Well..... I was born in 1949 and lucky enough to get my drivers permit, take my drivers test (and pass) all on the day I turned 16. That was September of 1965, just about one year after the 65 442s hit the streets. The year of the first TRUE 442. Now don't take that wrong. I don't have anything against the 64's, but they only had 442 emblems, 315hp and a sloppy Saginaw transmission, not really my idea of a Muscle Car. In 65 the car manufacturers were crankin' out muscle and Olds gave us the gift of a 400 a Muncie 4 speed and some deep factory gears. Sorry, but back then automatics were for your little sister or Grannies grocery grabber.
I had three friends with 65's, one turquoise mist Holiday Coupe with white interior, which wound up being my first 442, another turquoise mist Holiday Coupe with black interior and the third was a red with white interior Holiday Coupe owned by one of my best friends. Needless to say, I was hooked. When the turquoise mist 4 speed came up for sale, I was all over it. It was my first muscle car and the new found torque was a blast. My mother came up to Ernie's Sunoco where I worked to see my new ride, she called "shotgun", so I pulled out on the road, revved it up, dumped the clutch, pulled one hell of a "hole shot" and banged the other three gears. You have to understand this baby had 4:33's and really threw you back in the seat. Needless to say, I scared the crap out of her, but she was cool about it. I spent the first month doing hole shots, power shifting and smoking the tires off. When I say I went through three sets of tires in a month, that's no bull.
When I said earlier that I was lucky, I was referring to the only time in history that the factories were competing against each other for speed and horsepower on the streets. Every manufacturer was trying to better the other. Sunoco was adding to the equation by selling racing fuel at the pumps, which was the famous 105 octane Sunoco 260. How much better could it get. There was street racing going on every night of the week and the weekends were ten times as crazy. That era of my life is something I never out grew and now look back on as one of the greatest times in my life. I still think like a 17 or 18 year old, especially when I get behind the wheel of the 442, and yes, if you pull up beside me and rev it up, I'm lookin' around for the cops and ready to go. The point system has put a damper on most of us old die hards who should try to maintain some degree of respectability in our golden years, but the urge never dies. That's one of the main reasons I built the drag cars, so I could hang on to my license, although drag strips were never quite as much fun or as profitable. Most of the guys I grew up with and hung out with, still have muscle sittin' in their garages.
"We don't quit playin' because we grow old. We grow old because we quit playin' "
Life's too short, so you may as well keep the good times alive.
The best times in our lives will always be our family, wife and children, but before that we were kids too. and the 65 442 brings that all back for me.