Rocket Science - Body ID

Body ID - 1970

A Body

     1970 was a banner year for the Intermediate Oldsmobile's. Performance was at its peak and styling was exciting. F85 was again one 2dr sport coupe for 70. Added to the line up were the Rallye 350, the Indy Pace Car 442, the restyled Cutlass Supreme on the "A Special" framework and the SX package for the Supreme. 442 now boasted a 445-ci power plant and horsepower was at an all time high. Many other "W Machine" goodies were also offered for the model year. Convertibles were now only offered on the Cutlass Supreme and 442 lines with the 442 version being nothing more than a Supreme with all the hi performance goodies.

     So many hot models were produced for 70 that is's hard to know where to start. There was the Rallye 350, the Cutlass Supreme SX, the W31, the 442 W30, and the Indy Pace Car.


      The intro level A body was the F85 Sport Coupe. The base engine was the Chevy in-line 6 or the 250hp 350CI Rocket V8. There was no wheel well molding or belt-line trim. The car may have one of two hoods: the one shown below or the 442/Cutlass S style hood with 2 raised areas having chrome louvers at the rear. A rocket logo is used between the grills on the center section with F85 emblems used on the fenders, trunk lid, and glove box door. Dash should be void of all wood grain trim and there should be very little flash and design to the seat cover stitching. All 70 F85's are "post" cars, meaning they have window frames on both the doors and quarter windows, although some of the car's posts are body color having no chrome (like shown below). The grills should be the standard issue Cutlass S, F85 plastic jobs with a small grid pattern.

1970 F85 Sport Coupe

1970 F85 Sport Coupe

Cutlass S

      The Cutlass S for 1970 carried 2 models. A Sport Coupe (post model) and a Holiday Hardtop.

Cutlass S Sport Coupe

      The Cutlass S Sport Coupe was very similar to the F85 in basic appearance. The S did receive chrome wheel well moldings, some also had chrome belt line trim. The S also had a flashier interior and all had the domed hood described above. Emblems used on the S were a S logo on the hood center section between the grills, Cutlass scripts on the fenders with S logos just below them and a Cutlass script on the trunk lid. These have the small grid pattern grills as well. Most all of these cars should have chrome surrounding the window frames.

Cutlass S Holiday Hardtop

      Same as described above but with out the window frames.


      The 442 was based directly on the Cutlass S platform with the exception of the convertible which we will talk about shortly. As such it was also available in the Sport Coupe and Holiday Hardtop. It shared the same interior as the S as well as the same hood and basic body trim. The emblems used on these were 3 separate numerals that spelled out 4-4-2. These were used on the hood center section, both fenders, the trunk lid and glove box door. There was an optional hood, code W25, that came as part of a forced air induction package available on almost all V8 F85 based cars. The hood featured large twin openings at the front of the hood. (see photos below) Another item almost exclusive to the 442 is the "notched" rear bumper. This has two cutouts just below the taillights for the exhaust to exit straight out. These cars should also have chrome "Trumpets" on the tips of the exhaust pipes. The W30 received special striping on the hood and sides, which was also optional on all F85's. The grills for all 442's were more of a vertical design, having eight oval shaped openings per side.

      The convertible 442's are based directly on the Cutlass Supreme platform. These cars share the same interior and body style as the Supreme's but have all of the usual 442 trim.

W30 option

      The W30 Option, only offered on the 442, added cold air induction, a special "Ram Air" hood, a more radical camshaft, red inner fender wells, special paint and W30 emblems, aluminum intake manifold, heavy duty cooling, and disc brakes.

1970 442 W30 Convertible

1970 442 W30 Convertible

1970 442 W30 Rear Bumper Detail

1970 442 W30 Interior (Similar as Supreme)

1970 442 W30 Front Detail

Cutlass Supreme

      The Cutlass Supreme for 1970 was restyled and given it's own body designation. It now is considered an "A Special", a platform shared with the Pontiac Grand Prix and the Chevrolet Monte Carlo. These are what GM called "Personal Luxury Vehicles". All Oldsmobile convertibles from 70-72 are based on this body. The 442 convertible is nothing more than a Supreme outfitted with 442 running gear and markings. The Supreme marked Oldsmobile's highest trim level for the A body line-up. Besides the noticeable body differences, these cars used special grills (although I have seen the standard Cutlass grill more than once on a Supreme) that are more of a waterfall style with many vertical lines. There was also a special lower body stainless trim about 2" tall that encircled both front and rear side markers and traveled the length of the car. Markings are as follows: A standard rocket on the front of the hood (much like the F85 piece) Cutlass scripts on both fenders, and trunk lid, and a Cutlass Supreme script on the glove box door. Hardtop models will also have a "C/S" script on each sail panel or C pillar. Most of these cars also have a Rocket emblem that surrounds the trunk lock.

     The interior for the Supreme was noticeably nicer than It's "S" and 442 siblings. The base bench seat for the Supreme was a split bench with center arm rest, which from behind is hard to tell if it has bucket seats or not. It is not uncommon to find a Supreme with bucket seats and no center console. I have seen several this way, and would venture a guess that there are many more.

Y79 SX Option

      The Y79 SX option, only available on the Cutlass Supreme, offered some basic 442 items for the Supreme. It included the 442 suspension with heavier springs, boxed lower control arms in the rear, front and rear oversized sway bars, dual exhaust with the notched rear bumper, and special emblems for the front fenders.

W32 Option

      The W32 option required the Y79 package first and was nothing more than an engine option for the Cutlass Supreme SX. The W32 engine, however, was no ordinary option for 70. The W32 was the exact same engine used in base 442 models, so for all intents and purposes a Y79 SX with the W32 was a 442 in disguise.

1970 Cutlass Supreme Convertible

Photos courtesy of: Tom Atencio and David Klauber

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