1967 OLDSMOBILE 4-4-2 400-4 bbl MPG= Print
Written by Double Dragon
Monday, 06 March 2017 12:39

1967 OLDSMOBILE 4-4-2 400-4 bbl MPG=


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

400-4 bbl MPG=  City/  Hwy.

Metric = 6.6 L engine-  L/100km City, L/100km Hwy

See the prior story of the red 1967 4-4-2 for more history and factory pictures of 4-4-2s.

The General Motors line of compact cars were internally code named 'A bodies'. Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile F85, and Buick Special started with the basic structure originally used to create the Chevrolet Corvair. For the 1964 model year the A bodies became intermediate sized cars. Chevrolet created the Chevelle to inhabit the A body intermediate spot and left their 'A body' compact Corvair unaltered.

The A body Oldsmobile was available in base F85 trim, and upscale Cutlass format. Starting in 1964 Oldsmobile offered a special F85 or Cutlass option named 4-4-2. The 4-4-2 was an Oldsmobile version of the wildly popular Pontiac Tempest GTO.

The Pontiac GTO was an exciting option on the Pontiac 'A body' Tempest combining a relatively light car with a big engine and performance imagery. The GTO was instantly recognizable. Unlike Chrysler extremely potent performance products of the time which were basically invisible on the street, the GTO package came complete with racy appearance and tons of 'youth image'.

Pontiac was ahead of the curve with their marketing and imagery, and enjoyed an engineering short cut that other GM divisions lacked. Pontiac used the existing engine mounts and accessories when replacing the Tempest 326 engine with the GTO 389. Both engines share the same external dimensions.

Chevrolet SS and Oldsmobile 4-4-2 answered the GTO in 1964 with quickly cobbled together copycats that relied on small blocks and thus fell short of the GTO 389. The first of the GM divisions to copy the GTO was Oldsmobile using a police spec small block 330 engine with 4 barrel carburetor, 4 speed manual transmission and dual exhaust. The name 4-4-2 meant 4 barrel, 4 speed, 2 exhaust in 1964.

Oldsmobile kept the 4-4-2 name for 1965 despite making a 3 speed manual shift and an automatic transmission available. The 4-4-2 now had its own big block 400 engine allowing the moniker to be revised to stand for 400 (4), 4 barrel (4), dual exhaust (2). When the triple 2 barrel carburetor option appeared Oldsmobile just didn't bother to explain why the cars with optional engines weren't named '6-4-2'!

Buick didn't respond to the GTO until 1965 when they found a way to get a 401 to fit into the Special and named it GS (Gran Sport). Chevrolet previewed an expensive low production Chevelle 396 SS in late 1965 but didn't offer an affordable volume version of a big block until 1966.

Pontiac GTO had the image and beat everyone in the scramble to install big engines. Despite Pontiac being the originator, Oldsmobile made their 4-4-2 musclecar special by concentrating instead on tweaking the handling. The 4-4-2 was praised as one of the best all around muscle cars offered during the 1960s due to excellence in all areas of performance: straight line speed, handling and braking.

Following Pontiac's lead, Olds made Hurst shifters standard in all floor shifted 4-4-2s. Oldsmobile actually embossed the shifter arm on both sides with the 4-4-2 name. Olds also got on board quickly with the switch to Muncie transmissions in 1965. By 1966 Olds responded to the GTO Tri-Power monsters by offering a potent 4-4-2 drag strip car with force air tri- carburetors named W-30. In 1967 the GM tri- carburetor ban (Corvette was exempt) caused the W-30 to run with a 4 barrel, but it picked up red plastic inner fender liners for weight savings and eye appeal.

Some people believe that a true musclecar should be a 4 speed. The 4-4-2 heightened this perception since the first year definition of the 4-4-2 name referenced the fact it was solely available with a 4 speed floor shifted manual transmission. Despite this ingrained belief about 4-4-2s needing to be 4 speed cars the TH400 automatic transmission changed everything for 1967.

Oldsmobile's history of selling more manual shift 4-4-2s than automatics was changed when the excellent GM 3 speed automatic became available for 1967. A wave of converts to automatic shifting also had a choice of a Hurst 'His/Hers' Dual Gate console shifter for automatic cars which sweetened the appeal of an automatic transmission. 12,528 of the 1967 4-4-2s were automatics. 11,381 were 4 speeds and 918 were manual shift 3 speeds.

The most commonly encountered 4-4-2 in the 1967 model year was equipped with an automatic transmission running through a 3.08 axle. This typical 'mild' 4-4-2 produced approximately 11 MPG City and 15 MPG Hwy. The 4-4-2 enjoyed increasing popularity in its fourth year after its obscure beginning in 1964. Another refinement introduced in 1967 was the lack of purchaser choice of body platform. All 4-4-2s were now built starting on the high end Cutlass Supreme body.

