Home » Here’s The Ridiculous Way The Oldsmobile 442 Got Its Name, Plus A Bunch Of Cars I Renamed Using Even More Ridiculous Methods

Here’s The Ridiculous Way The Oldsmobile 442 Got Its Name, Plus A Bunch Of Cars I Renamed Using Even More Ridiculous Methods

442 Top
ADVERTISEMENT

Do you know how the Oldsmobile 442 got its name? If you’re not familiar, I suspect you may assume that it has a huge 442 cubic inch/7.2-liter V8, but it’s not that.– these cars actually had an even bigger 455 cubic inch engine. No, the numbers are there for weirder reasons. The name refers to a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual transmission, and two exhaust pipes. The 442 name is legendary now, but, objectively, this is a weird-ass way to name a car. Carb barrels, gears, and exhaust outlets? Seems like a sort of haphazard selection of traits, though they are significant ones. They weren’t the only ones to try this approach, so let’s see how we can take this general idea and apply it to other cars. Sounds fun to me!

Z432

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The other car that I can think of that used a similar triple-numeric-based-on-technical-details naming convention is the high-performance variant of the Datsun Fairlady Z/240Z called the Z432. In this case, “432” refers to a different arbitrary selection of traits: four valves, three carburetors, and two camshafts.

[Editor’s Note: Before Torch gets all Torch on us, let’s try these same two methods on a few other vehicles. Following the Oldsmobile method, a base 1966 Mustang would be a Ford 231 — two valves per cylinder, a three-speed manual, and a single exhaust pipe. My 1985 Jeep J10 would be a Jeep 241, and Torch’s Beetle would be a VW 242, which I think kind of works, though usually VWs like to have “Type” before the number. If we tried the Datsun method, all those vehicles would be 211s, as they all have two valves per cylinder, a single carb, and a single cam. -DT]

There’s something pleasingly dorky about naming cars with this method, so let’s have some fun with it. Here are some cars that could be renamed to 442, with lists of what random-ass traits were chosen, and maybe alternate random-feature-numeric names, too. Make sense? Too bad. Let’s try anyway:

ADVERTISEMENT

Amcpacer

Rednsudivider

Rolls

Rednsudivider Vellfire

Rednsudivider Vwbeetle

ADVERTISEMENT

Rednsudivider

That’s mildly fun, right? Want to take a crack at it yourself? I’d love to see what cars you could twist into being named 442, or other absurd numerics-for-details names you can come up with. Besides, it’s Friday afternoon! Do this instead of work!

 

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
74 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
1 year ago

>>In this case, “432” refers to a different arbitrary selection of traits: four valves, three carburetors, and two camshafts.<<

four valves, three carburetors, and two fender mirrors.

Myk El
Myk El
1 year ago
Reply to  NosrednaNod

And a partridge in a pear tree!

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

On the basis of the Olds 442, my Honda Fit is an ‘051’.
And the Suzuki Aerio I had before it was also an ‘051’
And the two Focii, two Escorts, the Saab 9-3, Ford Festiva and the PT Cruiser… all 051s!!!!

I’ve only had one car that wasn’t an ‘051’… and that was my 1987 Honda Civic Wagovan… that was a ‘351’…

Ivan256
Ivan256
1 year ago

BMW’s current numbering system is three digits that make even less sense:

1st Digit: How rich you want people to think you are from 2-8
3rd Digit: 0-8 incremented annually to make you feel like you need a new car next year
2nd Digit: How powerful your engine is plus the 1 carried from the third digit if they haven’t done a generational refresh in a while

I’ll take Carb barrels / injector count, Manual transmission gears, tailpipes over that any day.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago
Reply to  Ivan256

Maybe what they should do is adopt an all letter system that vaguely refers to the generation and/or positioning of the model… or in other words, what ‘mark’ a model is…

:-p

Chris D
Chris D
11 months ago

For a lot of cars, the “mark” is the purchaser…

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 year ago

Subaru WRX
4 spark plugs
4 exhaust tips
2 head gaskets

Anoos
Anoos
1 year ago

Ferrari does some weird things with numeric naming as well.

We could just go with the current German approach where models are numbered but the numbers mean nothing.

CarcosaFloormat
CarcosaFloormat
1 year ago

Porsche Taycan 992.2:
9- the number of times you can spill coffee in it before your dealer puts you on the “not GT material” blacklist.
9- the number of options you ordered but forgot you did
2- the number of options you should have ordered
.2- the amount of seconds it takes you to escape when a brodozer cuts you off to roll coal.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 year ago

I think My VW Polo is a 311, that’s three windscreen wipers, one spare tire, and one brakepad with a monitoring system (which I broke).
Or perhaps it’s a Polo 516, which is five hundred for the kilos of stone I tried to haul in it (that’s half a ton), three for the number of springs which survived the trip (one rear coil spring snapped), and six for the number of beers my brother bought me for hauling his stone in my massively unsuitible car.

Robert Kirchner
Robert Kirchner
1 year ago

Citroen 2CV: Citroen 321- 3 lug nuts per wheel, 2 cylinders, 1 starter crank.

