While Pontiac may have kick-started the muscle car era with its
GTO, it didn't take Oldsmobile long to follow suit with their 442.
Praised for its balanced performance and handling, the 442 was a
well groomed street fighter that seemingly got better with every
production year. By 1969, the formula was firmly in place and
Oldsmobile rolled out some incredible machines like this Saffron
Yellow 442 convertible. The subject of a comprehensive, frame-off
restoration, the results were good enough to net this Olds a first
place trophy at the 2007 Oldsmobile Nationals in Bowling Green,
Kentucky. Featuring a numbers-matching 400, a tough
Turbo-Hydramatic transmission, head-turning aesthetics and a
lengthy list of factory options, this top-notch 442 is ready for
the back roads or the show field. If you're in the market for an
alternative A-body, there are few better choice than this sweet
Despite its late December build date, workers at the Linden, New Jersey assembly plant undoubtedly let their thoughts drift to summer as this pastel convertible rolled down the line. With its combination of light colors, it's virtually impossible to picture this car outside of a sunny landscape. As far as design, many of the 1968 442's highlights remained in place for the 1969 model year, but subtle changes, including an updated front end and taillight treatment, refined the look. Resprayed in 2007, the car's smooth coat of Code 40 Saffron Yellow paint practically glows across modernist 442 lines. From all angles, the time invested in both paint and body are obvious. And fit and finish is light years ahead of most cars produced during this era, with clean, even gaps all around.
Straddling the line between luxury and performance, the 442 had plenty of trim to go around. At the front of the car, a bright chrome bumper hangs clear parking lamps below a stainless-trimmed grille, which frames a silver "442" emblem and four T3 headlights. At the sides of those lights, slick stainless trim traces the car's fender lines and wheel openings under a 'power bulge' hood that's accented by Gloss Black pin stripes. At the top of that profile, like-new glass is seated between polished wipers, polished frames and a tight black roof that features a glass backlite. At the base of that greenhouse, chrome handles and polished mirrors reflect bold "442" emblems and cool rocket marker lamps. Out back, a smooth decklid hangs a large "442" emblem, a fresh Hurst emblem and another gloss black pin stripe above clean, rocket-inspired taillights. And a second bright bumper aligns crystal clear reverse lamps with trumpeted, 442-specific exhaust tips.
Pop the hood and you'll find an original, 400 cubic inch V8 that displays a 396026G casting number and correct partial VIN under a period-correct shade of bronze paint. Professionally rebuilt and fully detailed, the hot V8 is a super-efficient wedge head design that utilizes a standard stroke and undersquare bore to create a healthy 350 horsepower and 440 lb./ft. of torque straight from the factory. Stomp the throttle and a big Rochester Quadrajet carburetor mixes fuel from fresh stainless fluid lines with oxygen from a Fire Red single-snorkel air cleaner, and shoves it into a correct cast iron intake manifold. At the sides of that intake, original Oldsmobile "C" heads cap restored exhaust manifolds, which make quick work of spent gases. Behind those tubes, a familiar points distributor sends fire through fresh Packard TV R Suppression wires. Cooling is provided by reproduction GM hoses, which cycle water through a correct, heavy-duty radiator. Charging comes courtesy of brand new V-belts, which spin a fresh alternator, factory-correct power steering and a Frigidaire compressor behind a standard, 4-blade fan. And, from its washer reservoir to its grease markings, nearly every piece of this engine bay shows as it should have in the showroom.
Behind that 400 V8 lives a 400 of another sort - GM's stalwart Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed automatic transmission. From there, power flows through a marked driveshaft to a proven GM 12-bolt, which spins a limited-slip differential. The car's detailed undercarriage retains its stock layout, with double A-arms and stiff coil springs leading a strengthened 4-link that features boxed lower control arms and a factory sway bar. Being a well optioned car, all amenities are in place, including power steering and power front disc and rear drum brakes. And everything rolls on 15-inch Super Stock IIs and 225/75 Coker Classic redlines.
Open this 442's doors and a clean code 937 Parchment interior awaits. Up front, recovered buckets appear to have seen little seat time since the restoration wrapped up. One of the rarer options on this 442 is its reclining passenger seat - a scarcely mentioned luxury for the 1969 year. Between those seats, a factory console wraps a factory shifter in bright wood applique and stylish chrome. From the driver's seat, Rally Pack gauges keep tabs on the 400. Just in front of those gauges, the three-spoke steering wheel laps a tilting column. In the center of the dash, an AM/FM radio, complete with a power antenna, remains fully functional in its original home. And when you factor in factory air conditioning and power windows, this interior provides a surprisingly modern driving experience for a car that was built almost 50 years ago. Best of all, absolutely every piece of it functions like it should.
OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION
An original Owner's Manual
Miscellaneous accessory tags
Miscellaneous historical documents
With plenty of stock motivation under the hood, a truly comfortable interior and plenty of creature comforts this 442 is sure to win over enthusiasts and car show judges alike. If you're ready to park a first rate A-body in your garage, don't miss the chance to take home this classy Oldsmobile!
The beneficiary of a detailed, body-off restoration that was completed in 2007
Original 400 cubic inch Rocket V8
Correct Saffron Yellow paint / Correct Black top
Correct Parchment interior / Factory air conditioning
Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed automatic transmission
15-inch Super Stock II wheels
Factory power steering
Factory power front disc and rear drum brakes
12-bolt rear axle / Limited-slip differential