The Cutlass Supremes have full length body chrome accents that run along the base of the fenders and join wheelwell lip mouldings. The base Cutlass lacks this extra chrome.

The Supreme models have cutouts in the rear bumper for white reverse lights along the license plate. The base Cutlass model lacks these cutouts and simply used white lenses on the bottom tail light for the reverse lights.

Aside from the extra chassis engineering devoted to creating a good handling car and the heavier drive train on a 4-4-2 versus the plain Cutlass the 4-4-2 gains weight from the heavy duty propeller shaft, and heavy duty frame. The automatic 4-4-2s received the three speed Turbo-Hydro-Matic which weighs more than the two speed Jetaway which was the top automatic transmission available in a Cutlass. Only two Cutlass models in 1967 aside from the 4-4-2 were able to receive a TH400: Turnpike Cruiser and Custom Vista Cruiser. The 4-4-2s bigger high performance engine and higher rear axle ratio all return lower MPG than a lighter, milder Cutlass.-


When Motor Trend tested the Turnpike Cruiser in February, 1967 they simultaneously ran a 4-4-2 with TH 3 speed Auto and 3.08 axle. They garnered 13.3 MPG Highway at a steady 70 mph for the 4-4-2.

Car & Driver December 1966 tested a 4-4-2 with 400, TH 3 speed auto and 3.08 axle. The mileage ranged from "11 to 17 MPG". This probably means that the City was the lower and Hwy the higher figure, but it's not specified.

Road Test got 11.6 MPG overall during a hard driving test of a 4-4-2 with 400, TH 3 speed auto, and unspecified axle (likely the standard 3.08 that was coupled to the automatic 4-4-2s). The car was a convertible, which adds weight while the less aerodynamic shape hurts MPG.

PERFORMANCE CARS Magazine ran a super tuned 4-4-2 with the 400, 4 speed manual and 3.90 axle. Not surprisingly, given the rear axle, the reported MPG was '8-12' over 1,000 miles.

High Performance CARS October, 1967 tested a W-30 4-4-2 with cold air induction 400, 4 speed and 4.33 axle. Just like the High Performance CARS Magazine test, they saw "8-12 MPG".

The April, 1967 Popular Mechanics Owners Report tabulated the results for Cutlass drivers with the 400 4 barrel carburetor and the Turbo-Hydro-Matic 3 speed auto: 11.9 MPG City and 14.7 Highway. The 400 engine Cutlass is listed without reference to what proportion were 4-4-2s or Turnpike Cruisers. The 4-4-2 was more popular, so we may assume that the majority were 4-4-2s with the automatic, standard 3.08 axle and regular 7.75 x 14 inch tires.

Many of the test cars given to the magazines came with the optional 4-4-2 exclusive F70 x 14 tires with a lower profile and hence different diameter. The smaller diameter tire turns more often than the taller tire forcing the engine to turn faster and use more gas. See the article at the start of this GAS LOGS section called Calculating MPG for more on tires and MPG.

The 4-4-2 offset the "short tire" disadvantage to some degree because the recommended inflation was an easier rolling 26 PSI front and rear versus the regular Cutlass which used gas robbing low inflation rates of 24 PSI.


OOCC 1967 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 GAS MILEAGE.

This Pewter 1967 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 VIN 338177M195617 is a Cutlass Supreme built in the Lansing, Michigan final assembly plant. All 1967 4-4-2s were built using the Cutlass Supreme 2 door body shell as a starting point.

The Cutlass Supreme first appeared in 1966 as a four door hardtop and was so well received that Oldsmobile decided to make the Supreme model available in various bodystyles for 1967. In 1967 Supremes were available as 2 and 4 doors as well as convertibles. Aside from a standard stronger version of the 330 engine using high compression and a 4 barrel carburetor rated at 320 horsepower the Supreme models included plusher interiors and more chrome accent trim on the body.

The 4-4-2 option was available on the Supreme 2 door post, hardtop and convertible. The heart of the 4-4-2 option was the 400-4 barrel engine.The standard manual transmission was either 3 or 4 speed which seems strange since part of the 4-4-2 name infers a 4 speed. Customers could also order a TH400 if an automatic transmission was preferred. The 4-4-2 option included 4-4-2 badges, louvered hood, blacked out front grille, front and rear sway bars and heavy duty components such as engine mounts, propeller shaft etc.

The OOCC Pewter 4-4-2 is a factory wide ratio M20 4 speed car with D55 floor console, J52 power front disc brakes, N38 Quick Steering, G80 Positraction, and the U21 Rocket Rally Pac which substitutes the warning lights with temp, oil, and ammeter gauges, a tachometer, and a clock all jammed into one pod.

