Even though Oldsmobile closed its doors almost 20 years ago, it remains extremely popular with muscle and classic car enthusiasts. The most well-known of these cars is the Cutlass and its performance models like the 442. The 442 originally stood for a 4-speed, with a 400 cubic inch engine and dual exhaust. Of all the 442 variants, one of the rarest and most legendary is the W-32.
Recently we've seen a rare one of 4,475 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 with the LS6 engine, but this 1969 Oldsmobile 442 is one of 297 cars built with the W-32 package. What makes the W-32 so special? It starts with the Olds 400 cubic inch Ram Air V8. Where the standard 400 cubic inch V8 produced 290 horsepower, the Ram Air cranked out 350 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.
A heavy-duty Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission and limited-slip rear differential put down that power, making the W-32 a serious beast off the showroom floor. It was capable of 0 to 60 mph sprints in under six seconds and low 13-second quarter mile times. With a beefed-up suspension and quick ratio power steering, it was also one of the better handling muscle cars of that era.
This particular Oldsmobile W-32 is in surprisingly good shape. The owner bought it secondhand in 1971, and except for a repaint, the car is almost all original. According to the owner's son, he came home from the hospital in the car after his birth, so this old Olds also has a lot of sentimental value.
A quick wash reveals the Olds 442 still wears shiny paint and an intact vinyl roof. The interior is also in good, original condition. The vinyl upholstery is not cracked or faded. Like the 1983 Camaro Z28 the team did previously, it just needs a good cleaning. There's no sign of mice living rent-free like in this Studebaker Champion, and even the build sheet under the rear seat is still legible.
The final result is a fantastic transformation. The paint and chrome gleam like new, and the whole car looks as good as it did when the owner bought it. While the WD Detailing crew could not get the car started, it shouldn't take much to get this Olds going again.