Oldsmobile 4-4-2 7-5

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Description: 'Super Cool Olds 4-4-2' - from Hi-Perf Cars Oct. 1967

When the car cobblers down in Lansing, Michigan threw Lucille out of the Merry Oldsmobile and began thinking performance a few years ago, they put together a supercar which they dubbed the 4-4-2. Over the years this car has been applauded by people in the know as the finest all-around supercar on the market, mostly because of its superior handling qualities.

But the 4-4-2 has never really cut it with the stoplight competition troops. To the majority of drag addicts, 4-4-2 is a series of numbers which add up to about 10.

With the above in mind, we decided to test the hairiest Oldsmobile we could lay our hands on to see if the car really deserved the lukewarm reputation it had with the strip set. We tried since last September to get our hands on the all-out "W30 Cold Air Induction Package" which was supposed to be available at the beginning of the '67 production run. But because of parts availability problems, the W30 package wasn't available to us until late last spring.

When we got the word that W30's were rolling off the line, we attacked an order blank with gay abandon in an attempt to turn a plain Cutlass hardtop (with starting price of $2932.50) into the hairiest Olds 4-4-2 possible (at $4369.45).

The big items that went into our $1400 option spree began with the 4-4-2 engine and trim option ($184.31). Then came the close-ratio four speed stick with Hurst shifter (also $184.31). The capacitive-discharge ignition system came next ($100.05). This setup will fire the most fouled up plugs, and this is great if you want to run cold plugs at the track to avoid top end detonation, while leaving them in on the street without running into everyday-operation fouling problems.

We opted for the lowest-ratio limited-slip rear, a 4.33 ($42.13), to get the most out of the 400-cube engine's high-rev potential. This is not the ideal ratio for normal use because with a multiple of 17 mph for each 1000 rpm, the crank is twisting at 3000 for only 51 mph on the speedo, 4000 at 68, etc. It is the only rear to have, however, if your only concern is off-the-line work.

The heavy-duty radiator ($21.06) is cheap when you consider it's capable of keeping the temperature below the critical point in almost any situation. The disc brakes ($104.72) are also a good buy when you take into account the performance and top-end potential of the car.

The most expensive option on our test car was the fabled Cold Air Induction Package ($263.30). It consists of two big hoses which connect snorkels at each side of the grille to a sealed-chamber air cleaner which forms a sealed chamber over the Rochester Quadrajet 4MV carburetor. (From the look of this setup, it seems that Electrolux engineers had a hand in designing it. Just imagine, a 400-hp vacuum cleaner!)

The idea behind the induction package is to deliver cold air to the carburetor, because cold, outside air is denser than hot, underhood air, and the denser the air, the more oxygen can be stuffed into a cylinder. The air rushing into the snorkels also provides a slight supercharging effect, but only at higher speeds--say over 60 mph. Another benefit of the package is that it looks wicked when the hood is popped, and that's half the battle when you're competing in a Drive-In Derby.



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