Barn Find Project: 1969 Oldsmobile 442

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The 4-4-2 began as just an option package for the Oldsmobile Cutlass back in ’64, but by the time the 1968 model rolled around, the car had earned the status of becoming its own model, a position it retained in the brand’s lineup for the next four years.  Upon first glance, this one may not have a whole lot of eye appeal, but if you’re a DIY body man and happen to have a spare motor taking up space in your garage, this 1969 Oldsmobile is indeed a genuine 442, as evidenced by the 44 that can be spotted in the top row of the data tag.

The seller tells us that a barn in Oklahoma was home to this Olds for several years, and even though what remains of the paint has deteriorated considerably, the quarters are believed to be rust-free.  That’s not to imply that getting the body prepped here will be a walk through the park, as there are some dents and plenty of smoothing out to be done before this one will be ready for a respray.  It appears that some efforts have already been attempted on both sides, but there’s still work to be done here.  Hopefully, once the next owner gets under that baked-on finish, most of the panels will be deemed salvageable.

A couple of engine sizes were available for the 4-4-2 in ’69, beginning with the 350 and topping out at 400 cubic inches, with the 455 reserved for the Hurst/Olds as reader jangus pointed out.  Unfortunately, whichever previously resided in the bay here is long gone, along with the transmission.  If there’s any good news about the missing combo, it’s that this one will never have a numbers-matching drivetrain again, so the future owner can stick anything he wants under the hood without feeling any guilt in doing so.  The compartment itself appears quite solid, so it’s probably not far from ready to accept whatever is chosen to bolt in there.

It’s a sad state of affairs inside, with some rust in the floorboards and just about everything needing some sort of attention.  This one’s going to take considerable effort to get back to its former glory, but it is a vintage muscle car offering, so if you’re seeing potential the hardtop is now located in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and can be found here on eBay.  Bidding has reached $1,000 so far, but it will take more for this one to exchange hands, as the reserve has not yet been reached.  Is this 1969 Oldsmobile 442 at a reasonable starting point to take on as a project?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Steve R

    It’s a decent project, though the brown/brown, bench seat, automatic is pretty bland.

    Last time the seller listed it for auction it opened at $3,500, there was one bidder, but the reserve was set higher. It’s probably worth more than that, but the seller would need the paperwork to register the car to be in order, if it wasn’t, why bother, I’d keep looking if it weren’t.

    Steve R

    Like 2
  2. jangus

    The “late” 400 was the largest engine available to the public in a 442 for ’69. The 455 was restricted to the Hurst Olds for ’69 (as far as the Cutlass platform was concerned).

    Like 3
  3. CadmanlsMember

    It’s a project alright! Few ways to go with this one, but will include plenty of time and money.

    Like 3
  4. John

    A lot of work ahead on this one. It would have included the small bore long stroke 400 V8 big block V8, not known for performance so a 455 swap is the way to go. At least it is an A/c car. For trannies, the GM 200R4 is a good pick. I’m running one behind my roller cam 455 in my 68 442.
    Still, a lot of time and money needed for a car that might be a $20k car when done.
    It may be a better parts/doner car for someone that has one with rust issues.

    Like 1
  5. Robert West

    If he’s wanting what I think he wants for it then he should have sold it years ago before it got in this bad shape. What is worse is that the original drivetrain is gone. This needs tons of work and money and since it isn’t a mainstream car like a Chevelle then finding parts is going to be a challenge.

    Like 1
  6. Matthew Dyer

    Used to be…
    My great grandparents drove a ’70 Chevelle.
    My grandparents drove a ’69 Cutlass.
    My 12 year old eye liked the Olds best.
    Who cares?

    Like 0
  7. JCH841

    Since the 400 long stroke is gone (good riddance) I believe the hot set up ($$) would be the 455 (displacement) with 425 heads (better flow). And a M22 with the factory double disc clutch. In my best Elmer Fudd voice, “be very very quiet, we’re hunting Mopars and Chevys

    Like 1

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