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73k Original Miles: 1968 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

Age does not necessarily translate into popularity or desirability in the classic world. Certain cars might have rolled off the line during a golden period in Detroit’s history, but that doesn’t mean that potential buyers will be climbing over each other to give it a new home when it hits the market. However, cars like this 1968 Oldsmobile 442 leave no doubt because the intense bidding action graphically demonstrates its desirability. It is an older restoration that still presents beautifully, and with 73,000 miles on the clock, it should offer a new owner years of faithful service. The Olds is listed here on eBay in Defiance, Ohio. Bidding has scorched to $22,300 but remains below the reserve.

The first 442 landed in showrooms in 1964 as Oldsmobile entered the muscle car sector. It achieved standalone model status with the Second Generation, released in 1968. The original owner ordered our feature car during that model year, choosing a paint combination of Sapphire Blue with a Dark Blue power top. This was a more subtle choice in an era when many buyers selected vibrant shades to make a bold visual statement. The seller indicates the Olds received a cosmetic refresh around fifteen years ago, with fresh paint applied to arrow-straight panels. It isn’t a trailer queen, meaning a close inspection will reveal minor chips and marks. However, with no significant shortcomings, it can still turn heads wherever it goes. This gem is claimed to be rust-free, and if the trunk pan offers an accurate insight into this classic’s underside, it holds no nasty surprises for its new owner. The power top is relatively new, the glass is excellent, and there are no trim or chrome issues to detract from the vehicle’s presentation.

The first Oldsmobile 442s received a 330ci V8 under the hood, but the company raised the bar by offering its 400ci powerplant to compete on a level footing with the 389 bolted into the engine bay of the Pontiac GTO in 1965. This Olds features a 400, with the remaining drivetrain components comprised of a three-speed automatic transmission and power assistance for the steering and brakes. The motor should produce a healthy 325hp and 440 ft/lbs of torque. A ’68 GTO Convertible offered buyers slightly more power than the Olds, but separating the pair on performance required fine work with a stopwatch. The 442 covered the ¼-mile in 15 seconds, with the GTO completing the same journey in 14.8 seconds. The tables turned when the subject turned to outright speed, with the 442’s 124mph trumping the Pontiac’s 120. However, it doesn’t matter how you look at it, those figures represent a rapid wind-in-the-hair motoring experience. This numbers-matching Olds is in excellent mechanical health, although the seller doesn’t mention verifying evidence for the claimed odometer reading of 73,000 original miles. The engine bay presents as superbly as the rest of the vehicle and doesn’t flatter to deceive. This classic runs and drives perfectly, making it a turnkey proposition for its new owner.

I have stated in previous articles that one of the most significant challenges with classic Convertible ownership is hiding a sub-standard interior. The rest of the car can be perfect, but tired and damaged upholstery or trim will detract from its overall presentation. There are no such dangers with this Olds because its interior is new. Finding anything to criticize about its Blue vinyl upholstery and matching carpet is almost impossible, while the dash looks stunning. If I were to mark it harshly, I would note the single crack on the wheel and the slightly tired bright trim around the shifter. Otherwise, the inside of this 442 would undoubtedly turn heads anywhere the new owner goes with the top down. The factory radio has made way for a modern retro-style unit, but I can’t spot any other additions or changes.

Does this 1968 Oldsmobile 442 tick the boxes for potential buyers? The auction action confirms it unquestionably does. This classic has attracted forty bids, and with time remaining on the listing, there is scope for that figure to climb considerably. Winter might seem an odd time to buy a classic Convertible, but it is probably the ideal time. It allows a new owner the opportunity to examine their purchase in minute detail in the comfort and warmth of their workshop or garage. Any minor issues and imperfections can be addressed, ensuring their pride and joy is ready and raring to go when the sun shows its face. Does that idea sound irresistible? Maybe you should join the bidding war.


  1. Unk Jay Jay

    Beautiful car. Love the dash work. You say a single crack in steering wheel but I noticed several but not a big deal not a deal breaker. Love the stance of the car as well.

    Like 6
  2. Jimmy

    Wow this takes me back to my childhood! My Aunt bought the same car brand new, but it had the parchment/black interior and a black top. Hers had the small hubcaps and redline tires. I remember her referring to it as her Mod Rod when she first got it. I can picture her with the top down, her cats eye sunglasses and red hair flying in the breeze. I always liked that car and this one looks great, doesn’t seem like many 68’s have survived after all these years. Unfortunately my Aunt’s met its fate in 1974 when my Uncle totaled it.

    Like 5
  3. Joe Padavano

    Nice looking car, but it obviously has been completely redone, so the question remains what is the quality of work under that new paint. The aftermarket disc brakes appear to use an undersized 9″ booster vs. the OEM 11″. That will result in a reduction in brake force for a given pedal pressure. And with the reserve somewhere north of $35K, they can’t fix the cracks in the steering wheel or the badly pitted chrome plate on the console?

    Like 2
  4. Tiberius1701

    The ’68 was arguably the best looking of this generation of Cutlasses. and this one is a knock-out!!!

    Like 9
  5. JC

    Really nice Olds… over 33k now, reserve not met.

    Like 4
  6. Robwilliams46

    Been looking for my 68 Cutlass s conv. I painted vibrant red with black interior and white top. I sold it 2002. Been looking for since. I miss her. :(

    Like 5
  7. Courtney

    this was the 3rd gen of Cutlasses but 2nd of the 442 which was based on the coupe version of the Cutlass Supreme. love that color blue

    Like 4
  8. JCH841

    Nice. I had a 70 hardtop with NY plates JCH841, hence my tagline here. This car quickly eclipsed my level of funds. If it had a 4 speed …

    Like 5
  9. Greg

    Wow what a gorgeous car. Just looking at it reminds me of how special my first car was. I’d like to comment but I can’t. To many memories good and bad but I will say great find and good luck to the next owner.l’ll like to see what she sells for.

    Like 2
  10. ClassicP

    Oldsmobile in the 60’s was without doubt the best built car for the money. I know on the GM ladder it’s Buick above Oldsmobile but driving Oldsmobile you felt more connected to the car by the smoothness of the steering, the power brakes and the powerful engine then add comfort and you have a automobile that takes a backseat to no other vehicle.

    Like 2
  11. Chief

    Is it me or does the pass side front bumper look as if it is bent out an inch or so away from the fender? Compare it to the drivers side alignment. Otherwise, a beautiful collector grade car.

    Like 0
  12. John Alger

    I own a 68 442 convertible with factory air.
    I built and installed a 455, an overdrive auto, changed the rear to a 3.23 limited slip, added front discs and hydro boost, along with headers and other upgrades. It’s fun, fast, comfortable and continues to go up in value. Have the original bill of sale; $4,000 out the door in 68.

    Like 0
  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Ended at $33,500. Reserve Not Met.

    Like 0

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