One of GM’s most popular muscle cars has always been the 1970 Oldsmobile 442. This example is also one of the rarest, as it is one of only 96 produced for the 1970 model year, and it will soon be crossing the auction block.
In 1970, General Motors lifted the cap on fitting engines over 400 cubic inches of displacement into midsize cars. Oldsmobile promptly took advantage of this and stuffed the 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 in their 442. It was “as large a V8 as ever bolted into a special-performance production automobile.”
This Oldsmobile 442 is equipped with the W-30 option package, which added the “Select-Fit” engine components, a W25 fiberglass hood which provides outside air induction through functional air scoops, a low-restriction air cleaner, a Winters aluminum intake manifold as well as a longer-duration, higher-lift cam. The big V8 is connected to a heavy-duty, close-ratio four-speed manual transmission, which is rowed with a Hurst Competition shifter. Look underneath the car to find front disc brakes, full dual exhaust and the desirable W-27 aluminum differential cover on the rear axle. The Rocket 455 was rated at 370 horsepower and an eye-watering 500 pound-feet of torque. Rear tires were doomed.
This Oldsmobile 442 is resplendent in glossy Twilight Blue with white stripes. Chrome bumpers and trim look to be in very good condition, with no signs of pitting noted. The stainless trim has been well polished. Fourteen-inch Super Stock I wheels are shod in Goodyear G70-14 Polyglas tires. The white vinyl convertible top is bright and without the wrinkles that usually indicate having spent too much time in the “down” position. The convertible back window is clear and clean. All four headlights appear to be correct T-3 units.
Under the hood of the Oldsmobile 442, the correct red inner fenders are present. The detailed engine bay is home to the potent Rocket 455. Components and finishes all appear to be factory correct. The foam surround on the air cleaner still stands as it should to create a positive seal.
Inside the Oldsmobile 442, black bucket seats show well, with little sign of use. Bolster wear that is so common on these muscle cars is nearly nonexistent. The chrome shifter is topped by a black shift ball. A Custom Sport four-spoke steering wheel tops the fixed column. Simulated burled-woodgrain trim adorns the dash, doors, and console. A push-button AM radio with eight-track player resides in the dash. Rubber Oldsmobile floor mats protect the black carpets.
This Oldsmobile 442 is accompanied by the Protect-O-Plate, pre-delivery checklist, notarized certificate of authenticity, and the build sheet. It will be on offer at the Mecum Auction in Glendale, AZ, March 18th-20th.