You could be a hater and not even know it. Disrespect often leads to hatred, and most hot rodders don't even recognize that Oldsmobile enthusiasts are in fact their own individual entity. The same goes for those of the Buick and Pontiac persuasion, too. Chevy guys love lumping them all into one category, arbitrarily dubbed B-O-P, as if all three camps are one in the same. Just in case that's not generic enough, the Über-generic "alternative muscle car" designation is another mainstream favorite. How's that for disrespect? Instead of whining about it, Darryl Reid takes a much more productive approach: kicking Chevy ass. He's been doing it for the last 40 years, and with an 11-second, street-driven sleeper of an Olds 442 at his disposal, he's intent on giving mainstream hot rodders a painful education for many more decades to come.
In truth—from GTOs to W-30 442s to turbo Grand Nationals—GM manufacturers not called Chevy have turned out some of the most iconic muscle cars of all time. It's not that he was born a silly brand loyalist who disliked Chevys, Fords, and Mopars for no good reason. As a teenager growing up in Southern California during the muscle car heyday, Darryl simply sought the best performance bang for the buck. "When I was a young kid, I just liked fast cars and didn't care about brand loyalty much. Back in the early '70s, a used GTO or a 442 was a lot cheaper than a big-block Camaro or Chevelle," Darryl recalls. "Since Pontiacs were so much more affordable, my first car was a '67 GTO. I later traded up to a '68 GTO that was in better shape, and I got it running 13.10 at the dragstrip with the factory 400 engine and uncorked headers."
All was good in Darryl's hood until he caught glimpse of a '71 Olds 442 with the W-30 package while driving by a used car lot one day. "I thought the GTO was a better looking car, but the 442's dual-snorkel hood grabbed my attention. I said ‘you know what, let's take this thing for a ride and see what it's got,'" he recollects. "That's what sold me on the car. Then I took it to the track and I was even more impressed. A top-of-the-line GTO could run with a stock 442 at the time, but my W-30 442 with uncorked headers ran 12.80s. I raced it on the street and at the old Orange County International Raceway. That's what got me interested in Oldsmobiles."
As an 18-year-old kid with a 12-second ride growing up in the mecca of drag racing, Darryl let the good times roll. Trips to OCIR, Lions, and Irwindale were a weekly occurrence, the weather was sweet, and the deals were insane. "At the time, my friends were buying first-gen Z/28 Camaros that were only 5 years old for $1,200. Used Chrysler Hemi cars went for $2,500, and the crazy thing is we wondered why on earth anyone would pay that much money for a car," Darryl reminisces. The good times soon turned into the responsible times, as Darryl got married, had kids, and focused on raising a family. That meant trading in the Olds for more family friendly modes of transportation, but he found clever ways to hold himself over. He bought a '79 Dodge pickup and modded it Li'l Red Express style by dropping in a 440 big-block and fitting it with heavy-duty police package bits.
By the time 2002 rolled around, the kids were grown up and it was time to go Olds hunting. While flipping through a classifieds magazine, Darryl spotted a nice '68 442 back East that had already been nicely restored. "The bodywork on the car was finished, so for $10,000 I couldn't pass the car up. I realized it wasn't a real Hurst Olds when I went to check it out, but it was, in fact, a real 442," he explains. "Once I hauled the car home, I just wanted to build something that reminded me of the car I had as a kid. Someone did a nice job of making this car look like a Hurst Olds, so I decided to retain that, but I'm not the kind of person who cares how original a car is. I have lots of friends with all-original cars who can't even touch them, and that's no fun. I'd rather have a car I can drive to the track, run 11-second passes in, and then drive back home."