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From the very beginning, Oldsmobile had big plans for the Cutlass to dominate the muscle car era. The 442 package debuting in 1964 was just the start of it. By 1965 it became clear that Oldsmobile had a secret weapon for the 442 in development. While enthusiasts got little hints of the ultimate goal with the W-29 Package, the secret was otherwise fully kept right up until its release date. So much so, that dealers didn’t even know what was coming. Meanwhile, other muscle cars of the same time period, some more popular, were struggling to keep up with the 442’s already pavement blistering performance capabilities. When equipped with a manual transmission, slicks, and headers, the car was able to easily break into the 13-seconds at the drag strip and the W-30 Package only added to the car’s potency.
The W-30 Package added a hotter camshaft, a trunk relocated battery, and a special cold air induction system. In 1966, the 442 W-30 Package claimed victory over the National Hot Rod Association drag racing C/Stock category, but it would not be until some four years later that that package would hit its peak. As soon as GM dropped its cap on displacement, Oldsmobile made the standard engine for the 442 the highly awaited 455-cid V8 engine. With a rating of 370-horsepower and 500 lbs-ft of torque, the 442 W-30 was able to stay on top of the competition.
To achieve all that, they needed to test this formula out first, which is how this 32K mile W30 test car was born. It was deployed to the GM Milford Proving Grounds for testing during the first few months of its life. This black-on-black car is a legend that opened the door for the moniker. It was this subject of a frame-off restoration supervised by its original owner; it is 100-percent period correct. You can have your chance to own it for a small donation, see here.