'73-'77 442 How can I tell?

Old February 5th, 2010, 07:58 AM
  #1  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
nukesec1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 164
Question '73-'77 442 How can I tell?

Was looking at a few '73-'77 Olds online that the owners claim to be 442 cars. Looking at them as a father/son project. My son has proved to have good taste in cars and wants an "old" Oldsmobile (old to him is 1985! LOL!) Is there one or more things I can look at and bank on that the car is the real deal? If it's as simple as a glance at the VIN then that's pretty easy. It just seems to me that these years of cars could be very easily faked with paint, stripes and aftermarket or NOS parts. I like to call cars like this "Wizard of Oz cars." Alot of smoke and flash, but the owner doesn't want you to pay attention to the man behind the curtain! So is there any definite way to tell?
nukesec1 is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 08:04 AM
  #2  
Registered User
 
Oldsmaniac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 5,534
It seems to me that the years you are looking at were scarce and not all that in demand. I dont think many of these low compression smogged cars were cloned. If the badge-ing, striping, and design is there I would research and confirm based on what was said above.
Oldsmaniac is online now  
Old February 5th, 2010, 08:11 AM
  #3  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
nukesec1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 164
I just don't want to be the unsuspecting buyer. And they aren't in demand......yet.
nukesec1 is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 09:13 AM
  #4  
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 459
No way to prove without dealer paperwork or build sheet.

Restoring car will remove "originality" evidence of it being a 442, even if you were to photograph everything before and after.

Buy one, fix it and enjoy it. 442 was only a graphics package so it wouldn't be that more valuable even if it were proven.
VikingBlue is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 09:15 PM
  #5  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
nukesec1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 164
I'm just trying to keep more of this from happenning.
nukesec1 is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 09:21 PM
  #6  
Registered User
 
1969w3155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Muskegon, Mi.
Posts: 6,809
1969w3155 is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 09:35 PM
  #7  
Registered User
 
1974 Cutlass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 23
i have a 74 Cutlass Salon, and a friend has a 73 442. Under the hood its the same and the interior is the same besides a 442 badge on the dash. i have learned that those years were a paint and handling package. so they may have bigger sway bars. they had different grills as well and the hood on 73-75 years.
1974 Cutlass is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 09:46 PM
  #8  
Registered User
Thread Starter
 
nukesec1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 164
That place is too hard to navigate around in.
nukesec1 is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 10:44 PM
  #9  
Registered User
 
442much's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta
Posts: 2,623
442's were only built between 1968 and 1971. Now, Cutlass 442's which is every other year for the option will be more difficult to tell. For 1973-77 you'll have to see the build sheet or get a print out of the options. For cars destined or sold in Canada this is not too hard. Send the VIN to GM Canada and they'll send you a complete option list including how many were made, how many were imported etc. If the car was built for the US the GM History Centre MAY be able to help you. I have no experience with the GM History Centre so I can't be sure what they can do for you.

This will be the only way to tell unless the person selling the car can show you the build sheet sometimes known as the broadcast sheet usually found under the back seat and/or gas tank. For 1977 the 442 will have a sloped front end. However this can be added. So it's back to documentation to be absolutley sure.

The 1973-77 Cutlass 442's are gaining in popularity as the 68-72 cars are getting crazy in price. As they go up in price they drag the 73-77 cars up with them. From 1973-76 a 455 engine was still available however they became more rare as the decade progressed (from 4000 455's in the 1973 442's to 143 455's in the 1976 442's).

The early 455's put out more power from the factory however the later 73-77 cars handled and stopped better. Also, the later 455's were capable of all the horsepower the early 455's put out with some minor mods.

However, as stated above, the only way to tell if a 1973-77 is a real 442 is if you can find documentation that shows that option W29 was ordered for the car. W29 = 442. Good luck.

Last edited by 442much; February 5th, 2010 at 11:25 PM.
442much is offline  
Old February 5th, 2010, 11:23 PM
  #10  
Registered User
 
442much's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta
Posts: 2,623
Another thing, for 1973-77 the first four characters in the VIN will say 3G37. (If I remember correctly could be F37 or G37 on a 73). It must have this "37" to be a 442.

The 442 will have a "37" body, fastback roof and large triangular quarter windows. Once you find this, that's when you'll need the paperwork to verify. If the car is anything other than a 37 body, or fastback, or has small quarter windows you can stop looking.
442much is offline  
Old February 6th, 2010, 07:43 AM
  #11  
Oldsdruid
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southside Vajenya
Posts: 6,352
Look under the back of the car and see if it has boxed rear control arms and sway bar. That's a pretty reliable indication if a 73-77 S coupe body had the 442 package. FE2/F41 were available separately from W29 but not commonly ordered.
rocketraider is offline  
Old February 6th, 2010, 11:10 AM
  #12  
Registered User
 
442much's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta
Posts: 2,623
Originally Posted by rocketraider View Post
Look under the back of the car and see if it has boxed rear control arms and sway bar. That's a pretty reliable indication if a 73-77 S coupe body had the 442 package. FE2/F41 were available separately from W29 but not commonly ordered.
This is true. When the W29 package was ordered you automatically received the FE2 suspension package. However it was possible to order a non W29 Cutlass with the FE2 option. So, although it is helpful, still the only way to be 100% sure is to see the paperwork.
442much is offline  
Old September 2nd, 2017, 11:56 PM
  #13  
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: California
Posts: 56
1973 442??? Or cutlass S???

