Inline Tube's 1971 442 W-30 Stealth - Hemmings Muscle Machines - February 2004

This article is originally from 2004 and was recently uncovered. All information is unaltered from the original article.

Inline Tube's 1971 442 - W-30 Featured in Hemmings Muscle Machines, Issue 5 February 2004

Back to the dealer floor.

Here is a photo taken in the spring of 73 at F&W Oldsmobile in Buffalo, NY. The original owner bought a new Oldsmobile every 3 years. The body styling was now changing and it was time to buy a new 1973 442 Hurst Olds. The 71 W-30 was so clean it found its way back in the dealer showroom.

Its Not New Anymore!

F&W olds soon handed the W-machine over to a nephew of the dealership. With in a year this 442 was a daily driver. After a few years of abuse James Kryta, now 17, in 1986 took one look and had to have it. $2400.00 towed it home. No, this is not a brand new car it started from this mess.

The Doctor is alive and well!

For all of you that don't know - This character Dr. Oldsmobile created the W-30, W-machines. He is a fictional character used in the advertising as a wacky professor making up horse power potions to increase performance of the base 442.

Inline Tube's 1971 442 - W-30 Original Invoice
Here is the original dealer option sheet, This is where the original owner x in all the options for this W-Machine

Car History

This car was purchased from F & W Olds in Buffalo, New York. The original owner really wanted a 70 rally 350 but by the time he got to the dealership it was late in the year and the 1971 models had already started. The original owner knew exactly what he wanted, he bought a new Performance Oldsmobile every 3 years. This car was ordered with all the performance options and since the car was going to be driven on long trips all the luxury options were also added. The car was traded in on a 74 Hurst Olds three years later and was so clean the car found its way back on the show room floor. The Dealerships son could not resist the chance to get his hands on this Gem. He also knew the W meant performance and peaked that performance with a blown motor a year later. The car sat for many years until another guy bought the car and fixed the engine but by now the car had seen better days and the white interior was quite out of style and the car needed too much to list. Now in 1987 I was looking for a GM A-body but at this time W-30 Meant nothing to me. $2400.00 drove it home and a the big dream was free.  What I found as a long time owner is that the car could be always be faster, the brakes could be better and the handling was down right sad.

Owner installed options

  • 10" Rear Disc Brakes 15" Rally Wheels
  • Vacuum Pump for Disc Brakes BF Goodrich Tires
  • Rear Air Bags Radiator over flow bottle
  • Power Steering Cooler 7/16 Main Fuel Line
  • Factory 1970 Trans Cooler 2 1/2" Exhaust
  • Gear Vender Overdrive Aluminum Heads
  • Boxed Rear Upper & Lower Control Arms Fluid dampener
  • 12" Front Disc Brakes Alum Water Pump
  • Tubular Upper Front Control Arms 500 Horse Power
  • Quick Ratio Gear Box Lowering Springs
  • Front & Rear Sway Bars Hei Distributor / MSD Box

The handling was dramatically improved with the addition of a late model Monte SS gear box, this cut the steering ratio down by a third. To Keep the steering pump cool a custom power steering cooler is place at fresh air behind the front grill. The front and rear sway bars were also increased to the maximum diameter. The front bar is a 1.5" and the rear is 1". All urethane bushings and larger bars keep the car more level and the sway at a minimum. This 442 is also 2" lower than stock, so it cuts down on under chassis air flow and gives a more aggressive stance. This lowered stance is achieved with lower custom made springs and drag air bags in the rear to prevent any potential wheel hop. The 15 x 8 wheels with factory height tires fill the wheel wells a bit more than the old 14 x 6 and provide more meat to the road surface. If you go fast you have to stop fast. Look closely because the front brakes are 2" bigger than stock, and the now parallel control arms will negotiate a turn at any speed. The parallel tubed upper control arms provide late model geometry that eliminates tire toe out problems. The rear has both upper and lower boxed control arms to provide all the cornering capability you can handle. The wheels stay straight and parallel threw curves at any speed. The front brakes are 92 Trans am rotors to provide a full 13" of stopping power. The spindle and caliper are from a 78 Impala wagon with big brakes, the backing plate is 77 Chevelle, put is all together and you have serious stopping power. The rear disc brakes are no exception to the mix. This is a Chevelle aftermarket kit that has been cut, modified, and welded to fit the Oldsmobile axle housing. The axle shaft was also turned down to accept the 79 Trans Am disc and 85 Cadillac caliper with build in parking brake feature. Of course the rear cables were modified, custom hoses and lines were needed but that is why I started Inline Tube. The rears are a full 10" of stopping power that most people think were an factory option on this car. This W-30 is equipped with a 455 that packs in plenty of extra horse power. The compression is 12.00 to 1 with increased oil flow since all the rough edges on this block were ground to provide smooth oil flow to the high volume pump. This Olds has a ground pounding 560 lift cam for that extra rumble and added vacuum pump to provide the necessary 22 inches of vacuum for the brake booster. The factory 3/8 main fuel line is now replaced wit a beefy 7/16 to provide more fuel through the rejetted modified carburetor that delivers more fuel threw the match ported intake and heads which are also matched to the factory high performance exhaust manifolds. The flow continues threw the unrestricted 2 1/2" custom mandrel bent exhaust. The engine would not get to high RPM's with out the Hei Distributer backed up with a MSD box hidden away. The driver side solid motor mount helps in the launch and keeps the power plant steady. This Olds is also equipped with a transmission over drive unit behind the original T-400 with a racing 3500 stall torque converter. To keep this combination cool a 1970 factory trans cooler is adapted to separate the engine and the trans cooling. This enables highway driving at very low RPM's. Cruising the highway or hitting the drag strip has never been this much fun. I have estimated conservatively at about 500 HP.

Being a long time A-body owner has helped recognize the performance down falls of the original car and make the appropriate adjustments to get the best performance with out altering the original styling or design. It has been my goal to make these modifications nearly impossible to discover because they are hidden by using all factory components. This car competes at all local and some national Oldsmobile shows and has always taken the best in class award and most best of show awards.