First-year 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442, updated for power, drivability

The Pick of the Day wears an older restoration that has held up well

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Oldsmobile
The Olds wears a set of vintage Cragar SS wheels

Prompted by the booming success of the 1964 Pontiac GTO, fellow GM brand Oldsmobile quickly created its own midsize performance car. Oldsmobile’s was based on the popular Cutlass model, dubbed the 442 for its combination of 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission and dual exhaust.  

The 442 became available for Cutlass and F-85 models as a $285 option. Power was provided by a hotter version of Oldsmobile’s 5.4-liter V8 with an output of 310 horsepower and 355 pound-feet of torque.

Oldsmobile

The Pick of the Day is from that first year, a 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass F-85 442 that has been restored and upgraded with more power and drivability.  The seller, a dealer in Jefferson, Wisconsin, advertising the Olds on ClassicCars.com, says the hardtop came from the factory as a 442. 

 “We know enough about the quirks of this car to state that it is an original first-year 442,” the dealer says in the ad.

“This car was built at the Fremont, CA plant and spent its entire productive life in CA and CO,” the ad says.  “In the mid-90s, a man from Missouri performed a complete restoration.  He is responsible for the performance modifications. 

Oldsmobile

“For the past 16 years, it was just up the road in the hands of a Certified Oldsmobile mechanic.  His tenure as the caretaker offered even more improvements.”  

The engine is now a 455 Olds bored .030 over, the dealer notes, professionally done with a hotter cam, Holley Double Pumper carburetor, Edelbrock intake, headers, HEI ignition and 3-inch Flowmaster exhaust with H pipe. Power is fed through a 4-speed manual transmission, naturally.

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1987 Porsche 944 in preserved driver condition

Dual electric fans cool the refurbished 3-core radiator, and a heavy-duty alternator supplies the extra current.  The engine has a new water pump, belts and hoses, and the AC has been converted to 134a refrigerant.  The front brakes have been converted to discs.

“The front end was completely rebuilt using neoprene bushings,” the ad notes.  “All shocks are new.  The car has been tastefully lowered.  A heavy-duty sway bar was installed.  The clutch and throw-out bearing are brand new.”

The restoration has held up well and the Oldsmobile is totally presentable as is, the seller says.

“This is a great-looking car that has been well-thought-out and performs to a high level.  It has gobs of power, handles well, sounds great and has nice creature comfort.  The quality of the body/paint/trim is such that you will be more than proud to take it to any car show.

“This car has never been rusty.  The Provincial White paint is now over 25 years old and it looks great.  There is no sign of any body repairs, no bubbles or cracks.”

Oldsmobile

A new set of vintage Cragar SS wheels were recently added, the seller says. “How can you not love the look of Cragar SS wheels on a ’60’s GM muscle car?”

The Oldsmobile 442 seems reasonably priced at $24,995.

 To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful and breathtaking as it was in 1964… Of all people who owned one was our. family as my father was a race motor builder and said that there’s no better engineered auto than an Oldsmobile… My mother drove it as a daily and I could not wait to be 16, then tragedy, they sold it when I was 15.5 yrs. old !!! Purchased a 4 door family Oldsmobile because my olders siblings had children, yes 4 grandchildren for mom and dad to spoil !!!!
    However I did purchase a 56′ Chevy Belair 2 door that my dad and I placed a cleaned up bored 327 ci. in with a 283 ci. crank and an isky hopped road race cam and 350 heads, an AFB Carburetors for all balanced engine getting 375/425 hp… manual 4 speed hurst and road course under carriage for the secure ride and larger brakes with a tubbed rear of 3″ each side wheels and the 3rd member gears to match at 285 lbs. lighter… Lowered it 2.5″ all 4 wheels… A precursor to todays “Touring Cars”…

  2. Sir, Would there be any way you could put the 442 back up to it’s Stock Height or maybe 2″ higher then that? I’m 63 and Old School now and never liked any Car that sits low like it’s bottom out on the Road? Sir, if you can do this for me I possibly would definitely be interested in your ’64 442? I owned a ’70 W-30 455, 500lbs. of Torque! 442 M-21 4 Speed, 3:91 Posi Rear, only lost 1 race at the 1/4 dragstrip to a ’69 SS Chevelle that was not Stock, like my 442 and he just did beat me by a half of front fender turn’s out he had a 427, headers, edelrock, holley and a 4:56 Posi? Now I have a 1969 GTO IS GREAT CONDITION 400/350 M-21, 3;90 Posi. Trying Sell it as of right now, beautiful GTO with Hideaways, Factory 8-Track, Hood Tach, Wood Wheel, Console always in my garage. and all paperwork P.H.S. etc…

  3. I have had Olds cars all my life. Stay away from AC plugs .I went with Bosch hot plugs. My mileage was 25 mpg on a 1966 Oldd 98 LS.Acel cap and rotor And wires.

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