All content on this site is 1999-2008 - Your 1967 Olds Cutlass / 442 Headquarters

Identifying a
True '67 442

Deciphering Your 1967 Cowl Tag
Decoding GM A-body VINs
1967 Oldsmobile RPO Option Codes
One of the most frequent questions I get in e-mails from visitors to this website is: "How do I determine whether or not the '67 I'm considering purchasing is a true 442, and not a clone?" Hopefully the following information will help. However, this page is still a work-in-progress...I'm trying to verify some of the details included here, so if you have information verifying or disputing anything on the page, please e-mail me.

For 1968 and up, the 442 was a separate model and has it's own body designation, not simply an add-on for the Cutlass Supreme, as it was on earlier year models. The 442 performance package for '67 and older cars was just that...a performance "package". Since the package was added by the Oldsmobile factory after the body was constructed by Fisher Body, there is no indication on the cowl tag or VIN of the L-78 442 option.

1967 Cutlass Supreme cowl tag
FIG.1   -  This is an example of a cowl tag...this one is from my own Cutlass Supreme. The number 67-33817 shows this is a 1967 model and the 33817 identifies an Oldsmobile hardtop coupe, one of the three body styles available with the L-78 442 option.
For more information on decoding your cowl tag, click here.

However, if you check the cowl tag codes (using the info from Deciphering Your 1967 Cowl Tag ), you CAN make sure the 'car series and body style designation number' shows a 338xx. The 442 option was only available on the Cutlass Supreme in the following body styles:

  • 33807 Sports coupe (post)
  • 33817 Holiday coupe (no post)
  • 33867 Convertible

(FYI: The Club Coupe was strictly with the F-85 line, and since we know the 442 option was ONLY available on the Cutlass Supreme line, we know there are NO 442 Club Coupes, contrary to one popular Oldsmobile parts vendor's catalog. A Club Coupe is a basically a stripped-down Sports Coupe.) If the cowl tag number shows anything than the above-mentioned numbers, it's NOT a 442. The third digit of a V-8 car will have an even number, an L6-equipped car will have an odd number. Obviously, if number IS odd, somebody has replaced the inline 6 with a V-8 at some time and there's no way in hell it's a factory-correct 442.

A true '67 442 will have a "5V" or a "5VY" on line 5 of the cowl tag...for all assembly plants EXCEPT the Fremont, CA plant. (The "Y" denotes deluxe seatbelts.)

There is only one way of absolutely determining the validity of a '67 442, and that's with a factory build sheet or broadcast sheet. GM printed out a sheet of paper listing every installed item and option and hid it somewhere in/on the car. The broadcast sheet is an old-style IBM punch card. The build sheet is an 8x11 sheet of paper. They contain much of the same info but the build sheet will usually have the original dealer order info on it and sometimes goes into a little more detail. If (and it's a big if) you can find either of these, you'll get the details about what options were installed on the car, including the L-78 442 package. The build sheet can be in a number of places. It's been found under the seats (in the springs), under the dash, and even atop the fuel tank. Unfortunately, it's very likely that the sheet has long since disappeared, so you'll have to concentrate your efforts elsewhere. There are a few things that all 442s had, and are things you should at least verify are present, though the presence of these items does not necessarily mean it's a factory 442.

The first thing you need to ask is: how original is the car? Is the original engine still installed? If so, it should be a bronze-colored 400-cubic-inch Olds with C-type heads (the letter is stamped on the head itself) and a 4-bbl Quadrajet carburetor. The existence of another engine is not immediate grounds for rejecting the car, though it will certainly reduce the price. Other things common to all '67 442s include:

F-85/Cutlass trunk trim was not blacked out
FIG. 2   -  Standard F-85 and Cutlass trunk trim and upper taillights were not blacked out.
442 trunk trim and taillights were blacked out.
FIG. 3   -  442 trunk trim and taillights were blacked out.
Mismatched trunk trim and taillights

FIG. 4   -  This obviously-confused Cutlass Supreme owner has installed 442 taillight housings on his Cutlass Supreme but kept the Supreme's trunk trim.
  • boxed lower rear control arms
  • rear sway bar
  • heavy-duty springs and shocks
  • 442 insignias on both front fenders, trunk lid, grille and dash
  • additional fuel return line with appropriate fuel tank pickup
  • non-functional louvered hood
  • dual exhaust w/chrome tips
  • special chrome air cleaner (automatic has single snorkel, standard has open element. A snorkel-less air cleaner, similar to the the chrome single-snorkel air cleaner, did appear toward the end of 1967.)

A Cutlass Supreme grille bar is not interchangeable with the 442 version. The Cutlass bar extended into the headlight bezels and the bezels included cutouts for the bar. The 442 grille bar stopped short of the headlight bezels, which had no cutouts. (See picture below.) Also, Cutlass Supremes had a C/S emblem on the rear outer roof pillar (just behind the rear quarter windows), whereas the 442 had no such emblem. Also, the standard F-85/Cutlass trunk trim was slightly different from its' 442 counterpart. The trim along the bottom of the trunk lid on the 442 was blacked out, as was the areas around the upper taillights which line up with the trunk strip.

If the 442 in question is reported to be a W-30, you need to also look for the following items (in addition to those listed above):

  • red fiberglass inner fenderwells
  • rear-mounted battery with long battery cables
  • M-21 close-ratio 4-speed or a modified Turbo 400 (identified by the stamping "W-O-G" on the serial number plate)
  • 308-degree duration camshaft and special valve springs (I understand this cam had four orange stripes)
  • Heavy-duty cone-type Anti-Spin limited-slip differential (3.55:1, 3.90:1, and 4.33:1...or 3:91 for a 4-speed)
  • Outside Air Induction (OAI) -  Included dual-snorkel Ram Air fixture atop the Quadrajet, plus hoses and fiberglass scoops above and below the front turn signal indicators
  • W-30 distributors used a modified advance curve to help idle, due to camshaft (I don't have specifics yet on what exactly this entails)
  • chrome valve covers

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Cutlass headlight bezels had cutouts for wider grille bar.
Cutlass headlight bezels has cutouts on the inside of each side to clear wider grille bar. 442 bezels do not have these cutouts.
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All factory 442s had boxed lower rear control arms as part of the upgraded suspension package, as opposed to the open-channeled type of the standard F/85 and Cutlass.
Cutlass Supreme roof pillar emblem
Cutlass Supremes have this C/S emblem on each rear roof pillar. A factory 442 has no emblem here, but does have a similar emblem on the center rear face of the trunk lid.

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This page last modified on May 07, 2005.