34k-Mile Turnkey: 1969 Oldsmobile 442

While most performance enthusiasts will remember 1964 as the year Pontiac rolled out the GTO, Oldsmobile also made some noise that year with its 4-4-2 (short for 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts). By the time the second generation of the 4-4-2 (also called 442) rolled out for 1968, it became a series of its own (which would go through 1971). This 1969 edition is either a fantastic original or an excellent restoration because it looks like practically a new car – and it has just 34,000 miles. This babied beauty is in Ripon, California and available here on eBay where the auction has tipped $28,600 but the reserve has yet to kick in. Kudos to local_sheriff for bringing this stellar Olds to our attention!

The 1969 Oldsmobile intermediates, including the 442, were little changed from 1968, except that the dual headlights were closer together, the taillights were vertical instead of horizontal, and the vent windows were gone except on pillared coupes (442’s only came in 2-door configurations). The 442 numerals grew to nearly double their previous size. There were various performance enhancements available to the 400 cubic inch V-8 that the 442 carried, dubbed W-30, W-31 and W-32. None of these designations appear on the paperwork for the seller’s 1969 442, so it would be the standard 400 good for 290 horsepower. 26,357 442’s were built for 1969, including 19,587 hardtop coupes like the seller’s car, which accounted for nearly three-quarters of production.

This bronze ’69 442 with a black vinyl top looks to be in outstanding condition. The seller doesn’t use the word restoration anywhere in his lengthy description of the car, and the word original appears only once. So, we don’t know which really applies this car, just that it’s a beautiful machine. Even at just 34,000 reported miles, how does a car stay this nice for more than 50 years? Living in a garage much of the time goes a long way and being a Black Plate California car helps even more. From what we can see of the undercarriage, it looks as though the car has never been driven in inclement weather.

The vinyl top – one of just four options that cost more than $100 listed on the window sticker – is immaculate along with the paint and stripes. The black and white interior looks spotless, down to the custom lettering on the floor mats. The seller has kept a binder of all the paperwork accumulated for the car back to the point of sale and would be happy to thumb through it for you on FaceTime. The only motivation for the seller to sell this car is that he says he wants to buy the new mid-engine Corvette.

This 442 is a numbers-matching car, with a 4-speed and Posi-traction being another $100+ option on the car. Power steering and an 8-track tape player are the others along with power front disc brakes. The aftermarket Keystone wheels (which I once had on a Nova) really set off the look of the car with their black inserts.

For someone looking for a show-quality car that would turn heads, this Olds could certainly be one. Hagerty pegs a Concours example at $55,000 plus a 20 percent premium for the 4-speed. So that suggests that the reserve is no where close to being met at the time of this writing. If you’ve got the resources to buy and maintain a beautiful car like this, you’d likely be getting a turnkey automobile that needs nothing.

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Comments

  1. Big_Fun Member

    The color, Aztec Gold, is stunning, and was only available on Oldsmobiles, or a Buick Riviera in ’69. Can’t be too many built in this color.

    Like 11
    • nlpnt

      I like the fender-crown moldings too, a very late ’60s/early ’70s touch rarely seen today since the “desirable” muscle-car trims from other makes frequently deleted them (for instance, ’70 Chevelle Malibus had them, SSs did not) so they tend to get ditched on the way to tribute-car status.

    • complinitor

      I had a 69 Cutlass S in this color. Gawd, I miss that car.

      Like 1
  2. Connecticut Mark

    Beautiful but sell the keystones and put olds rally’s. Is that engine the right color?

    Like 10
    • Chris M.

      It looks a bit darker than the Rocket Gold I’ve seen but that may be due to photography?

      • Joe Padavano

        The correct color for an Oldsmobile 400 motor is bronze, not gold.

        Like 4
    • Rick Rothermel

      One of s handsomest bodies EVER!

      Like 4
    • Mark

      Yes. It is the correct colour.

  3. Connecticut Mark

    Beautiful but sell the keystones , out on olds rally’s, is that engine the right color, if it is, looks new .

    Like 2
  4. Connecticut Mark

    Beautiful but sell the keystones , put on olds rally’s with staggered radials, is that engine the right color? Looks like you can eat off it.

