Here’s a recipe: take the colors black and gold, add the numbers 442 and mix with white letter tires and what do you get? A car that looks good regardless of the horsepower rating and one that is instantly recognizable. Even as the iconic 442 nameplate began to lose some of its luster, these big body Oldsmobile coupes still looked great rolling down the street. Check out this example here on eBay which has some chronic rust issues but is also listed with an opening bid of $3,995 and no reserve.
In my opinion, black and gold is the best color combination for these cars. I know some of you will disagree, noting that white and gold is the more classic choice. But I’d say you can’t go wrong with either option. This particular 442 looks largely original, still sporting its unique graphics and striping, and appearing mostly un-messed with. As the seller notes, however, there is rust in the bottom of the doors. You can see it more clearly in the top photo, and he recommends planning to replace both sides with clean shells.
Thankfully, the 442 isn’t let down by its cosmetics in other areas. The interior looks pretty darn good, with unripped vinyl surfaces, clean carpets and an undamaged center console. It’s hard to assess the dash condition with that cover on it, but it’s safe to assume there may be a crack or two. There are some pinholes in the floor and the trunk, and the seller notes the paint is pretty dry in places due to sun damage. Most importantly, however, the seller notes that this 442 still runs despite a long period of dormancy.
The seller soaked the cylinders before firing it up for the first time and has performed an impressive amount of maintenance in the time he’s owned it. I’ll let you check out the full list in the eBay ad, but the updates include a new gas tank, master cylinder, brake calipers and rotors, hoses and wires, fresh fluids and more. It’s not often you see a seller who buys a car to re-sell actually do meaningful maintenance before giving someone else a shot at completing the project. Is this cosmetically-challenged 442 worth rescuing?