1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442

A cut above the competition.

Story: Michael Crenshaw

Photography: Andrew Link

Rarer muscle cars, at least of the Barrett-Jackson variety, lead quiet lives sheltered in shacks, offering Sunday drivers some floss on the weekends—but not this ’71 Olds 442. For owner James White, going with something predictable wasn’t in the cards; he was about to shuffle the deck. “I like muscle cars,” James explains. “I had a hardtop but I wanted a convertible, so I went and got that thing. I’m a Cutlass person.” Not thrilled with the influx of Chevys in the big-rim game, James muscled his way forward with the 442.

The plan was to keep it within reasonable limits but still make it a street brawler capable of competing with the scene and all its extravagance. “I didn’t modify it much; I tried to leave most of it original,” James clarifies. “That’s why I really didn’t go extreme with it.” However stock the suspension and motor are, the shade is anything but. Outrageous paint, done by Murphy’s Customs, elevated the stock situation by adding a whole palette of colors with a single spray of the gun. “He wanted Outrageous, and it was supposed to be over a red base,” explains Sean Murphy of Murphy’s Customs. “But we put it over a black base to change it up.”

After setting off the exterior with a foun­dation of dynamic paint, the wheels were next. A set of 26-inch Forgiato Vizzos were mounted up, sporting a 2.5-inch lip in front and a 6-inch in the rear. The interior went by way of custom-milled billet door inserts and accompanying dash for the ultimate understated custom trim.

Since he’s gotten this 442 to proper status, James is thinking about coppin’ another one—though next time, he assures, the term “outrageous” won’t just apply to the paint.

Spec The Technique:

Performance: 493 stroker

Interior: Black leather with custom billet door inserts and dash

Exterior: Full restoration with Outrageous paint and black rally stripes, done by Murphy’s Customs

Ice: Three 15-inch Kicker L7s; Orion HCCA-D5000 amplifier

Wheels/Tires: 26-inch staggered Forgiato Vizzos; Clear HP166s, 275/25/26

Shout-Outs: Ft. Lauderdale; Sport at Horse­-power Sales of Ft. Lauderdale

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