1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2

Oldsmobile took the hint. Shuffling onto the burgeoning performance scene in mid 1964 with a “police package” that could be ordered on a four-door sedan was no recipe for muscle-car success. Indeed, fewer than 3000 buyers bought the original 4-4-2. Let’s review the 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2 which is one of my favourites from ’65.

Refining its strategy for ´65, Old´s made the 4-4-2 a $190 option only on the F-85 pillared coupe, and $156 extra on the Cutlass coupe, two-door hardtop, and convertible. Styling of these midsize models was updated, with the 4-4-2 distinguished by chrome bodyside tines.

Marketing was hipper, too. Instead of a couple of cops in a bland ´64 sedan, 4-4-2 advertising for ´65 burst with references to cubic inches and horsepower. Buzzwords like “kicks” and “cool” flew freely. One spot showed nothing but blurred asphalt and the declaration, “Olds 4-4-2 was here!”

GM itself got the message and raised the displacement ceiling on intermediates to 400 cubic inches. Old´s destroked and debored its new 425-cid big-cad V-8 to create a hot 400-cid V-8 exclusively for the 4-4-2. Now the name meant 400 cubes, four-barrel carb, and dual exhausts.

Horsepower increased by 35, to 345, and torque expanded by 85 lb-ft, to 440. Peak power now come at 4800 rpm, not 5200, and peak torque was on tap at just 3200 rpm, 400 rpm lower than before.

Olds was able to use a mild cam and relatively modes axle ratios o fashion a mannered muscle car that still went quite well. Careful suspension tuning and anti-roll bars front and rear again helped it handle better than the other GM intermediates. Transmission choice were three and four-speed manuals and the two-speed Jetaway automatic.

Where the 4-4-2 stayed too conservative was inside: instrumentation was run-of-the-mill F-85 with a tachometer mounted too loww to be of much use. But its effortless performance proved prophetic.

“it oozes out 345 bhp without trying,” noticed Car Life in May 1965, “hinting of things to come if this big engine/little car kick lasts.”

Extra information:

With introduction of a new and larger V-8 4-4-2 now stood for 400 cubic inches, four barrel carb, and dual exhausts. Overall balance continued to be its forte. “It’s handling and general road behavior are better than ninety porcent of cars bought by American car consumers, ” said Car and Driver.

1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2  General Performance

Wheelbase: 115.0 in.

weight: 3890 lbs.

production: n/a .

Price: $3370

Engine: ohv V-8

Displacement: 400 cid.

Fuel system: 1×4 bbl.

Compression ratio: 10.25:1

Horsepower @ rpm 345 @ 4800

Torque @ rpm: 440@ 3200

Representative performance

0-60 mph: 5.5 sec

1/4 mile ( sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 98.0

Let’s watch this video where we  can have a better look to this amazing 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2

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