Last week, we kicked off this Rare Rides series with a shockingly wedge-y Ghia Probe, but that feels a little international, a bit foreign.
Let’s see a familiar brand from the good old USA
that’s never pretended to be international. It wears an Oldsmobile badge and stripes tinted with that familiar shade of Hurst gold.
Behold, the 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue 442.
I love road racing. I grew up about an hour away from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and spent many summer weekends wandering the grounds while soaking in the sounds and smells unique to the track. I’m pretty sure my first race was the Lumbermens Six Hours IMSA race in 1983, won by my local hero Bobby Rahal. I was four.
While I certainly enjoyed watching the CART and IMSA races, I always looked forward to the support races leading up to the main events. The best battles of the weekend were often dealt by the showroom stock classes, with small coupes and sedans bashing fenders and doors to get an edge in the corner.
Perhaps even as a kid I knew that I’d never be able to afford to race the big bore stuff, and adjusted my expectations downward. That must be why I adore homologation specials.
Yes, GM kept making Cutlasses with 442 badging long after the end of the muscle car era. Between 1970 and 1978, the 442 lost about 400 pounds of curb weight and (at least) 205 horsepower; the top 442 engine in ’78 was a 160-horse Chevy 305 V8.