Pontiac’s ad man Jim Wangers and division manager John DeLorean are widely credited with creating the muscle car, subverting General Motors’ dictum against big engines in small cars by creating a large-engine option for the intermediate Tempest.
Olds was first to respond, making their F-85 police package available to the public. It had a four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission and dual exhausts, so the marketing mavens christened it “442.” The engine was the same 330, but the modifications raised brake horsepower from 230 to 310. For 1965, Olds, too, was ready to break the rules, with a 400 cubic inch engine. An automatic transmission was now available, so “442” was redefined as “400 cubic inches, four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts.” Horsepower was now 345, and three-speed manual transmissions were also offered, the standard unit having a column shift and the heavy-duty three-speed a Hurst floor shifter.
In 1967, the W30 went mainstream, but again in limited quantities. The triple-carburetor engine had been discontinued, so the four-barrel W30, at 350 bhp was the top performer. An automatic transmission, the sturdy Turbo 400 Hydramatic, was available with the W30 package. The 442 option, which had been available on all F-85s, was restricted to the Cutlass Supreme series. Super Stock magazine tested a four-speed W30, and achieved a 13.99-second, 102.4 mph quarter mile, nearly as fast as a Tri-Power 427 Corvette or a Ram-Air GTO!
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
350 bhp, 400 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, Turbo 400 Hydramatic transmission, independent coil spring front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic power drum brakes. Wheelbase: 115".
Source: RM Auctions Photo Credit: Copyright Simon Clay