Motor Trend Magazine tested a 1970 442 W-30 with a 4-speed manual transmission and 3.91:1 rear gears, clocking a quarter mile time of 14.2 seconds @ 102 mph (164 km/h). However, Motor Trend noted that Oldsmobile engineers had earlier posted a best of 13.7 seconds on the same test car with a fresh tune.

1970 was the best year to buy an Oldsmobile. GM dropped the limit on engine size in 1970 and Oldsmobile responded with the 455 V8 engine. Power output was 365 hp and 500 lb.ft. for the standard motor with a 370 hp option available with the W30 pack. The W-30 option included a balanced and blueprinted 455 V8 with a hotter cam, performance carb, low-restriction exhausts, upgraded distributor and the Force Air induction system utilizing two prominent scoops on the hood. The W-30 pack also included a lightweight fiberglass hood, plastic inner fenders, aluminum diferential carrier and cover, and less sound insulation in an attempt to lighten the car and improve the power-to-weight ratio.

New options for the 1970 442 included GM's Variable-ratio power steering (option N47), a console-mounted Hurst Dual/Gate shifter for use with the Turbo Hydra-matic transmission, and aluminum differential housing and cover (option W27). All Oldsmobile V8s received new Positive Valve Rotators for 1970s to increase engine valve life.


2D Sport Coupe: 1,688
Holiday Hardtop Coupe: 14,709
Convertible: 2,933


(Rallye 350) 350 V8 310 bhp @ 4200rpm, 490 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
455 V8 365 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 500 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
(W-30) 455 V8 370 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 500 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

How to identify if the car is a REAL W-30

Look for a build sheet first. It is found on top of the gas tank, or behind the rear seat or even under the front seat or under the carpet. If not found, then make sure the VIN starts with 344. That determines it is a 442. The build sheet for a Canadian car cannot be used to determine a W-30. Not just a Canadian car (as in built at the Ontario plant), but any US built car that was sold in Canada also.

Look for things such as the correct heads, aluminum intake that says Oldsmobile, red inner fender wells, a posi tag, disc brakes, an OW or WOG transmission, OAI hood and air cleaner and check the numbers of the distributor and carburetor. All W-30s had the Rallye Pac as standard equipment, and either a Muncie 4 speed or a specially calibrated TH-400 automatic with code "OW". Starting in 1972, the Rallye Pac was optional.

Check the serial number on the engine, stamped on a pad below the drivers side head at the front of the engine. This will probably require a mirror and possibly some cleaning. This should be 8 characters long and match the last 8 characters of your VIN.

What about those frame braces? Also, are the lower control arms boxed or open on the bottom? Rear (and front) sway bars were often removed to help traction for drag racing. If there are no boxed lower arms or frame braces, I would be suspicious. Also, the axle might have been changed, especially if it was flogged heavily.

Check the block and head sections for component ids to further evaluate a W-30's genuineness. Keep in mind that it is theoretically possible for someone to have installed all of this equipment in an attempt to fake it. On the other hand, locating, purchasing, and installing all of this hardware would have been so expensive that it would have been more cost effective just to buy a real W-30 - making highly unlikely that the car is a fake.

The four speed would be the same as in a 442. Nothing to identify it as a W-30 transmission. The TH-400 "OW" code transmission was used in automatic W-30s for the 68 W-30/H-O, and the 69-71 W-30s.

Check and compare the rear end code. Make sure the correct rear end cover is in place.

You can verify a factory trunk wing by unlocking the trunk. The trunk should rise on its own, without assistance. The springs (rods) were different for cars with and without the wings.

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