The good Dr. Oldsmobile -- a sort of mad scientist in a baggy white lab coat, slicked-back hair, and silent-movie handlebar mustache -- appeared in 1969. He was conjured up to personify the division’s muscle efforts in 1969 and the cars from his laboratory were more potent than ever. The 1969 4-4-2 received grille and taillamp revisions, including bolder "4-4-2" and "W-30" graphics.

Little changed inside, apart from upholstery and door panel revisions. The 400 was again exclusive to the 4-4-2 and came standard with 350 horsepower with manual transmission and 325 with automatic. The Force-Air option brought 360 horsepower again.

1969 Oldsmobile 4-4-2
1971 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 styling included a dual-snout air scoop on the hood
and an air-foil spoiler stuck up from the decklid.

Also returning was the Hurst/Olds 4-4-2, but no longer was it remotely low-key in silver and black. "Firefrost Gold" striping accented its white paint, a dual-snout air scoop was on the hood, and an air-foil spoiler stuck up from the decklid. The engine was again the 455-cubic-inch V8. It was detuned slightly to 380 horsepower, but still churned out 500 pounds/feet of torque.

Testers saw 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and the quarter in 13.98 at 101.3 with the ’69 H/O. Built again in limited numbers, H/O production for this year totaled 904 hardtops and two convertibles, though some sources say an additional six hardtops were built as prototypes and promotional cars.

Olds introduced the W-32 package this year. It combined the 350-horsepower manual-transmission 400-cube V-8 with the M40 automatic transmission. It was billed as a more civilized route to a 350-horsepower 4-4-2.

"The W-Machine a mother could learn to love," explained an ad that pictured Dr. Oldsmobile in the company of his mother. The W-32 used the Force-Air scoops, rally hood stripes, and posi-traction rear. This, Dr. Oldsmobile advised, was "a honker with culture. Which means with a refined, unlumpy idle."

Only 297 W-32s are thought to have been built: 247 hardtop coupes; 25 post coupes, and 25 convertibles. Production of 4-4-2s fell off in general this year, down to 26,357, of which 4295 were convertibles.

Engine Type
V-8/Oldsmobile
Displacement (cid)
400
Horsepower @ rpm:
350 @ 4,800 (1968)
360 @ 5400 (1968)*
360 @ 4600 (1969)
Torque (pounds/feet) @ rpm
440 @ 3200 (1968)
440 @ 3600 (1969)
Compression Ratio
10.5:1
Bore (inches)
3.87
Stroke (inches)
4.25
Valve Lifters
Hydraulic
Availability
1968-69

*1971-72

Times*:

0-60 mph (sec)
5.8 (est)
0-100 mph (sec)
10.5 (est)
1/4-mile (sec)
12.97 @ 108.17 mph
Top speed (mph)
N/A
Axle ratio
3.91:1
Engine type
455/390**
Model year
1968 Hurst/Olds

*Source: Car Craft
**Hand assembled engine

Times*:

0-60 mph (sec)
6.3 (est)
0-100 mph (sec)
11.5 (est)
1/4-mile (sec)
13.33 @ 103.56 mph
Top speed (mph)
N/A
Axle ratio
3.91:1
Engine type
400/360
Model year
1968 W-30 4-4-2

*Source: Car Craft

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