400/4-Speed: 1969 Oldsmobile 442

The history of this 1969 Oldsmobile 442 isn’t clear, but it now needs someone to give it some love. It may look tired, but that baked exterior conceals a classic that is complete and surprisingly solid. Adding to its desirability are its drivetrain combination and the performance potential it brings to the table. The 442 is located in York, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has climbed to $5,100, but this remains short of the reserve. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for spotting yet another fantastic project car for us.

The Olds rolled off the production line wearing an interesting combination of Aztec Gold with the top finished in Ebony Black. It is certainly distinctive and would have made the car stand out in a crowd. Time has taken a toll on this classic, but when you look past the ruined paint and surface corrosion, the news appears to be mainly positive. There is the usual rust that we have grown to know and love in the body’s lower extremities, but it doesn’t seem that bad. It has impacted the lower rear quarter panels, with smaller spots appearing in the rockers and lower front fenders. However, none of these issues would need anything beyond patches, so the buyer won’t be faced with the wholesale replacement of enormous amounts of steel. There’s no denying that the vehicle’s underside has surface corrosion on the floors and frame, with the coating on the frame appearing heavy in some spots. The surprise is that there is no evidence of penetrating rust. That merely adds to the positive news that we’ve encountered to this point. Some of the external trim and chrome components have deteriorated beyond the point of no return. The windshield has a substantial crack on the passenger side, but the remaining glass looks pretty good.

With the exterior of this Oldsmobile looking so tired and baked, it’s no surprise to find that the interior is in a similar state. It would have looked classy upholstered in its combination of Gold cloth and vinyl, but those days are a long way behind this classic. The shopping list will be extensive and include seat covers, a carpet set, a dash pad, a steering wheel, and a rear parcel tray. The door and rear trims might survive with a deep clean, but I probably wouldn’t bet the house on it. An interior trim kit would almost certainly be the most cost-effective way of addressing most of these woes, and they are easy to find for less than $1,400. The wheel may prove more of a challenge if the buyer craves originality, but I did locate a couple of nice secondhand ones for under $150. The dash pad is the final piece of the puzzle, and this is also one that will potentially hurt the hip pocket. I didn’t have a lot of luck finding new replacements, but I located a spotless secondhand pad for $400. If this is indicative of what the buyer will eventually pay, that would see the interior looking immaculate for under $2,000.

The 442 should bring some serious performance credentials to the table once the buyer returns it to active service. Its 400ci V8 would produce 350hp, which will find its way to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. The original owner’s decision to include power steering should make negotiating parking lots pretty effortless. If the buyer points this 442 at the ¼ mile, it should blitz it in 14.4 seconds. It isn’t clear whether the car is numbers-matching, but it does seem to be complete. The owner indicates that it has been sitting for many years, and it isn’t clear whether the engine turns freely. If the buyer’s goal is to perform a high-end restoration, they will probably choose to pull the engine to return the engine bay to a factory-fresh state. That would provide the perfect opportunity to inspect everything thoroughly, replace any items like seals that may be questionable, and rebuild anything that needs it. It is worth the effort to follow that approach because it can save some grief and frustration in the future.

The idea of tackling a project build can be daunting for some people. This is especially true if the buyer is facing the prospect of cutting away acres of rotten steel to return the body to a structurally sound state. I don’t know how many owners have stumbled and admitted defeat long before they complete that process, but the figure would be many, many thousands. That’s what makes this 1969 Oldsmobile 442 an attractive proposition. It isn’t rust-free, but its issues look pretty minor. Its drivetrain is complete, and an interior restoration shouldn’t break the bank. With spotless examples regularly selling for more than $40,000, there’s a bit to consider. One final piece of food for thought revolves around the seller. He admits that he is a dealer and that this Olds sits on his lot right now with a price of $8,900. If you are seriously interested in tackling this project, it could be worth monitoring the eBay listing. If the bidding approaches the figure just mentioned, you could contact him directly and buy the car straight off the lot. That would be a better proposition than losing it in a last gasp bid by a buyer who wants it as badly as you. It’s worth considering.


WANTED 1969-1971 Manic GT In any condition Contact

WANTED 1959 Edsel any I am looking for a 1959 edsel to trade for my 87 Harley 883 sportster please contact with pictures Contact

WANTED 1931 Ford A coupe body no hood grill fenders or running boards or truck cab only with doors Contact

WANTED 1974 Porsche 914 2.0” “In a barn for over 30 years.” Contact

WANTED 1934 Ford 3 Window Coupe ORIGINAL Steel Body Style .The body should have a rusty texture rather than a clean state. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. sparkster

    Ruff ! ! !

    Like 13
  2. William Troup

    I bought a Pontiac from this dealership some time ago. Nice Mennonite family who gave me a Bible when I bought my car. Had a neat showroom that resembled a 50’s diner with a checkerboard floor filled with classic cars.

    Like 10
  3. John

    1400 $ interior ? Lol maybe 20 years ago

    Like 1
    • Gary M Thompson

      Believe this is a ’68 – has wing windows..Interior would cost about $4,000 + with new padding, etc…

      • Sam Shive

        It’s NOT a 68.Let Google Be Your Friend

        Like 2
      • Poppy

        The post coupes/sedans/wagons retained wind wings after ’68

        Like 1
  4. Dr. Olds

    I think I know this car…always wondered where it ended up. Painted roof from the factory, it was an all original, one-owner car.

    Like 2
  5. Dr. Olds

    Canadian-built car with a Chevy 12-bolt Posi. All Canadian-built 442’s, GS’s, GTO’s and, of course, Chevelles, came with Chevy 12-bolts. Also, on the data plate, the Canadian cars listed options so, we can see, it was a factory M21 4-speed car which meant, it likely had 3.91 gears.

    This car is, actually, pretty solid underneath.

    Like 3
  6. Bunky

    Not a ‘68. Totally different front end treatment. The ‘68 and up hardtops didn’t have vent windows- this is a sedan- has a post and vent windows.

  7. Martinsane

    $9k dollars.
    Stop your internal dialogue but everyone on planet earth and the surrounding galaxies knows that you’d have to pay to have this car taken to the crusher.
    It’s no wonder the world is going to heck in a hand basket with shenanigans like this going on.

    Like 2
    • Al O Member

      Omg. Are for real, this no where near a crusher. Perhaps you should have your eyes and/or brain examined.

  8. George Mattar

    What Martinsane said. Next POS please. You are way off on your interior prices. To correctly restore that dash from the powder it is would be $1,500 minimum. The cost to rebuild the wiper motor on my 62 GP is $800. The insanity will stop when us baby boomers are all dead. Today’s punks want M3s and VWs.

  9. Steve Liebert

    NOT a Chevy 12 Bolt. This would be the “O” style Olds rear. 8.5″ 10 bolt Ring gear, 30 spline axles. Only in the performance “stick” cars. Still have a 3.55 geared example.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.