Cohort Conundrum: Is This A Real 1974 Olds Cutlass 442? And a Minor 1974 442 Mystery

We have a new Cohort poster, Marcus Voyles, who hails from one of my former locales, Maryland. He posted several cars, but this one titled “1974 Cutlass 442” caught my most immediate attention, coming on the heels of Jim Klein’s “Is It a 428 Bobcat GTO” post the other day.

This one might be a wee bit easier to answer.

It’s obviously missing the bold center double stripes that the 1974 442 package included, along with revised suspension tuning. No standard bigger engine or such; just the 350 or the optional 455. So the answer is all-too obvious: it’s not a Cutlass with the 442 package.

What it has to be is the Cutlass S Coupe, as the base Cutlass had a different front end. Yup; odd as it may seem.

Here’s that base 1974 Cutlass coupe and sedan front end. So what about that “1974 442 Mystery”?

The only reference to the 442 package is this upper shot, which says that it is available on either the Cutlass or Cutlass S Coupe.

But do an image search for “1974 Cutlass 442” and every result shows them with the base Cutlass front end. It would seem that Olds only used that one, even if it was based on a Cutlass S in order to keep things simple. Or maybe the base front end looked sportier?

For that matter, it does seem a bit odd that the Cutlass S got the same “upscale” front end as the Supreme and Salon.

But there you have it! Another profound automotive mystery resolved, so now you and I can get some real work done.


Related reading:
Curbside Classic: 1977 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 – Strength in Numbers; Some of the Time