    Like 1
  5. Connecticut Mark

    Sorry , I had to sign in my email, it asked for, never did before, never saw that it went up so many times. My bad!

    Like 5
  6. Troy s

    You know, it’s too nice to be a survivor, and if it was I wonder if anyone actually enjoyed driving it. It’s a great cruiser especially with those wheels on it and 400 cubes purring through the mega phone tail pipes.

    Like 3
    • Rick Rothermel

      One of s handsomest bodies EVER!

      Like 1
  7. Douglas Hunt

    Engine rebuild receipt shows 112xxx miles ?

    Like 3
    • JoeBob

      Douglas Hunt – good eye! I would have missed that. Beautiful 442 though.

      Like 2
  8. Jcs

    Yes, the paint is very close to the right color for the 400 but is much too thick and glossy. Many use the wrong colors on Olds engines so the “database” on originality has been thinned out so to speak.

    Overall, a nicely restored 442. When your greatest criticism is that the left tailpipe is too long and the right one is way too long, I think that you’re looking at a pretty nice car.

    Like 12
  9. Phlathead Phil

    Nice car.

    Like 1
  10. Michael

    I don’t particularly like Keystone mags but they look right on this car.

    Like 4
  11. Jcs

    1969 and 1970 442 owners have always been very easy to spot by the scars on their bald spots. Only those two model years.

    Those that know, know.

    Like 8
    • Moparman Member

      “Those that know, know.” LOL!! I never owned one of these, but I KNOW via some other makes and models!! :-) Happy New Year to All!!

      Like 1
    • thomas barton

      i had a 69 convertible and i still own a 77 cutlass i know what you are talking about lol

      Like 1
    • Joe Padavano

      The 69-70 cars have nothing on the 68s in that respect. While they may not have the hood “tooth”, the one-year-only hood hinges don’t let the hood open that far. The latch stud sticks down from the underside of the hood. Ask me how I know… ;-)

      Like 5
  12. Howard A Member

    Just for gits and shiggles, ( and properly translated gives an accurate description of what I feel about the classic car hobby today), I was watching a Mecum action, granted, it WAS Houston, where everyone’s a millionaire, a car exactly like this, sold to some spoiled brat for,,,ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!. I printed and shouted that number because actual numerical digits seem to have lost their zing today. Beautiful car, but this is how far out of whack it’s gotten. I swear, the auctions, and the people that attend them, are the “smoking gun” for all this silliness today.

    Like 12
    • Mountainwoodie

      The phrase “stupid is as stupid does” comes to mind.
      I’m afraid, HoA, that we and many other here have been consigned to the dinosaur dump of car values. I take solace in knowing that when these cars were just cars, I had my shot! ;)

      Like 1
  13. Samuel Lomma

    I had one in the same color “Aztec Gold” with brown vinyl top and tan interior. One of the best cars I ever had. The horsepower rating for the base engine was 350hp with the stick.

    Like 2
  14. Richard Isenberg

    I agree the factory rims would look nice on this olds. The keystones look good though. Great looking olds. Not gonna nit pick anything on this car.

    Like 4
  15. Jerrold Berg

    I’ve loved classic cars for years. One thing that I have yet to learn is, what is the significance of black California tag?

    • Joe Padavano

      In CA, the plates stay with the car from new. Black plates were issued in the 1960s thorough about mid-1969, so a black plate typically means it’s an original California car. Of course, today the CA DMV has repro black plates…

      Like 2
  16. Desert Rat

    I love the Keystones on this car, they were the first style mags I bought in high school so I’m some what bias. The Olds on the other hand is one of the best looking muscle cars to come out of the 60s, period.

    Like 3
  17. mainlymuscle

    Engine rebuild for less than 1500 bucks ! Operator ,please connect me to 1985……..
    The rebuild on 112,000 miles in 85 ,plus 34,000 ,so now approaching 150,000.
    Man,this car has had some awesome stwardship !This is an outstanding musclecar,that should sell for around $35,000.I’d like to be around in 2040 when this seller goes to sell his 2021 pristine Corvette !
    GLWS,and Happy New Year !

