442 For You! Low-Mileage 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass

The GM G-body is one of the most versatile platforms in that it appeals to many crowds. Enthusiasts from all types of backgrounds and interests have had a love affair with ’80s Regals and Cutlasses as long as the cars have been produced! From low-riders to drag cars, this body style remains a fan favorite. This particular Cutlass 442 is original, unmolested, and reading a whopping 58,000 miles on the odometer. Though perhaps it doesn’t compare to the “original” 442s, this is a nice car with clean lines and certainly a landmark vehicle of its time period. Find it here on Craigslist in its home state of Michigan for $13,500. Thanks to Rocco B. for sending us the link!

As immaculate as the interior of this Oldsmobile is, it is hard to believe it has even covered the 58,000 miles it has. I would have guessed less, and this just goes to show this car has been cared for. Everything about this Cutlass is very characteristic of the ’80s, and this car is an excellent example of an era gone by. The seller states “I have ALL docs including owners manuals, broadcast sheet and salesmans business card from Charnock Olds in Dearborn, Michigan where car was sold new.” While this car doesn’t quite have the following of Buick Grand Nationals just yet, with Grand National prices on the rise this car may soon have its time.

Under the hood is a 307 V8 hooked up to an automatic transmission. Though not as exciting as the ’80s Hurst Olds “Lightning Rods” transmission setup, for most people a regular automatic transmission would be preferable! Although this car has seen some use, the engine bay is clean and in order with no glaring damage or rust. The seller states that this car never saw winter and was always garaged, and it shows! Although lacking a 4-speed transmission, this car is equipped with dual exhaust (4 barrel, 4 speed, 2 pipes!). The only thing the seller notes as needing repairs is the air conditioning, which hopefully just needs to be charged.

Though $13,500 may seem high, finding a G-body in unmolested condition like this is becoming more and more of a challenge. Finding a 442 badged G-body in excellent condition is even harder! Though some people knew it would be a valuable car one day, many enjoyed them for what they were. Vehicles from this period of time are rising in price and if someone were to purchase this 442 and keep it in the same condition it is in now, it may prove to be a good investment. Would you keep it as it is? Or drive it like the lightly used Cutlass you’ve always wanted?

Fast Finds


  1. RS

    Wish it was one of the cars that had been converted over to fuel injection, even throttle body. By this time carburetors combined with smog equipment usually meant nothing but driveabilility issues.

    Like 1
    • Anthony

      Not true. I bought a new 86 Cutlass 307 with 4bbl. Never an issue.

  2. PaulG

    Nice looking car, but something funny going on…
    It’s been (and still is) on eBay, shown as sold for 13.5, then again for 12,250.
    Now it’s listed for 12K buy-it-now…here:

  3. Steve

    “Although lacking a 4-speed transmission…” Technically it is not lack, as the 200 4r is a four speed overdrive automatic transmission…

    While I don’t think these cars will ever catch the GN as far as collectability/ value, they are still a cool car. I would love to have one, but maybe two g bodies is enough (79 Malibu 2 dr with a 468 BBC and an 82 Malibu wwagon with a 200 v6 (for the time being ;))

  4. Steve

    A couple of thisng about this car. First, it looks like someone put around 11k miles on it since 2009. Kind of a shame. THe second is the fact that it doesn’t have positraction in that beefier 8.5″ rear axle… as indicated by the lack of the “G80” code on the label pictured. For some reason, this is fairly common, but I can’t figure out what GM was thinking. I have come across a few 8.5 rear axles over the years. Pretty easy to tell what they are out of. The GNs had 3.42 gears. All I have seen had posi. All 442s had the 3.73. All that I have seen DID NOT have posi. I am sure it was optional. I wonder if 442s were a car that you could custom order from a dealer, like in the old days, or if they were built beforehand, and you take what you can… I always wanted to special order a car, specifically with what I wanted, but those days are over.

    • Anthony

      Posi was kind of pointless in these cars anyway from a performance standpoint.
      Might come in handy in the snow. Had a new 86 Cutlass with the same drive train as as 442 albeit with single exhaust and taller gearing. Wouldn’t turn a tire over.
      Had some friends at the same time that were olds buffs and they had same vintage 442 and Hurst models and they would bearly turn a tire over. Great cars just not in the performance category.

    • Bill Fingl

      Worked as an Olds dealer mechanic when these cars came out. You could order them any way you wanted, but they weren’t very popular then. Most were ordered as a batch by the dealership with a specific group of options and G80 was almost NEVER ordered by the sales managers. The ’79 H/Os that we saw didn’t come with G80 and most of those had a 2.56 rear gear. Most of the ’83-’84 cars had 3.73 open rear ends……

  5. Nova Scotian

    Buy it and park it. (Store it). Value going up is my bet. This is original with slight use. 99%of the rest are used up. I’d like the throttle body…But it is what it is. Price is right.

    • Roger Gorski

      Where are people storing all these “investment” cars that will be their future 401k’s? How do they factor the storage and insurance costs into these “investments”?

  6. Tony Lawler

    I’m straight up a Ford guy but have always wanted one of these cars. Probably the only GM car I would own. Probably because it was just in my time era. But if I’m gonna pay a good price for one, it’s gonna have T-tops, power windows, locks, and so on. This one looks cheap to me.

  7. ccrvtt

    I’m from Lansing and I love Oldsmobiles but this car will never be as desirable as the Buick Grand Nationals of the same era (even though they are better looking ;). For their time they were very nice cars and all they seemed to lack was a motor. Stick an LS in it and melt the tires to your heart’s content.

  8. Troy S.

    Drove my bosses new Monte Carlo SS a few times back then,that had the 305 in it, fun car and sounded pretty good but it was no muscle car and neither was this 442 Olds. Good looking cars nonetheless. The turbo buicks were a different story.

  9. Poppy

    I’ve never seen a GM radio of this vintage that didn’t have blue fluorescent LED displays. The orange color and font of the numerals in the CL photos look off to me.

    • Kevin

      My parents bought a used ’86 in ’86 when their ’80 blew a head gasket. The radio display was orange. They traded it for a new ’87 a year later. The radio display was blue fluorescent. I had an ’83 Cutlass and ’85 Corvette, also with orange displays. I’m pretty sure the fluorescent blue you’re expecting started in ’87.

      • Poppy

        Great, thanks for the information. I skipped right from a ’77 Olds with backlit analog to an ’88 Olds with a blue fluorescent digital display (and multipoint fuel injection, and distributorless ignition, and FWD, and OHC with 4 valves per cylinder.) What a difference a decade makes, when it bookends the
        “malaise era!”

  10. JimmyJ

    Maybe good driver but not an investment

  11. ChadC Member

    My first car was a 1986 Cutlass Supreme Brougham. As I recall, when new I paid approximately $14,000 for it. Seeing the old body style brings back a lot of memories, including many trips driving it cross-country. Always a great car.

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