Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Viking Blue 442

Prior to their entry into the muscle car arena, Oldsmobile's reputation had been a carefully crafted one of building quality, comfortable cars for doctors and executives - like a Buick for a younger market. But the 442 blew all of the cobwebs away, creating a genuinely desirable and competitive machine that neatly followed the muscle car pattern with the odd Olds twist.

Named '442' after its key physical properties - four-barrel carb, four-speed 'box, dual exhausts - it was a riot of hood scoops, go-faster stripes and rumbling V8 power. This 1971 example is a second-generation model, optioned with the rare 455ci W30 engine, which came with a low-restriction air filter, aluminium intake manifold, racier cams, reworked heads and a juicer carb setup. There are a number of sublime period-correct options too, like the fibreglass bonnet, 8-track stereo and Strato bucket seats. One of the coolest elements of the interior is the oh-so-seventies 'tic toc tach' - the rev counter with the clock in the middle - who says muscle cars couldn't embrace complexity...?

This car is one of a number of 442s that Cats Exotics have on their books; I singled this one out because I just love the Viking Blue paint. Click here for more.

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