Project 442 Clone: The Story

(This  first part of this page was written and posted when this website was originally being designed, back in 1999. To keep up-to-date with the progress as I do a complete body-off "rest-ification", be sure to check out the Updates and Photo Gallery pages.)

July 12, 1999 - This project was started in 1989. While I was driving a 1967 Cutlass Supreme post, I bought two 1967 442's and a Cutlass Supreme hardtop and started to piece the best of each into one. (Visit the Photo Gallery for "in-progress" pics) The Cutlass Supreme hardtop I'd purchased had the best body, so it became the starting point, even though it wasn't  a true 442. There was no rust or dents, so actually the body is the one thing I really haven't messed with too much yet. This was definitely not meant to be a 100-point restoration, just a toy to just play with and do some cruising and a little weekend bracket-racing, and possibly an occasional drive-in car show.

I pulled a 455 out of a 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado and it became the heart and soul of this machine. The C-type heads sport oversized valves and Teflon seals and have a 3-angle valve job. They've also been ported and polished. The block has been bored .030 over (bringing the cubes up to 468, if my math is correct) and has been completely deburred and stress-relieved and has oil restrictors to keep more of the oil on the bottom end, where it's needed most.  Clevite 77 bearings support the polished and cross-drilled crankshaft and a steel windage tray keeps those revs from whipping up the oil. Pistons are forged aluminum and bring the compression ratio up to 10.25:1. Both the fuel and oil pumps are Edelbrock hi-flow/hi-pressure units. Fuel/air requirements are taken care of by a Holley 600 with vacuum secondarys (and a Holley Trick Kit) and an Edelbrock Torker intake manifold, and spent gasses are routed via Hedman headers. The cam is from Engel and is a high-lift, hi-torque unit purchased through Mondello Performance Products. (I lost the spec sheet, but I recently provided someone with the Mondello part number 0JM0220250000 and according to him - duration: .274/280,  .230/236 @ .050    Lift: .512 intake, .523 exhaust)  It pushes Rhoads variable-duration lifters and is driven by a double-roller timing chain. All this power is transmitted to a TH-400 transmission pulled from a '72 Vista Cruiser wagon and fitted with a B&M TransPak (street/strip mode), which in turn transmits the horses through a shortened and balanced driveshaft to a 10-bolt 3:91 posi rearend. The front drum brakes have been replaced with the front spindles and disc brake assemblies from a '72 Chevy Malibu wagon.

Some of the original 442 parts (from my parts cars) swapped onto this machine include the boxed lower control arms, front and rear swaybars, front springs, rear differential, front grille and various emblems and trim.

The interior has been enhanced with new upholstery, carpet and headliner. I installed a Hurst dual-gate shifter and center console out of a '67 GTO. Autometer gauges monitor vital engine functions and a Sun tachometer checks the revs.

This has been my pet project for many years. About the only major thing left is the exterior paint, and this car will soon sport midnight blue with silver metalflake colors. The correct louvered hood is currently in storage, and will be installed after some minor repairs are completed.

Footnote: This car was my primary hobby for several years immediately following it's acquisition, but then real life eventually caught up with me and the car was  put into storage in 1995. I had arranged for a friend to store it out on his farm, supposedly in a garage, but when he got married not long afterwards, he had to make room for the wife's car evidently, and moved it outside behind the garage. There it sat for almost 3 years, unbeknownst to me, in the sun, the rain, and winters....and the freakin' field mice. They made a mess out of the interior! As I write this, on July 12, I just got it brought into town and put into a storage unit, while I advertise for some shop space in the local newspaper so I can get this project finished up and back on the road. I've got a lot of work ahead of me to get this back up and going, fortunately most of it is cosmetic, except for the interior, of course.

I will be getting started on this very shortly, and decided to combine both of my passions, computer and cars, to keep everyone (all two or three of you!) up-to-date on the progress. I'd imagine there will be updates every 2-3 weeks, depending on how things are going. Please stay tuned!

UPDATE: The restoration/modification is under way! You can check out my progress by going to the Photo Galleries, or to just pop in and see if there's anything new, be sure to hit the Updates/Journal page.


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This page last modified on February 15, 2003.