September 30, 2023


Only Automotive

Jay Leno checks out uncommon 1991 Oldsmobile Quad 442 W-41

2 min read

Common Jay Leno’s Storage viewers are doubtless conversant in the Oldsmobile 442, as a well-preserved 1966 442 beforehand appeared on the present. This time, although, Leno is that includes a really completely different tackle the 442 nameplate.

The 1991 Oldsmobile Quad 442 W-41 was one of many final makes an attempt to convey again the hallowed nameplate after its heyday of the Nineteen Sixties. Like the unique 442, the Quad 442 was a efficiency model of a extra humble mannequin, on this case the Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais. Oldsmobile did not stuff a robust V-8 underneath the hood, as within the unique 442, although, as Jeff Szafraniec, proprietor of the W-41 street automotive and race automotive proven within the episode, explains.

1991 Oldsmobile Quad 442 W-41 on Jay Leno's Garage

1991 Oldsmobile Quad 442 W-41 on Jay Leno’s Storage


Within the late Nineteen Eighties, Normal Motors started working with exterior engineering companies to develop a high-performance 4-cylinder engine for its many small front-wheel-drive fashions. The outcome was the Quad 4 dual-overhead cam inline-4, a 2.3-liter model of which powers the Quad 442.

Whereas that won’t sound as thrilling because the V-8 engines that powered early 442s, the Quad 4 has a powerful resume. GM put in a twin-turbocharged model—producing round 1,000 hp—within the first-generation Oldsmobile Aerotech prototype, which four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt drove to a world closed-course pace report of 257.123 mph at a Texas check observe in 1987.


1991 Oldsmobile Quad 442 W-41 on Jay Leno's Garage

1991 Oldsmobile Quad 442 W-41 on Jay Leno’s Storage

Across the similar time, GM additionally started constructing Quad 4-powered Calais race vehicles for SCCA competitors. The SCCA did not like groups racing—and profitable—with a non-production engine, which is what really prompted GM to construct a Quad 4 Calais street automotive, Szafraniec explains within the video.

The outcome was the Quad 442, which launched in W-40 kind (referencing the W-30 code used on some earlier variations of the 442) for the 1990 mannequin yr, with the W-41 following for 1991. The W-41 produced 190 hp, up from the W-40’s 180 hp. It additionally bought completely different suspension tuning and completely different gearing for its 5-speed guide transmission (no automated was supplied). Racing variations bought a cast crankshaft and titanium connecting rods, a 240-hp output, and lacked creature comforts like air-con. 

The one-year-only W-41 is without doubt one of the rarest 442 fashions, with solely about 200 constructed. All vehicles have been inbuilt March 1991, however the race automotive proven right here wasn’t delivered to its staff till 1992, in accordance with Szafraniec, indicating some vehicles sat on supplier heaps for awhile. There was admittedly loads occurring performance-wise at GM in 1991, with every part from the C4 Corvette ZR-1 and GMC Syclone competing for fanatics’ consideration.

It could not have made a lot of an impression when new, however the Calais-based 442 continues to be a captivating a part of the nameplate’s historical past. Watch the total video for extra particulars on this 4-cylinder 442.

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