Poppyboy
Poppyboy
1 year ago

It never really make sense for the 442, since most were 3-speed automatics.

Mike Fresh, Toomp and Hop
Mike Fresh, Toomp and Hop
1 year ago
Reply to  Poppyboy

Nah, after 64 that you can make that argument and into the 70s a (I own a 77 442 that would fit that description) and possibly if you didn’t count the overdrive in the 80’s 442’s but the early versions meant that. How they “sometimes” got around addressing the transmission not being 4 speed they would use the engine cubes like with this 442 to compensate.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1f/46/12/1f461222777a2ea027ccac6de25f47c6.jpg

Ian Case
Ian Case
1 year ago

2020 Mini Clubman JCW

4 Cylinders
4 wheel drive
2 barn doors

OR

4 cylinders
4 doors
2 scroll turbocharger

BrakShowStarringBrak
BrakShowStarringBrak
1 year ago

Just a note for whoever’s handling the spam, this bot scraped Autonecromancer’s reply on the “Torch Drives” article and, if I had to guess the mechanism at work, perhaps took advantage of the fact that its text was already approved by the comment system and tacked a shady link on at the end here to ride along through the filter.

Stealing is a moral failure and you should be ashamed of yourself, bot.

Matt Hardigree
Matt Hardigree
1 year ago

Hah, I hate the plagiarism. I got them. All the spammers should be dismissed, if you see some more let me know.

toplessFC3Sman
toplessFC3Sman
1 year ago

My FC RX-7 or S2 RX-8 could be:
4 spark plugs
4 fuel injectors
2 rotors

This would also apply for the FD RX-7, but not for the S1 RX-8 or the FBs, since they had 6 injectors or 2 (or a carb) respectively

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
1 year ago
Reply to  toplessFC3Sman

My old S1 RX-8:

4 speeding tickets in the first year of ownership
4 interior egress handles
2 perpetually moist taillight housings

PajeroPilot
PajeroPilot
1 year ago

Okay, my 2013 Mazda 2:
4 lug nuts per wheel
4 speed cabin fan
2 speed windscreen wipers

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago

2012 Cadillac CTS:
4 door
4 cup holders
2 heat zones

Unclewolverine
Unclewolverine
1 year ago

My old xj could either be a 442: 4 wheel drive, 4 doors, 2 windows that work; or a 347k for the amount of miles on the odometer.

Robert Swartz
Robert Swartz
1 year ago

’65 Imperial LeBaron

4 Door storage pockets
4 Door assist handles
2 Glass headlamp covers

6 Power Windows
4 Chrome eagles
1 Fake tire hump

Zecrid
Zecrid
1 year ago

My Vigor would be 4 frameless doors, 4 wheel double wishbone suspension and 2 torsion bars to open my trunk.

SLIDTossedPissedinto BleuCHSaladwCroutons
SLIDTossedPissedinto BleuCHSaladwCroutons
1 year ago
Reply to  Zecrid

OH you GLORIOUS BASTARD…

YOU have a V I G O R!!!
WHAT COLOR?

Zecrid
Zecrid
1 year ago

Arcadia Green LS automatic
Almost my dream spec, best color, cloth seats but the 4 speed :c

Zecrid
Zecrid
1 year ago
Reply to  Zecrid

Not to say the auto is *bad* but you can definitely feel the auto holding the i5 back… I would also like the MPV improvements of having an extra gear and no fluid coupling lol

SLIDTossedPissedinto BleuCHSaladwCroutons
SLIDTossedPissedinto BleuCHSaladwCroutons
1 year ago
Reply to  Zecrid

Thats… just soooo damn schmexy!

I havent seen a VIGOR.. in quite a while. They looked good in red / maroon with the tan interior. I even love the shutlines on the rear pass doors.

Old Busted Hotness
Old Busted Hotness
1 year ago

My Crown Vic has 4 ashtrays, 4 mirrors, 2 power seats…

Lh1985
Lh1985
1 year ago

Thank you Jason for a great article about what has always been my dream car! I wish Oldsmobile could have survived so much, what could have been…

Rusty_wrench_333
Rusty_wrench_333
1 year ago

So my Chvey Spark EV would be a Chevy EV111
1 motor, 1 speed transmission, 1 battery pack.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

Nah… it’s an 010.

Zero barrel carb, 1 speed, 0 exhaust pipes…

Donald Petersen
Donald Petersen
1 year ago

My Mercury Cougar would be 4 wheels, 4 headlamp bulbs, 2 headlight doors. But it should be eight cylinders and twelve Sylvania 1157 turn-signal bulbs (including side markers, since it’s a 1970), so a Mercury 812.

Donald Petersen
Donald Petersen
1 year ago

(Okay, I just remembered the side-marker fixtures don’t use 1157s, so shoot me.)

Donald Petersen
Donald Petersen
1 year ago

Jeez, neither do the fronts, do they?

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

Well we’re just gonna have to shoot you twice then…

74
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x