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Count on getting stomped

Oldsmobile was quick to respond to Pontiac’s smash hit GTO with a sporty midsize of its own. While Pontiac went with an abbreviation of Gran Turismo Homologato, Olds went with a shortened numerical indicator “442.” When the package for the A-body F-85 and Cutlass launched in 1964, the moniker stood for four-barrel carburetor, four-speed transmission, and dual exhaust, although the reasoning for the name changed in ’65.

Pontiac had broken GM’s internal rule for banning midsize cars from using engines larger than 330 cubic inches when it installed the 389 V-8 in the GTO, and once the floodgates were open, Oldsmobile adopted a 400-cu-in V-8 for 1965, and the meaning behind 442 changed to 400-cu-in engine, four-barrel carb, and dual exhaust. That meant that beginning in 1965, 442s could be equipped with automatic transmissions… read more >

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