It's been a while since Oldsmobile closed shop. But the brand did leave a rich history behind. Back in the day, this GM division was known for making fine cars for wealthy folks. But it also produced some pretty amazing high-performance automobiles. One such example is the 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30. And it was hands down one of the best classic muscle cars ever made.

The 442 was Oldsmobiles' offering for the original muscle car era of the late 60s. The 442, in its name, stood for a 4-speed manual transmission, a 4-barrel carburetor, and dual exhausts. At the same time, the W30 was an optional performance package that Oldsmobile introduced on the 442 for the 1970 model year. It boosted the standard 442's performance by adding a bunch of high-performance parts.

In 1970, the 442, with the W30 package, stood out as the finest choice for anyone looking for an upscale high-performance vehicle.

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The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Was A Hot Headed Muscle Car

Oldsmobile was playing the high-performance game well before Pontiac and Chevrolet. Their OHV Rocket V8 was one of the best performance motors ever produced. And it played a big part in making the 442 a desirable muscle car. The 442 started off as a performance package for the 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass. Back then, it came with a 330 ci small block V8 motor.

This engine offered higher displacement than the standard Cutlass. But it was down on power compared to other muscle cars of that era. So in 1965, Oldsmobile dropped the 330 V8. And replaced it with a 400 ci big block motor. It offered a decent bump in power with 345 horses and a healthy 440 lb-ft of torque. For that model year, 442 stood for 400 ci displacement, 4-barrel carburetor, and dual exhausts.

But the real magic happened in 1970. GM dropped its long-standing ban on intermediates, allowing all its divisions to use engines above 400 ci displacement in their A-bodies. As a result, Oldsmobile went all guns blazing with the 442. And it dropped in the mighty 455 ci big block under the hood of this muscle car. The motor produced an impressive 365 horsepower and a spectacular 500 lb-ft of torque.

But Oldsmobile didn't stop there. It also gave 1970 442 an optional W30 performance package, bumping up the 455's power output to 370 horsepower. But as it was common back in the day, this figure was underrated. In all honesty, a 1970 442 with the W30 performance package was putting out over 400 horsepower.

Apart from a high-performance V8 motor, the W30 package offered a tonne of other upgrades over the standard 442. For example, it came with a fiberglass hood with two functional air intakes and chrome tie-downs. It also had a performance-tuned Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor, a high-performance camshaft, and a lightweight aluminum free-flow intake manifold. The big block 455 with the W30 package also got high-performance cylinder heads.

With all these upgrades, the 1970 442 W30 was an absolute beast of a muscle car and the ultimate Oldsmobile. It posted an insanely fast quarter-mile run of 13.9 seconds, crossing the line at 100 MPH.

The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Combined Luxury With Muscle

Most of the muscle cars didn't offer a whole lot of luxury. Instead, they were stripped-down automobiles focused on performance. But the Oldsmobile 442 W30 didn't cut back on indulgence. It had one of the best interiors ever offered on a GM intermediate. This fact made the 442 the finest upscale muscle car of its era. To top it all, it was also available with plenty of optional extras.

The Oldsmobile 442 W30 offered the perfect balance of luxury and performance. But it was also quite practical. It had a roomy cabin with plenty of space to seat five adults. It also had a massive trunk which was large enough to swallow all their luggage.

The 442 W30 did pretty well in the looks department too. It had a lot in common with the Cutlass. But Oldsmobile gave it a good "muscle car" treatment. It was available as a two-door coupe and a convertible. Its front end was classic Oldsmobile as the car had the brand's signature grille and the four-round headlamps.

The entire 442 line-up for 1970 sure looked pretty sweet. The W30 package came with an optional rear spoiler that made the car look even more impressive.

Related: Why The Ford Torino GT Will Soon Be Worth A Fortune

Here's How Much A 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Costs Today

You could consider 1970 as the best year for classic American muscle cars. After this, performance started to go down across the board. Automakers began to cut back on their high-performance models due to new regulations. That's largely why muscle cars from that era are so popular these days, demanding top dollars on auction sites.

The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 is not left untouched by this trend. Good examples of this muscle car are currently fetching an average of $80,000. But a few models are even going for a price well above the $200,000 mark. This is because the 442 represents the good old days of high-performance muscle cars, making it one of the most highly valuable automobiles ever made.

Source: Classics.com / Mecum Auctions / Hemmings

2023-01-28T21:23:54Z dg43tfdfdgfd