 24,183
Convertible: 5,142

Engines:
(L66) 400 V8 290 bhp @ 4600 rpm, 425 lb-ft @ 2600 bhp.
400 V8 350 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm. (Manual transmission)
400 V8 325 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 440 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm. (Automatic transmission)
(W-30) 400 V8 360 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 440lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
(Hurst/Olds) 455 V8 390 bhp @ 5000rpm, 500 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

Performance:
(Hurst/Olds) 455/390: 0-60 in 5.4 sec, 1/4 mile in 13.9 sec @ 103 mph.

Source: musclecarclub, Photo - Flickr

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