Healthy 403: 1974 Hurst/Olds W-30

This 1974 Oldsmobile 442 might be looking a little bit tired, but it seems to have generated its share of interest since it was listed for sale. The owner suggested that he might be willing to part the car out if it didn’t sell, but that is no longer a possibility since it has now exceeded its reserve price. Located in Pearland, Texas, the Oldsmobile is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $3,850 on the back of 16 bids to date. There are also 68 people who are currently watching the listing.

Structurally, the 442 looks to be quite solid, but there are some rust problems that will need to be dealt with if the car is to be returned to its former glory. The owner does say that the floors appear to be soft in a few spots, and there are a few small holes in the floors and trunk pan. There is also some rust visible in the drip rails, and around the rear wheel openings. He says that there is Bondo present in the car, but in general terms, the body doesn’t look to be that bad. It still wears its original wheels, along with all of the original external trim and chrome. The factory tinted glass also seems to be in good condition.

With the Olds featuring the W-30 package, it does come with some nice interior features. In this case, the car is fitted with swivel bucket seats, a floor console with a dual-gate shifter, and a sports wheel with tilt. The interior is looking tired, and a full refurbishment is going to be on the cards at some point. Having said that, the rear seat, console, and headliner look quite good. The rest of the interior trim and carpet look like they will need to be replaced, as I think that they are probably beyond restoration. If originality is the name of the game, then a factory radio is going to be on the shopping list to replace the existing Pioneer CD player.

The engine bay of the Olds originally housed the 455ci Rocket V8, producing 230hp. The owner says that this is long gone, and when he purchased the car, it was fitted with its current 403ci engine. The Olds also features a 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission, a 3.23 Posi rear end, power steering, and power front disc brakes. The 442 didn’t run when the current owner purchased it, but that seems to have been well and truly fixed now. The fuel system has been flushed and cleaned, the carburetor has been treated to a rebuild, while a new master cylinder, new fuel pump, and new alternator have also been added. The result is a car that now runs and drives really well. The engine and its surrounds look to be extremely clean, so it appears that the next owner won’t have to spend a lot of money on this car’s mechanical components.

As project cars go, this is an interesting one. The fact that the original 455ci V8 is gone is a disappointment, but the fact that the car appears to be mechanically strong is a plus. It might be rough, but the majority of the features that help to make the 442 special are still present. It will never be worth the sort of money that it could be worth if it was a numbers-matching vehicle, but once it has been brought back to a clean and tidy state, it should still be a fun car to own and drive.


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  1. Danger Dan

    I am a fan of these. I was a broke young bmx racer when I came upon one in the back of the Cadillac dealership. We were hovering around $700 bucks on payments! Clean car, dead engine, no use for it at the dealer in 1992. I took a close friend and he blurted out $2500!! The dealers eyes lit up like Xmas lights and boy was I peeved. We settled our differences later and are still friends, sorta….

    Like 6
  2. Bikefixr

    These were good looking cars. The collonade-cars had some style. The swivel buckets were awesome. This could be a very do-able car for someone on a budget.

    Like 3
  3. Angrymike

    I got a ride to the drag strip in one similar to this (73-74) back when I was about 14 (1978-79) except it was black on black. The original 455 would get up and go on the highway, and the digital clock was way cool back then. That one ride made me fall in love with the comfort and power. I’d buy this and find a 1970-1972 455 and then it would get up and go, the 403 was a complete dog, smog motor.

  4. Bob C.

    Those 403s were pretty much station wagon engines, although some found their way into Trans Ams of the late 70s.

  5. Del

    This is how to ruin the value of a car.

    Replace the 455 with a 403.

    I would call it the Classic Example

    Like 1

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