Aero Nose: 1977 Oldsmobile 442

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?

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Comments

  1. nessy

    I will say it again, oh how I like all Oldsmobiles….

    1+

  2. Wade Anderson

    I had a 75 when I was a teenager it red with white stripes and a red and white interior it had a white venal top sharp looking car

    0

  3. Moparmann

    IMO: those replacement Grant GT steering wheels have to be among the UGLIEST ever poduced!! BTW: Had a military bud who had this identical car, it was a looker in 1977! 🙂

    0

  4. Van

    I like it. Does it have a chevy or olds 350. Remember how important that was. I’d go for a 455 olds with a little extra cam. But it would look untouched from the top. As good as these drove, I’d add bigger sway bars and bigger brakes.

    0

    • Poppy

      It has the Olds engine in it.

      0

  5. Bill

    Nice car. Still disappointed the GM’s treatment of Oldsmobile.

    1+

  6. Gunner

    Hey! It IS your Father’s Oldsmobile! 😀

    0

  7. rdc

    Is Aero Nose a real term? I just call it ugly nose. 🙂

    Never liked stripes and number all over a car. Single color only for me.

    0

    • G 1

      I always liked the square front better.

      0

  8. AMCSTEVE

    buddy of mine had a blue one with black stripes. He beat the crap out of that car.

    0

  9. irocrob

    They were a big heavy turd in my eyes.

    0

  10. SEAN C

    had a 76 442 with a 455 , last year of the 455 , you could get a 260 up to a 403 in 77 , miss those swivel buckets

    0

  11. Pontiactivist

    I had a Green with white stripes and white interior 73 years ago. 455 auto with swivel bucket seats. Wish I would have kept that car. Never seen another one the same.

    0

  12. Daver11

    What’s up where the body meets the rear bumper? Plastic pieces rotted away? I like the color combo. You don’t see any around here in New Orleans, it’s a sharp looking car.

    0

  13. erikj

    I had a 76 442 in the early 90s. Brow ex. with tan int. 350/auto. $300 special!!.Ran and drove nice, even looked pretty good. Not fast,still liked it.

    0

  14. rustylink

    love these colonade style GM’s – a real take it or leave styling. I am amazed how those giant bumpers kill the lines on this.

    0

  15. Cheesehead

    This body style still holds the NASCAR record for fastest car. In 1980, Buddy Baker won the Daytona 500 with an average speed of 177.602; a record that still stands today. Not Superbirds, Charger Daytonas or Ford Talladegas.

    2+

  16. Jubjub

    They may not’ve been the hottest performers but these Colonnade 442s had quite the look. The antithesis of landau tops and gaudy wire wheel covers. Like a stock car with for the street. Never saw a color combo I didn’t like, but metal lime green and white was my fave.

    0

  17. Rustytech

    There’s definitely a lot of rust repair needed on this puppy, that said, I’ve seen much worse resurrected. I think these are just starting to hit the up curve in collectibility, so I think at this point prices will go no where but up!

    0

  18. Hazard

    My first car was a 76 black and gold 442 with the 260 5 speed. The 5 speed was gear right for that motor and went pretty good. It was a fun car. I miss it

    0

  19. Car Guy

    Even though the bumpers were huge, Olds did a decent job of integrating them into the styling.
    The 260/5-speed was unique to Olds collonade body as I recall.
    A 455 swap would have been fun till the tranny expired……….

    0

  20. jbh110tdi

    My sister has one. I used it as my wedding car a few years back.

    0

  21. Dave

    Yea Daver11, those plasticy/rubber gap-fillers went belly-up on all the GM rides of that ilk. Cadillacs were the worst and the priciest. Cool land-yacht though.

    0

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