    Like 1
  18. Super Glide

    Might be a typo, but the standard 400 had 325 hp.

    To the rest of the anti-Keystone crowd, you are of course wrong.
    Keystones were a design of divine providence. So any more talk
    against Keystones will be considered blasphemy.

    Other than that, it’s a nice car show cruiser.

    Like 4
    • Joe Padavano

      The 442 engine was rated at 325 HP with automatic, but 350 HP with manual trans. The cams were different for AT and MT engines. The ad is correct.

      Like 4
      • Poppy

        I think Super Glide is referring to Dixon’s write-up stating the base engine horsepower of 290. That is correct only for the lower compression 400-2V “Turnpike Cruiser” engine. While technically a 442 engine, it’s still an optional engine, not the standard base option.

      • Joe Padavano

        The base equipment in a 1969 442 was a 350 HP 400 cu in engine and a three speed manual trans with Hurst floor shifter. All manual trans cars got the same 350 HP motor. The 325 HP engine was only available with the optional AT. The 290 HP Turnpike Cruiser was also optional, as were the 360 HP W-30 and the 350 HP W-32 that year.. There’s no fuzz on this. Base equipment is what was included in the MSRP base price, before any options.

  19. MMazzetti

    I had a 69 Blk on Blk W/ Hurst 4spd.w/air w/ little/big Craigers/Micky Thomsons. [LOL] in New Orleans,La. back in the mid 70,s. Sold it to my best friend Randy at the time. It loved gas stations ! I moved away and always wonder where she is today…

  20. Dave Mathers

    I had that same car except no vinyl roof for a demo in 1969. W30 was the performance 400, W31 was the hi-po 350 ram air (Ram-Rod in 1968) and I had a silver F-85 demo with a W31, 4 speed and 4.33 gears. W32 was a cosmetic Ram Air hood) package only.

    Like 1
    • John Stowe

      Hi Dave….. Central Chev. In London. Wayne Huber used to Pick me up after School so I could wash Race Cars and Pump Gas. Was that Tim Wilkin’s 63 Corvette Coupe the other day?

  21. Maverick

    What 442 had red inner fenders.

    • Joe Padavano

      Red inner fenders were only used on the1967-71 W-30 cars and the 1968 H/O.

      Like 1
      • Jcs

        The red fender wells were plastic vs steel as in other A bodies to save weight, as was the aluminum intake manifold.

      • Joe Padavano

        The aluminum intake was only used on the 1970-72 cars, not the 66-69 W-30s. Those had iron. Of course, that has nothing to do with the car in this ad.

      • Jcs

        Dang Joe, just trying to add to the conversation. Lighten up, the man had a perfectly good question.

        I did think about clarifying with the word 455 but removed it thinking that the meaning was obvious. Should have left it I see.

        Peace

        Like 2
      • Poppy

        Jcs – I’m not sure when they made the switch, but my ’70 Cutlass has (black) plastic inner fenders – not steel. So at least by 1970 the red liners were a visual statement, not a weight savings.

  22. cmarv

    My first car was a 1969 442 my Grandmother bought to keep her new 70 Eldorado out of bad weather . She bought both at Smith Gray Cadillac- Olds in Meadville PA . It was the owners sons demo he took to college . It was a fully loaded automatic car with a dual gate shifter . She kept it for 6 years and sold it to my parents . My Dad was hating the gas mileage and was going to trade it on a new 78 Ford Fiesta , they were allowing a $200 trade on the 442 . I was 16 and had $378 in the bank and I bought the car , my Mom was all out against me having it . In the first week I got a ticket and paid it .Winter arrived and I slid off the road and hit a big oak tree and it was done . I have owned many more Olds 442’s over the years but I miss that one the most I love the 69 more than any other year . I will watch this auction but I sure wish it was closer to me . Spending that much on a car you can’t see in person is hard for me , but that is a beauty .

  23. robert lewis

    great looking car but lose the red heater hoses & red plug wires

    Like 2
  24. Michael

    Mine was turquoise/blue, black top and blue interior. Sold it in 1982 and will always regret it

  25. Dennis Froelich

    The grilles in this car are silver… Should be black.

    Like 2

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