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Vintage Advertising: Oldsmobile 4-4-2×4 Edition

Kamil Kaluski February 7, 2012 Vintage Advertisements 28 Comments

This is first of the many 1970s automotive ads you will be seeing in the upcoming time. I’m going to leave them here with no comment of my own, expecting comments from you Hoons.

And I promise that the quality of these will improve in upcoming weeks. Clicky for bigger picy.


  • Scandinavian Flick

    When I read, "Always a Step Ahead," I chuckled a bit and had to look up when and how long they used that. According to this site, that was exclusive to 1971: …

    It's interesting to see how their slogans progressed. Almost ominous and foretelling. Especially their last two: "It's Your Money, Demand Better" and "Start Something." Kinda got a chill with that one…

    • Target29

      This weekend on Discovery channel, my daughter and I were watching "Desert Car Kings" in which restoring a 442 they dug up an "Old" ad which had sort of a mascot/mad engineer called "Dr. Oldsmobile".

  • skitter

    You know how when you make a Xerox of a Xerox it comes out kind of fuzzy?

    <img src=";
    S Coupe

    <img src=";

  • taborj

    Aw man. How disappointing. With a headline like "Oldsmobile 4-4-2×4 Edition," I was expecting some serious off-road action!

    • Hmm…. Does this work?

      • taborj


      • Needs a pic:

        <img src=";

        • Is that the one with the engine in the passenger's seat?

    • Van_Sarockin

      I was hoping it shipped with enough lumber to build a house. Or at least a deck. Where has truth in advertising ever gone?

  • Roger

    Let's move this ad to 2012: The vehicle(s) would be indistinguishable jelly-beans, champagne in color and the only numbers in the ad would be the cost per month to sit behind the wheel.

    • pj134

      Oh no, traffic jam!
      <img src="; width=500>

    • Nothing for nothing, a lot of 70s cars looked alike too.

  • BlackIce_GTS

    This confused me for a minute, I thought 4-4-2 was a separate nameplate (not Cutlass). It was, from '68-'71.
    The 4s represented: 400cid, 4 speed, or 4bbl carb. 2 represents 2WD (referring to the positraction rear end), or dual exhausts. They changed it rather frequently and it's the subject of much debate. (for the '90s FWD cars it was I4, 4v/cyl, 2 cams).
    Power figures (SAE net) from :
    350 V8 160 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 275 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
    350 V8 180 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 275 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
    455 V8 250 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 370 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
    (Hurst/Olds) 455 V8 300 bhp @ 4700 rpm, 370 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
    (W-30) 455 V8 300 bhp @ 4700 rpm, 410 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
    This site hasn't been updated in many years, but they do have a lot of in-depth information on the models they cover.

    I was reading 'what went wrong with the-big-three-especially-GM' reruns articles on TTAC and their ensuing discussions this weekend(ish), and it caused me to wonder about the perceived or actual value of hardtops (especially 2 door). Did people really notice that little chrome pillar (or lack thereof)? Did they care?

    • Syrax

      I sure didn't until now…

    • On some cars, the styling difference between the pillared and pillarless versions of the same car was very noticeable, but not here.

    • IIRC, the two door cutlass was only offered as a pillar-less hardtop. the chrome "b" pillar most likely was the chrome and rubber divider attached to the rear windows to provide weather sealing on these. I am fairly certain, though, the four door Cutlass's offered a "B" pillar with window track around all four doors. We used to have one back in the day but I am not totally sure it carried the Cutlass name. '67 sedan maybe?

      • Stumack

        There were 2-door and 4-door sedans and 2-door and 4-door hardtops in the '68-'72 generation. The blue car to the right in the ad is a pillared coupe – it's the "Cutlass S Coupe" referenced in the text. They had a full window frame and a vent window.

    • Stumack

      The "2" never referred to 2WD. It began as "4-speed, 4-barrel, dual exhaust" and then was modified to mean "400-cid, 4-barrel, dual exhaust in 1965.

      • BlackIce_GTS

        You're probably right. Most of that was researched on the spot, I'm not going to argue with someone who knew what they were talking about already.

  • Scandinavian Flick

    By the way, this is one of those cars where, when the number comes up randomly in day to day life, I immediately think of the car. Common engine displacements like 350 and 454 do the same for me…

    • Me also, Flickie, but mine tend to run toward 258, 170, 225 and even more mundane that those….Definitely a one though..

  • $kaycog

    Four-Four-Two. I love old car ads, and I really look forward to seeing your treasure trove.

  • Sam

    what is the fore most model in this ad. convertible, coupe, hardtop, extra hood flash???

    • Maybe the W-30 vs. standard 442.

    • BlackIce_GTS

      Cutlass S Hardtop. Differentiated from the Cutlass S Coupe by being a hardtop and differentiated from the Cutlass Hardtop by Oldsmobile's marketing and tape stripes department.

  • Van_Sarockin

    I had a friend who had one of the convertibles in High School, in Gold (Damn rich parents) and a white top. It was a blast to cruise around in, but I never saw him put his foot into it. Probably stupid fun until it was time to turn or stop.

  • tonyola

    Remember the odd but amusing mad scientist "Dr. Oldsmobile" ads of 1969-1970 promoting the W-series Cutlasses and 442s?
    <img src=";

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