1969 Oldsmobile 442 coupe

Camping as we know it today consists of being old, buying an RV/small house on wheels, and putting more gasoline through it than the average Petro-Canada refinery.  Somewhere along the line, you give up all your driving skills and become this guy:

But for Grant McKay, camping with the family meant shining up his ’69 Olds 442 Coupe and hooking a small trailer behind.  And not just for one summer while the truck was in the shop–Grant did this for nearly twenty years, right up until 1995.

But let’s go back a step.  Grant’s ’69 Olds came to him in 1975, when his family was young and he needed to get around.  And when getting around meant going on vacations, he installed a trailer hitch to cart the family across this great continent.  The car served him faithfully, even outliving it’s own namesake.

The big hunk of street muscle was eventually replaced, and it stayed parked until 2001.  That’s when Grant decided it was time to “freshen up” his classic machine, starting with the engine.  The 445 cubic inch big-block Olds engine was bored .030″ over, and stuffed with a Comp Cams camshaft, roller rockers, and an Edelbrock Performer intake manifold.  And to help the bigger, tougher engine breath, a 2″ flowmaster dual-exhaust  system was installed.  All that power gets to the ground thanks to the stock Muncie 4-speed transmission and posi rearend.

These days, Grant’s new truck takes care of camper duty.  However, the truck also has a role in the Oldsmobile’s new life: hauling it to Gimli Dragways for race weekends.  Hey, with that much engine under the hood, what else would you do with this classic 442?

Required Reading for this week:

Wikipedia’s entry on the Oldsmobile 442

The Olds 442 area of MuscleCarClub.com

The Official Oldsmobile Site

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