The upgrade to N38 Quick Steering is an essential option for anyone ordering a 4-4-2 without power steering. The power steering uses a quicker ratio than manual. Trying to get through a corner quickly in a 4-4-2 with base manual steering is a tricky task requiring so many turns lock to lock the car can overshoot a corner. N38 rectifies this to some degree.

Although this 4-4-2 came without power steering or A/C and was obviously intended to be a performance machine some other options on this car derail it from bare bones street fighter status.

This 4-4-2 has options that add weight such as power windows and 4-way power driver's bucket seat, AM radio, auxiliary rear speaker and rear power antenna. Other options include Soft Ray tinted glass all around, AK1 Deluxe seatbelts with rarely seen shoulder harness, rear window defogger, Y60 convenience group and door edge guards.

1967 olds 442 bob pewter cowl tag

The cowl tag decodes as follows:

11E= built in the 5th week of November, 1966.

ST67= 1967 Model year. 33817= Cutlass Supreme. LAN 9217= Lansing factory number.

TR 975-B= Red bucket seats. P-P PAINT= Pewter top and bottom.

EXT 2LGTR 3B= E is tinted glass all around, X is power windows, T is likely the power bucket seat

2 means column '2', L is cut out for 4 Speed transmission, G is console, T is rear mounted power antenna, R is rear seat speaker.

3 means column '3', B is rear window defogger.

5VY= 5 means column '5', V is 4-4-2 option, Y is Deluxe Seatbelts

Oshawa, Ontario Vintage Vehicles reports use microfilm of the original import information stored in GM Canada, Oshawa. Even cars built outside Canada have build records because they were imported into Canada for sale.

Vintage Vehicles records show that the OOCC 4-4-2 was built Dec 2, 1966. Note that factory records differ slightly from the cowl plate which claims the car was built at the end of November. The cowl plates are riveted onto the cowl before the car makes its journey down the assembly line and this car likely sat waiting its turn for a few days before being assembled.

This 4-4-2 was shipped out of Lansing, Michigan on Dec 5, 1966. The factory option coded V48 added increased antifreeze protection in anticipation of frigid weather in Canada. The original dealer of the OOCC 4-4-2 was Dueck on Broadway, Vancouver, BC. See a story on Dueck in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website under BC/ Vancouver dealers.

The OOCC 4-4-2 remained in the Lower Mainland. An Oldsmobile Club member named Gene owned the 4-4-2 in the 1980s. The original 400 engine was gone and replaced with a 455. Gene had the car painted in a Surrey paint shop but the shop applied the primer too thick. The primer didn't cure enough and the paint wasn't sticking well after a few years. Gene took the car to a fellow Oldsmobile club member, Marno who was a good painter. The OOCC 4-4-2 had the trim removed and was stripped down for the repaint done by Marno. Marno also fixed a dent in the driver's door.

Gene enjoyed the car for awhile after the repaint and then he sold it to his brother who took it to Winnipeg, Manitoba. The brother came back from Winnipeg and sold the car in the Lower Mainland.

In the early 1990s the fenders were cut back to allow larger tires. At some point it was sold it to Les, who was also an Olds club member. Les was a 4-4-2 collector who registered the 4-4-2 in Langely, BC with collector plates for pleasure driving from Feb 20, 1992 until Nov 30, 1992. After a brief period as a driver the engine was pulled. Les listed the car for sale in 1998. The 4-4-2 was missing the engine and had fender rust repaired with fiberglass and bondo. The worn inserts of the seats were cloth instead of vinyl. Bob bought the car September 20, 1998 with the odometer registering 78,563 miles.

Bob made some serious headway on the car before sinking into Project Limbo mode. Through 1999 Bob had bodywork on the car done using new fenders from San Jose, California and replacing the rusted portion of metal behind the rear window. Bob sourced a 1967 425 motor from a Delta 88 and had the engine completely rebuilt by a speed shop. The car sat from 2003 until 2016 when Bob made a big push again. He had the drivetrain installed and brought the car in for paint. Finally in 2018 the car was completed.








Lansing, noon

SU 10 SG- MO 6 LE- ME 19 SC- VE 15 SG- MA 29 VI- JU 4 LE- SA 22 PI- UR 24 VI- NE 22 SC- PL 20 VI- NN 15 TA

SU qnt MA/ ME tr SA/ ME 0 NE/ ME sx PL/ ME inc NN/ JU 45 PL/ SA 180 UR/ SA tr NE/ SA 180 PL/ UR sx NE/

Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 May 2021 11:17 )