Muscle Car of the Week: 1968 Oldsmobile 442

Black 1968 Oldsmobile 442

A somewhat lesser known muscle car, the Oldsmobile 442 (pronounced 4-4-2) still makes an occasional appearance during our auto restoration services here in Los Angeles, and it’s actually a great choice if you’re looking to restore a ride that is a little outside the norm.

Originally introduced in ’64, the 1968 442 officially kicked off the second generation of the model, and there were a lot of changes; both mechanical and aesthetic.

Probably the biggest change in the exterior of the ’68 version, was the new almost ‘fast back’ shaped body, that included only a slight taper at the trunk. Additionally, the front grille was redesigned, adding an angular point on the very front, while keeping the double headlamps on both sides. Other improvements were special exhaust tips and cutouts and a revamped rear bumper.

Under the Hood

There was bad news for fans of power though. Under the hood the second generation model actually got a bit weaker than the previous year. Although it carried over the base 400 cubic inch engine from ’67, they reduced the bore and added a milder base cam grind. This made the car almost a half a second slower in the 0-60 test and it dropped 400rpms of torque when dyno tested by Car Life Magazine.

All in all though, the Oldmobile 442 is a great restoration choice. Nowadays, at internet auction they can get anywhere from $30K to $50K in great to mint condition and depending on the specs.

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