So I've been all over the internet searching to find out what exactly my 73 Cutlass is. It's G37 vin 1973. I obtained it on a lien sale for $1 regardless of what exactly it it I am completely happy with it. When I got it it's engine and transmission was removed. It has front and rear sway bars, clutch pedal hurst shifter, cast iron 442 decals, bucket swivels. The body style of the Cutlass S and 442 of this year are exactly the same. Any help would be appreciated. BASICALLY WHAT IM ASKING IS WITHOUT A BUILD SHEET HOW CAN I TEEL WHAT THIS CAR WAS FROM FACTORY. "Cutlass S" or "4-4-2"???????

i understand this thread is old but couldn't resist throwing this on here since I see a lot of you seem to have some deeper knowledge on this subject than myself.



Andrew83 is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 06:33 AM
  #14  
Old(s) Fart
 
joe_padavano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 31,749
Originally Posted by Andrew83 View Post
BASICALLY WHAT IM ASKING IS WITHOUT A BUILD SHEET HOW CAN I TEEL WHAT THIS CAR WAS FROM FACTORY. "Cutlass S" or "4-4-2"???????
And basically what everyone is telling you is that you CAN'T tell what it was from the factory without a build sheet or original window sticker. The 442 package was just a suspension and emblem package in 1973-74, available on the Cutlass and Cutlass S models that year. There are NO indications in the VIN or cowl tag that "prove" the car was ordered with the 442 option.
joe_padavano is online now  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 07:16 AM
  #15  
Registered User
 
jwsolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 55
Well even though you can't prove the W29 option w/o paperwork it appears to hv the correct stuff from what's shown. Biggest thing is you got one of the most rare cars, one of 2460 total in '73 had 4spd. Question is it the more desirable 455 or is it a 350?. Vin code will tell you that.
1567 cars built on G37 had M20, while 64 cars on F37 had M20. Sure it fits in one of those two catagories.
jwsolds is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 08:30 AM
  #16  
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: California
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by jwsolds View Post
Well even though you can't prove the W29 option w/o paperwork it appears to hv the correct stuff from what's shown. Biggest thing is you got one of the most rare cars, one of 2460 total in '73 had 4spd. Question is it the more desirable 455 or is it a 350?. Vin code will tell you that.
1567 cars built on G37 had M20, while 64 cars on F37 had M20. Sure it fits in one of those two catagories.
Andrew83 is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 08:36 AM
  #17  
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: California
Posts: 56
Ok I guess I've reached the end of my search on this topic. I will possibly look in the popular spots in the car for the build sheet. This is one of the 350 4 speed cars. Came with out engine but I'm in the process of saving up for one to drop in her. Out if the 1,500 I wonder how many survived? I'm guessing not many.Anyways thanks for the feedback
Andrew83 is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 09:19 AM
  #18  
Registered User
 
aretubj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 179
Post your VIN

This will indicate if you had a rare 455 car or 350 car with the 4sp.
In the '73 world, this is more desireable than a 442
Joe
aretubj is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 09:22 AM
  #19  
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: California
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by aretubj View Post
Post your VIN

This will indicate if you had a rare 455 car or 350 car with the 4sp.
In the '73 world, this is more desireable than a 442
Joe
vin tells me it's a 350 which is one of 1,500 I'm ok with that. G37 code
Andrew83 is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 10:00 AM
  #20  
Old(s) Fart
 
joe_padavano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 31,749
Originally Posted by Andrew83 View Post
vin tells me it's a 350 which is one of 1,500 I'm ok with that. G37 code
G37 is a Cutlass S Hardtop Coupe, period. The 442 package was simply an option, not a separate model. Legally and per the VIN, this is a Cutlass S.
joe_padavano is online now  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 10:07 AM
  #21  
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: California
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by joe_padavano View Post
G37 is a Cutlass S Hardtop Coupe, period. The 442 package was simply an option, not a separate model. Legally and per the VIN, this is a Cutlass S.
ok thank you I guess this was the answer I was looking for. Cutlass S with the 442 package. This makes sense. I always know where to go to get down to some good information. Olds forum never fails.
Andrew83 is offline  
Old September 3rd, 2017, 11:40 AM
  #22  
Registered User
 
1969w3155's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Muskegon, Mi.
Posts: 6,809
ok thank you I guess this was the answer I was looking for. Cutlass S with the 442 package.
As stated by others, without paperwork you don't know what you have. the vin will tell you which engine that it came with, which does not tell you that it is a 442. It is a Cutlass S, which could be ordered with a 350 or 455, with or without the 442 option.
1969w3155 is offline  
Old April 18th, 2019, 09:01 PM
  #23  
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 33
Build sheet

I know this is an old thread,but my '74 cutlass I looked above gas tank and under rear seat. Actually found it behind the right (passenger side) rear interior panel and very good shape I'll ad. I wanted to find it because I'm only second owner and like to have something to prove it was ordered with 455. Good luck
savage'74 is offline  
Old April 19th, 2019, 02:24 AM
  #24  
Old(s) Fart
 
joe_padavano's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 31,749
Originally Posted by savage'74 View Post
I'm only second owner and like to have something to prove it was ordered with 455.
For a 1974 Olds (and starting with the 1972 model year), the fifth character of the VIN will tell you what engine it came with from the factory. You don't need the build sheet to prove it is a 455 car.
joe_padavano is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
HammerVette
Cars For Sale
19
February 1st, 2014 11:50 AM
Johnd
General Discussion
11
December 18th, 2013 09:47 AM
Curth
General Discussion
8
December 16th, 2012 11:43 AM
mscofer
General Discussion
4
April 4th, 2010 06:35 PM
Atdog
442
2
January 25th, 2009 10:48 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: '73-'77 442 How can I tell?


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.