So, you’re looking for some largely original GM muscle that you can enjoy and build a little equity in. Your first thought is to click through our inventory of second generation Chevelles but, restoration-fresh Super Sports easily breach six figures. Then, your mind migrates to team Chevelle’s flamboyant cousin: the Pontiac GTO. Problem is, the second generation GTO, with all its stripes and bolt-ons, is just a tad over-the-top. Frustrated, you think: “there’s always Buick, but good luck finding a good one”; and then you remember the humble outfit known as Oldsmobile. GM’s technology division definitely created some of the nastiest stoplight warriors ever unleashed on American roads. And this mildly restored 442 W-30 is a prime example of their ‘bar brawler in a tuxedo’ philosophy. Featuring a correct 455 cubic inch Rocket V8, an original Rock Crusher transmission and a stripped down look that swaps 70s glam for middle-of-the-road sophistication, it’s a car that’s nice enough to covet, but not so pristine you’ll be afraid to hit the road. If you’re in the market for a great alternative to GM’s traditional stars, there are few cooler cars than this Saturn Gold Oldsmobile!
Assembled in Lansing, Michigan during the second week of February, 1971, this spectacular Oldsmobile is one of only 810 442 W-30 hardtops produced for the 1971 model year. Impeccably maintained throughout its entire life, the car has never undergone a complete, frame-off restoration, and has managed to maintain a great presentation with the help of as-needed refurbishing. Today, 42 years after rolling out of the showroom, it’s one head turning GM muscle car that intimidates like a cruise missile and shines like the family’s best gold. And yes, that IS a correct combination of GM code 53 Saturn Gold and GM code 19 Ebony Black paint you’re currently admiring.
Like all second generation A-bodies, the 442 continued to get better year after year. It’s clean and modernist lines were no doubt a play on its parent division’s engineering leadership within the GM hierarchy; and the resulting design continues to weather exceptionally well. At the front of the car, a black, stainless-trimmed grille hangs a black “442” emblem between four halogen headlamps and a bright chrome bumper that’s complete with clear parking lights. At the top of that grille, a fiberglass ram air hood leads the eye past stainless twist locks to like-new glass that’s framed by bright chrome drip rails and well-maintained trim. At the sides of that hood, traditional chrome door handles perfectly complement dent-free wheel rings, body-matched sport mirrors and a combination of “442” and “W-30” fender emblems. And at the back of the car, a smooth decklid hangs a large “442” emblem above a broad chrome bumper, pristine tail lights and trumpeted exhaust tips.
Twist this awesome 442’s hood locks and you’ll find a correct 455 cubic inch Rocket V8 that’s branded with a familiar 396021F casting number. Unfortunately, this block’s partial VIN was completely milled off during a rebuild, so we can’t authenticate its status as a numbers matching piece. But we can definitely tell you the big engine, which creates 350 horsepower in factory guise, is mechanically sound and ready to hit the road. Stomp the throttle and a Rochester Quadrajet carburetor mixes juice from leak-free fuel lines with wind from a correct low-restriction air cleaner, and shoves it into a correct aluminum intake. Behind that intake, a traditional points distributor feeds fire through fresh AC Delco Packard TV R Suppression wires that are loomed around correct “H” branded heads and clean blue valve covers. And below those valve covers, correct cast iron exhaust manifolds shoot charred dinosaurs into big, true dual pipes. Aesthetically, the car’s red inner fenders and metallic blue block look fantastic against its Saturn Gold paint. The stout mill is all day reliable spinning massive torque from one of the largest and most powerful V8s ever created. And the entire engine bay flat out rocks, from its fully finished hood and correct fan shroud and to its aged decals and tagged Delco Energizer battery.
The bottom of this rare 442 is largely original and shows no signs of terminal wear or question inducing battle scars. Behind the wicked 455, the car’s original Muncie M22 4-speed, which wears a correct 3925661 casting number, a matching partial VIN and a Muncie (P) M22 (C) assembled on December (T) 17th (17) of 1970 (1) build stamp, sends power to stout 10 bolt rear end that’s equipped with easy living gears. At the center of the car, exhaust flows through solid, true dual pipes to great sounding mufflers and trumpeted stainless tips. And at the corners of the car, chrome Magnum 500s spin fresh F70-14 Goodyear Polyglas GTs around rocket branded center caps. Standard fare for the 442 trim was a factory heavy duty suspension which is augmented with beefy front control arms, better front shocks, thicker coil springs, boxed rear control arms, a standard rear sway bar and, in this car’s case, rear air shocks. Braking is provided by stalwart and reliable drums at all four corners. Turns come courtesy of an M22-mandated manual steering system. And everything from this Oldsmobile’s original, rust free floorpans to its straight frame and correct driveline and suspension is fully sorted and ready to hit the road.
Inside this old school Olds, you’ll find a high quality Sienna interior that appears to be mostly untouched original equipment. At the center of the car, rebuilt bucket and bench seats ride on clean brown carpet that’s protected by color-keyed mats. In front of those seats, a warp-free dash hangs familiar 442 wood around correct Rally gauges and an original AM/FM stereo. At the base of that dash, a full console frames a vintage Hurst shifter that barks tires as easy as it rows through gears. At the sides of that console, great looking Sienna door panels are decorated with good looking stainless trim, crack-free armrests and more stylish wood trim. Above those panels, a fully functional dome light illuminates a tight brown headliner. In front of the driver, a custom sport steering wheel is centered on a striking rocket horn button. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk hangs aged decklid decals over a correct jack, a correct mat and a full-size spare tire.
Tired of the same old Chevelles and GTOs you can find anywhere, anytime? Then take a close look at this phenomenal 442! Fully sorted and highly correct, it’s a super cool muscle car that’s poised to gain value by the year. And whether you’re an emphatic Oldsmobile collector, or a serious muscle car fan who wants something a little different, this exclusive A-Body is the perfect choice!