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HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2

Pick of the Day: 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2

It’s always a Holiday with Oldsmobile

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When it comes to muscle cars, one thing that’s not often discussed is that most featured three-speed manuals as their standard transmission. There’s even a handful of cars — including some GTOs — that had a three-speed on the column. And, even among three-speeds, it may be easy to assume that big engines were never backed by three-speeds, but our Pick of the Day, a 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Holiday Coupe, shows this not to be true. It’s listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealership in Fredericksburg, Texas. (Click the link to view the listing)

Though it still confounds enthusiasts, many folks assume the 4-4-2 only came with a four-speed. That was true in 1964, its inaugural year, but starting in 1965, a three-speed manual became the standard transmission and the name became 400cid, 4bbl. carb, and 2 exhaust. For engine upgrades like the W30, three-speeds were not available, but it was standard for the base 4-4-2 well into the 1970s. When Oldsmobile finally dropped the 455 into the 4-4-2 in 1970, a three-speed was still standard. Behind a 455? Well, yes!

The 4-4-2 had been restyled for that year too. From the front, it looked similar than the 1969, but its body had been redone with new contours and proportions that have made it a favorite today. The air induction system was a more conventional affair now, with scoops positioned on a fiberglass hood. It also became an option for the base 4-4-2 for the first time, as it previously air induction had been reserved for the W30. The standard steel hood had more pronounced planes (for lack of a better word), though the full dual stripes were no longer available, now replaced with pinstripes as an option.

The selection of a three-speed stick may seem austere, Olds made sure it included a Hurst Competition shifter, which was a guarantee to the consumer that there could be no better. As equipped, this 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Holiday Coupe appears to have several more features worthy of note, including bucket seats (standard on the 4-4-2), Super Stock I wheels, Rally Pac, Custom Sport steering wheel, racing mirrors with driver-side remote, and black vinyl top. The correct side and trunk striping are currently not on this car.

Seller claims this “numbers-matching” 1970 4-4-2 is one of 273 Holiday Coupes built with the standard three-speed. “The car comes with the matching number carburetor and distributor.” If you enjoy daring to be different, you can snap up this piece of Lansing muscle for $85,000.

Click here for this ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day.

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Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.

9 COMMENTS

  1. So it has a 3-speed with a floor shifter? Then it should be called an Oldsmobile 4-3-2, assuming the 455-ci engine has a four-barrel carb. If it’s a two-barrel, then it’s an Olds 2-3-2. Ha ha, just kidding.

    In 1967 a friend bought a new full-size Pontiac convertible (Bonneville or Catalina, I can’t recall) and spec’d it with a 3-on-the-floor, with a bench seat. Very unusual.

    I had just gotten out of the Army and bought a used ’65 Mustang coupe with a 289 and a 3-speed on the floor, with bucket seats. First gear was synchronized, which I think was something new at that time (older 3-speeds had synchros in 2nd and 3rd but not in 1st).

  2. I had both 68 and 70 olds and loved them both. Have a 57 Chevy 3100 with a LQ 4 with 460 horsepower and wouldn’t part with it for nothing.

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