Rare 1991 Oldsmobile Calais Quad 442 Visits Jay Leno’s Garage

1 min read

Jay Leno has incredible automotive knowledge, so it’s exciting when a vehicle he doesn’t recognize rolls into the garage. In this video, he looks at a rare 1991 Oldsmobile Calais Quad 442 W-41. If you don’t know about this model either, don’t be embarrassed because there are only 200 of them out there.

Before checking out Calais, Jay spoke to the owner, Jeff Szafraniec, about his very special machine. The powerplant is an experimental version of the factory Oldsmobile Quad 4. The 2.0-liter twin-turbo produces 1,170 horsepower (873 kilowatts). The output would be pretty impressive today, but this one is from 1985.

Oldsmobile incorporated this machine into its Aerotech prototype (check out this cool go-kart replica). Renowned racer AJ Foyt drove the car to the closed track world speed record for that time.

Szafraniec believes he is the only private individual who owns one of these experimental machines. Two of them are in the RE Olds Museum of Transportation in Lansing, Michigan.

Szafraniec also brought two Calais examples in non-turbocharged, 2.3-liter, production versions of the high-output Quad 4. The road variant produced 190 hp (142 kW). He also owned a race car with around 240 hp (179 kW) thanks to parts such as different cranks and connecting rods.

In short, the Calais was Oldsmobile’s entry-level model in 1991. While the one in this video is the highest variant in the range, the base version only produced 110 hp (82 kW).

Also, Oldsmobile is not a performance-oriented brand at this point in its history. The Calais Quad 442 W-41 racing version is finding success on the track, but the customer version sits at the dealership, according to Szafraniec.

On the road, this high output Quad 4 sounds amazing. The noise seems a lot louder than you’d expect from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Even Leno said he deliberately kept it in a lower gear to enjoy the exhaust tone.