Old GM A-Bodies are like a blank palette from which every sort of variation and permutation eventually will emerge. More typically, the coupes get dressed up, whether in original clothes or not. But something about this Cutlass Supreme four-door hardtop with a vinyl roof and the 442-ish racing stripes on the trunk caught not only my attention, but that of CC Cohort Blue387, who shot it in Brooklyn, NY.
Of course, there really was a genuine 4-4-2 four-door–just not in 1970, or whatever year this one isn’t.
In 1964, the 4-4-2 package was available on any non-wagon F-85 V8–but without a 400-cu in engine, since Olds had to toe the GM line limiting engines in mid-size cars to 330 cu in.. The 310-hp Jetfire Rocket had 330 cubes; thus, the first “4” signified a four-barrel carb; the second “4” meant a four-speed transmission; and the “2” stood for dual exhausts. Never seen one; probably never will.
F85 Sedan 442’s are super rare, i think they only made like 9 of them.
And if memory serves, most of those went to the Lansing P.D. …
Does that mean I should stop looking for one?
I wish I had been just a few years older and gotten to drive my Mother’s 64 Cutlass – It had the 4 bbl/premium gas 330, but mated to the 2 speed Jetaway. She said it was plenty fast, and I can recall her at least once surprising some teenager in a loud Chevelle at a stoplight.
As for the hot rod wheels and the great big fat stripes on a 4 door hardtop – I wonder if the guy knows that he really looks a bit foolish.
Go easy on the guy, Jim. 🙂 It doesn’t look that bad really, and sometimes you just gotta roll with what you’ve got.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a Cutlass 4-door hardtop of this generation.
I agree with you BigOldChryslers. I have a 1974 AMC Matador semi-hotrodded up like this one, I have just as much fun as the 2 dr guys at a fraction of the cost…
Wow… Almost looks like Robins Egg Blue but mintier
love its uniqueness.
Man, that’s beautiful! Too bad it’s rough around the edges…
Per a post on the other Chevelle thread, I preferred the mid-sizers and dumped my love for the big guys. The 4 door hardtop full-sizers were “flappy” because of declining build quality, but I seem to recall – and I spent lots of time in various Chevy dealers in the Marysville-Sacramento area back then – that the mid-size hardtops were substantially sturdier.
I go easy on the fellow driving too – after all, he has the correct driving position, especially with his hand gripping the vent window frame per custom. I REALLY miss doing that…
Would love a convertible version, white with blue stripes or blue with white stripes.
Any Olds V8 from that era would do, the metallic Rocket sound is cool.
Some wagons fans customized some F-85/Cutlass Cruiser wagons into 442 wagons like this ’69 one http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr38/413117704/
I actually prefer this to the shiny red one of the previous CC post.
Me too. This car is so “me” although the stripes would have to go. It’s not worth restoring but plenty cool enough to enjoy. The faded red, tough stance, and Cragar S/S wheels are nice on this. I’m very partial to the 4-door hardtop A-body cars. Double coolness points if there’s a 455 under the hood.
One female Olds fan on another forum calls Chevelles “funny-looking Cutlasses”.
I am sure somone on the ‘Interwebs’ will see this Cutlass picture and “swear up and down” that “Oldsmobile really made a 4 door 442! I saw one on the net!”
On the other side of coin, there are some who don’t believe any Cutlass or Chevelle ever had 4 doors! Or, see a LeMans wagon pic and ‘swear’ that it can’t be real, since “They never made GTO Wagons!”
You can bet that somewhere on the internet, there’s an “actual” photograph of a four-door Corvette!
“See Virginia, they really built those!”
Actually, there were a small number of 4-door 1980 Corvettes made by a company called California Custom Coach. Supposedly GM paid them to do the design, and showed the prototype at car shows. There are a couple of them still out there.
I love that car. It reminds me of the 1966 Catalina that I had back in the late 80s.
Americans (can’t speak for Canadians) had such a hardon for 4-dr sedans or hardtops in the ’50s and ’60s. Couldn’t be a performance car if it had more than two doors.
But in France, where I spent some of my youth, you couldn’t sell a 2-dr sedan. All performance cars-Citroen DS19 rally cars, Renault R8 Gordinis, Peugeot rally cars, were all 4-drs. I recall that Australia also had a distaste for 2-drs. The only 2-dr that sold in France was the Mini. Forget the VW bug, not just because it had two doors, but there were other issues that made German cars unpopular in France. Can’t remember exactly what they were.
You are correct about Australia Kevin. When Bill Bourke wanted to build the Falcon GT (4 door sedan) he had to fight for it as presumably US-based people couldn’t conceive a 4-door performance model. They built an initial run of 500, then a couple of hundred more due to demand, before the next model took over.
There were some 2-door cars but very few as I think people were a lot more practical and/or conservative.
On the racing front, you could only race a 2-door in the small classes. Norm Beechey brought in a 62 Chev 4-door hardtop with a 409 and 4 speed to take on the Mark 2 Jaguars. An example of being practical – he ordered the car with electric windows to make it easier to sell once he was finished racing it!
I know I might have missed something and I also know that the ad department might change things from year to year. I specifically recall 1967 and Olds saying: 4 barrel carb, 4 speed transmission, and dual exhaust made a car a 442.
Never owned one but one of my shipmates had his stolen in Philadelphia when we were in the Shipyard. That and other things kept me driving VWs while on the East Coast.
I guess they could have as many doors as they wanted to. Guess it’s kind of moot now because I hear olds isn’t going to make any more of them.
It was that originally, but when the automatic became available, they had to change it to: 400 CI, 4 barrel carb, and dual exhaust. Of course, in much later years, most of that didn’t apply anymore either.
I used to have a ’73 442 with 350 4bbl, turbo 350, and single exhaust making it a 3.541
Adding insult to injury was its beige outside & black bench seat column shift inside. It was in too good condition to alter so I traded it off for a vastly superior V6 4speed Fiero.
An odd bit of trivia I once came across: in 1973, the final year of the Chevelle SS package, it was for some reason offered on station wagons. IIRC, it was not available on sedans, just coupes and wagons. I don’t know how many SS wagons were built, and I have no idea what the rationale was for making them available.
Those cars were hot. My mother, no speed demon, owned an F85 with a big V8, but not a 442. That car could track rubber up a steeply inclined (up) on-ramp. I drove it through Oklahoma one night at about 105 mph.
Growing up I had a distant relative who drove a 1964 F-85 four-door sedan that I believe was purchased new. It was black with a red interior, and while I have no idea what the powertrain was, I’m fairly certain it was not equipped with the 4-4-2 package. The car was pristine and the owner kept it well into the ’80s. I guess he just didn’t feel the need to replace it with anything newer. Not sure what happened to it, as I had moved out of the state by then.
I begged my father not to sell my granpas’ 68 Cutlass Supreme 4door hardtop. I was 9 and swore to him I’d take care of it if he saved it for me. Of course, he didn’t, and now it seems four door hard tops are the rarest birds left of this family. Man, I want that car back.
Hello all, I am the owner of this 1970 Cutlass Supreme Holiday Hardtop,
and have owned t since 2006.
It’s a work in progress and I have many plans for it, When this pic was taken it was my daily driver.
right now its currently in storage, waiting for when I have time from my busy schedule,
I fell in love with the four door Oldsmobile’s, when a buddy of mine had a white ’72 four door in high school, we had fun with his car and was able to buy it from him a few years later when he was getting married, unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the car and had to sell it to make ends meet, but always wanted another one, and finally years later, my wife found this one on eBay and its an excellent starting point
Thanks for filling us in.