77k Original Miles: 1971 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

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With the Winter Solstice now having been and gone in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting longer. That means that Spring is just around the corner, and Summer isn’t far away. That makes now a pretty good time to get your hands on a convertible, and this ’71 Oldsmobile 442 might be just the car. It is a car that seems to tick all of the right boxes when it comes to specifications, options, and condition. Located in Itasca, Illinois, it is listed for sale here on eBay.

The owner says that the 442 is solid, with no rust in the floors, quarters, trunk, or rockers. The photos certainly look promising. The Sandalwood paint looks good, and the black power soft-top with the glass rear window also seems to be in good condition. The owner states that the paint is mostly original, but doesn’t indicate where, if anywhere, on the car has been repainted. The car is a stripes-delete version, but the original owner did add pin-striping at some point later. Overall then, everything looks pretty good to me.

I love seeing a 442 where the original owner has ticked the boxes for bucket seats, a floor console, and a floor shifter. To me, these just look right in this car. The interior also presents well and is said to be completely original. The owner says that the car shows 77,000 miles on the clock, but that he can’t confirm the originality of this. However, he does say that the general condition and the way the car drives indicates that the mileage may be correct. The owner does have the Broadcast Card and Protect-O-Plate for the car, and these will go with the car when sold.

The Rocket 455ci engine is lurking under the hood, fitted with power steering and power brakes (front discs). Backing the engine is the TH-400 transmission, and a Posi rear end. The compressor for the air conditioning has been replaced, but the system will need a recharge. The seller purchased the car from the original owner’s estate, and as it hadn’t received much use over the past few years, he decided that prevention was better than cure when it came to the engine. It has now had a valve job, the nylon timing gear has been replaced with steel, and every gasket in the engine has also been replaced. The owner says that it is a tight car that drives really well.

The owner quotes valuation by Hagerty in his sales pitch, and while they are a reasonable indicator of value, I personally don’t tend to rely on them. To me, this is a car that would fall somewhere between a Hagerty’s #3 and #2 condition car. It is possible to find similar cars for around the $30,000 mark if you really search long and hard, but prices closer to $38,000 seem to be fairly normal. The owner of this 442 has set the BIN price at $28,500, but the option is there to make an offer. On the face of it, that seems to make this 442 a pretty competitive proposition.

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  1. TimS

    Well optioned and probably pretty well bought at the buy it now price as long as there’s not $10k of work needed. I’d want a lighter interior color but otherwise what a cruiser that could be.

    Like 4
  2. 70W30

    This guy is very well known on the Olds boards as having questionable integrity as he has a number of aliases that he posts shady cars under. Buyer be very beware.

    Like 19

      Agreed. Buyer be very, very aware.

      I sold a ’69 Cougar convertible to this fellow here in IL. “Joe C.” on You Tube, and aka: “andrew-robert” on eBay now, “vintageGTO” on eBay when I sold a car to him; just 2 of his 4 eBay IDs over the last 3 years.

      His friend bought the car to “restore for his friend’s uncle… who always wanted one of these Cougars.”. Great story line! He immediately listed and misrepresented the car on eBay, saying how good the car had been for him over the years (…he had owned it for a week…), and how solid and original the undercarriage was (the floors were rusted through on both driver’s and passenger’s sides, and had been patched with sheet metal patches; something disclosed to him when I sold it).

      Bid on this car for what it is… you’re certainly not buying the seller.

      Like 3
  3. ccrvtt

    First the Hemi Cuda and now this? I’m going to die of envy. At least this one’s a bit more affordable. I believe the market is stagnating on these, but I don’t see them losing value. Nice find.

    Like 4
  4. Woody

    Thumbs up ccrvt,sometimes I wonder why people want to sell these rare rides,my parents loved old Oldmobiles and this convertible 442 is a cool ride with nice options!The price is not that bad either!

    Like 4
  5. jw454

    Very nice looking car. I’m a convertible guy so it’s pushing my buttons.

    Like 3
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      What he said. Good looking convertible, nuff said.

      Like 0
  6. Rhett

    Seller aside, that’s what I remember as a 442 convertible. They weren’t all W-30’s, or even 455’s. That’s what they looked like, day in and day out circa 1973..only most had whitewalls.

    Like 2
  7. Mountainwoodie

    Had a history teacher in high school who drove one of these 442 verts. He must have been in his early fifties and was a bit of a mystery to me as I thought the car was a bit racy for such a jowly old guy. :) He had a thick foreign accent as I recall and was a really nice guy, very popular with the students; which coupled with the accent and the car made me wonder what was up with him. Maybe a former Gestapo agent I thought. :)

    Like 1
  8. Jamestiect

    and remained hyphenated throughout Oldsmobile’s use of the designation. Beginning in 1965, the 4-4- standard transmission was a 3 speed manual along with optional 2 speed automatic and 4 speed manual, but were still badged as “4-4-2″s. By 1968 badging was shortened to simply “442”, but Oldsmobile brochures and internal documents continued to use the “4-4-2” model designation.

    Like 1
  9. Phil McManus

    This seller just sold a really nice Identical 72 U Code Convertible same colors for low 30’s. Really nice car, my brother bought it.

    Like 0
  10. ROTAG999

    Looks to have good feedback on Flea-bay he also has a 72 442 and 67 Bird vert also listed.

    Like 0
  11. Tom

    Appears from the quarters back is a different shade, but he did say mostly original paint so thats ok. Not clear how long he has owned it, or how much work was done under his ownership. I’ve not seen that air cleaner on an Olds, maybe someone can verify if that”s original? Driver valve cover has an unusual breather on on it, not sure if that’s original. Dash sure looks a little rough in the video, but interior seems nice otherwise.

    Like 1
  12. Wrong Way

    I had a 72 hard top. Wished I still had it. If we could only see into the future we wouldn’t have made our mistakes. I am referring to people my age. The younger generation is in real trouble. Anyway what a nice example. I would easily give up what this guy wants over the Camaro any day.

    Like 1
  13. Jim Norfield

    I know this car from the Homecomings in Lansing. I also watched the videos. The air cleaner is correct for the car, the dash appears OK, the decorative molding appears shrunk, which is pretty typical, breather is some sort of replacement. Surely not a restored car, but a decent driver 442 convertible at 28K you can’t go wrong.

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars Alexander

      Dad had this car down to the color but with a bench seat interior. The molding around the dash will shrink and eventually fall off. The car was only 8 years old when he bought it. First car I ever drove behind the wheel to 100mph. Sucked the gas though.

      Like 0
  14. Bakyrdhero

    I had a 71 Buick Skylark conv. I always thought the Olds had a much nicer interior, while the Buick exterior looked a little more aggressive. Fun cruise night cars

    Like 0
  15. w9bag

    I absolutely love this car ! Right color, right engine. Personally, though, I think all convertibles should have power windows. Saves all the awkward stretching, or walk around to roll the windows up or down. Sit in the driver’s seat, depress 5 buttons, and it’s time to enjoy !

    Like 0
  16. Charles Marks

    A guy in my high school had a copper colored 442 convertible. Was a mild- mannered person until…. he got behind the wheel. Wrecked it in a ditch on the way to the SAT exam. Looked totaled. Brought a bucket and soap to the collision shop and washed the wrecked car. Shop owner was so impressed that he ended up repairing it.

    Like 0
  17. Rick

    Beware . Beware . Beware. Scam artist. Google Joe Cippolla Six North Avaition. He is the seller.

    Like 0
    • Little_Cars

      Rick! Barn Finds item is from January. On the market 5-6 months ago. Listing, as expected, is expired. Photos look like they have been heavily filtered.

      Like 0

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