Oldsmobile 442 - Origin of The 442 Name

Origin of The 442 Name

A common misconception is that designation "442" referred to the displacement of the engine in cubic inches. The name 4-4-2 came from the attributes of the 1964 model:

1964 (Original meaning)
4: Four Barrel Carburetor
4: Four On the Floor
2: Dual Exhausts

1965 (First year of automatic and three speed manual transmission option on 442)
4: 400 Cubic Inch Displacement
4: Four Barrel Carburetor
2: Dual Exhaust

With the 4-4-2 moniker established, later editions did not officially follow any adherence to features stemming from the numerals "4-4-2". 1965 was the last year Oldsmobile officially defined 442 designation. In the models years after 1965, any connection between the 442 name and the features was just coincidental.

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