The 60s and 70s were a golden age of American muscle cars that collectors are still trying to get their hands on today. Cars from this time period were impressive in their engineering and design, changing the way that the world viewed cars forever. The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 cannot be ignored as an important aspect of these changes.
The Oldsmobile was a part of GM, starting in 1964. The 442 moniker comes from the mechanics of the car. The first “4” is from the four barrel carburetor, the second “4” from the four speed manual transmission, and the “2” from the dual exhaust. Most people thought the name was earned base on the displacement of the engine, in cubic inches. However, later models abandoned any semblance of adherence to these features, as they dropped the official definition of the 442. While the 442 was a model between the years of 1968-1971, it reverted back to being an option in later years.
The 1970 model was the absolute height of the Oldsmobile models. Because of the other advances in horsepower, General Motors was forced to eliminate the cap on engine sizes that year. They made the Oldsmobile 455 V8 the engine for the 442. With a whopping 365 hp, the 442 was elected to be the pace car for the Indy 500 that year. There was little doubt that it stood above the rest of the competition in the Oldsmobile family.
The W30 package included a fiberglass hood. It had fully working air scoops and an air cleaner, with an aluminum intake manifold. It even had a special distributor, camshaft, carburetor, and cylinder heads. With the 4 speed transmission, Motor Trend was able to make the car break just under 14 seconds for the quarter mile; while not the fastest car on the block, it did certainly have a lot of power, which is why it was chosen to be the car during the chase scene with Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man.
Ultimately, the 442 W30 is a collector’s item in high demand. It stands out, with a head-turning body; this coupled with the limited amount that were produced make this car an essential part of any collection. The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 was the pinnacle of Oldsmobile performance, and it shows today. If you are looking to add one of these amazing models to your personal collection, be prepared to fork over a considerable amount of dough. Depending on condition, location, and a few other factors, this car can run you anywhere between 75 thousand and 150 thousand dollars at auction. Of course, that is a small price to pay to own one of the greatest cars that Oldsmobile ever produced.