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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hot Wheels 1968 Oldsmobile 442 and Cutlass Convertible

One of the most impressive versions that Hot Wheels has done to the Oldsmobile 442 was the 1968 version introduced in 2008's Modern Classic series.  It has the correct look, the correct dimensions, and the correct features unlike the past 1970 442 that were either too low, too small, or too cartoonish.  So can the Cutlass Convertible do the same?

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1968 was the first year that the 442 model was separate from the Cutlass line as in the first few years.  The engine was still the 400 CID Oldsmobile V8 that now has a lower torque curve, producing 290 hp. through a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic.  Cool air was fed through scoops located at the bottom of the front bumper that connected to hoses to the top of the engine; the hoses could be removed and the scoops covered when the car was traveling in snowy conditions.  1968 was also the first year that Oldsmobile and Hurst would endure a long-lasting relationship making special Hurts-Olds models in the late 1960's to early 1970's.  Unlike other Hurst models the first one was Peruvian silver with black side stripe; later models would use the famous white and gold scheme.  442 also used red plastic front inner fenders to save weight.  The Cutlass convertible also shares the same 400 CID V8 with the 442 but without the special enhancements that raised the power output.  The 3-speed automatic also features the Hurst His/Her shifter where the shifter can be either placed in regular drive (right-side) or in 3-gear slap-shift mode on the left-side.

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The 442 is a looker in the metallic green of the Modern Muscle version with a metal base that connects to the front grille featuring black highlights.  The round headlights and signal lights sit inside large receptacles that narrow down the center grille, and then there's the lower bumper scoops for the engine.  The sides show a nice, smooth sides with sweeping lower window sill, 442 badges, and extra trim details.  The car is wide and the stance is just right.  The rear has a trunklid, complete with Olds and 442 logo's, that sweeps down to the rear bumper where the taillights reside and check out those aggressive dual exhaust!  Both cars offer the same metal base showing off some drivetrain components but mostly the dual exhaust setup.

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The Cutlass Convertible was released in 2012's Retro Entertainment line for the Beverly Hills Cop II move in red.  Unlike the 442 the Cutlass does not look as impressive:  The front has the same headlight and grille treatment but without the lower bumper scoops as the 442.  The problem lies from the side and rear views: This was clearly a convertible conversion straight from the coupe without a concern of how the rear-end would look, and it looks HUGE!!!  The trunk hikes up way too far and really disconnects the look of the car.  Worse, there is no convertible top boot that is large enough to store the top!  On a side note I like the 5-spoke wheels that Hot Wheels tries to faithfully recreate the body-colored ones offered in the 1969 and 1970 versions, and I like the Hurst pace car deco with gold stripes on hood, on the sides with the Hurst logo, and the Indy Pace lettering on the doors that instead read Official Pace Car El Segundo, California.  Problem is, this Pace Car deco was used only on the 1969 models with a completely different exterior look!

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Both cars use the same interior which provides a clean, round dashboard with dual gauges that stick out behind the 3-spoke steering wheel.  The convertible provides a better view where you can see the His/Her shifter clearly detailed, front bucket seats with lap belts, and a rear bench seat with lap belts as well.  I still prefer the look of the 1968 442 as it looks proper and very aggressive-looking, while the Cutlass Convertible could use a retool to lower the rear trunk down and add a convertible boot to make it look more natural, and it wouldn't hurt for Hot Wheels to redo a properly-done 1970 Olds 442 in the near future as well (and please get rid of the 70 Olds 442 4x4!)

1 comment:

  1. Great comparo of a fantastic casting. I only got me one of the Real Riders car. Should have grabbed two or three for play and customizing.