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Celebrity Owner: 1966 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

When I look at classic cars where it is claimed that a previous owner was a celebrity, I treat these claims with a certain amount of skepticism. The owner of this 1966 Oldsmobile 442 hold documentation to verify his claim, but I will leave it up to our readers to decide whether this has any potential impact on the vehicle’s ultimate value. This 442 is located in Winchester, New Hampshire, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding is sitting at $9,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The owner states that the Oldsmobile once belonged to Lou Gramm, the original lead singer of the band Foreigner. He does hold documentation to verify this fact, but I’m not sure that this really adds any great value to the car (unless you are a devoted fan of the band). It has undergone a repaint in its original Tropic Turquoise at some point in its life, but the quality of this isn’t good. In fact, the owner refers to it as a “20 footer,” which indicates that it looks a lot better from a distance. Rust is confined to a spot in the trunk floor, and another area around the left rear body mount. The rest of the car appears to be quite solid, but the soft-top is looking pretty tired now.

The interior of the 442 isn’t perfect, but it is certainly of reasonable “driver” quality. The upholstery on the driver’s seat is quite stretched, and the whole thing looks like it would benefit from a good clean. The armrests on both doors are also damaged, but the dash and center console both look to be quite good. The carpet also looks pretty good, so a clean and a new cover on the driver’s seat would see the interior looking very presentable.

It’s when we peer under the hood that the owner of the 442 starts to get confused. The engine is the 400ci V8, but it isn’t clear whether this is original. Personally, I have my doubts. The plate indicates that the car was built in the 1st week of February in 1966, but the engine date codes as 1965. The engine also doesn’t wear a 442 air cleaner, or the correct decals on the engine itself. That leads me to doubt the engine’s originality. Backing the engine is the Jetaway automatic transmission, while the car is also fitted with power steering and power brakes. The owner does say that the engine doesn’t turn, but is unsure whether the starter is stuck, or the engine is locked.

Normally I would be all over a 442 project car, and while this is a solid one, the uncertainty surrounding the engine takes the edge off it for me. The previous celebrity owner also doesn’t really make any difference in my book to the ultimate value of the car. Immaculate original or restored ’66 442 Convertibles can fetch some pretty respectable prices, and I have to admit that this one is quite a solid car. Would you take it on, and would the famous owner make any difference to you?


  1. Avatar photo Rodney - GSM

    Lou Gramm’s Oldsmobile? Not exactly The Beach Boy’s Little Deuce Coupe….

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo Robert Roberge

      Or, another way of looking at it, “Who”?

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Thomas Jeffers

        Lou Gramm was the excellent original vocalist for the hugely popular Foreigner band.The group’s fans would recognize his name right away but I realize some people just don’t know.They had songs “Cold As Ice”,”Double Vision’ “Feels Like The First Time.”

        Like 1
  2. Avatar photo dirtyharry

    The whole notion of added value, because a celebrity broke wind in that very seat is ridiculous. There are exceptions, such as famous movie cars, like the James Bond DB. But this is no Aston and it doesn’t have any screen credits either.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Scott Williams

      If only it were a LeBaron convertible owned by John Voight.

      Like 24
      • Avatar photo Will Fox

        yea….a real gold mine there…..

        Like 1
  3. Avatar photo TimM

    Nice fix-er-up-er!!! Good to go and drive while you fix!!

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo RichieRich

    Until a few years ago I owned a BMW 750iL V12 formerly owned by Bill Cosby and fully documented. Never mind the ultimate result of his celebrity, this should have provided some level of interest beyond just the car. It was hit while parked on the street waiting on my mechanic by some clown doing 60 plus who lost control of his Hyundai, collecting both my car (totalled) and a Cadillac Escalade (totalled) in the process of shoving both of them into a Maxima in front of me. His insurance offered $3,500 for my “30 year old car” so I went to my collector policy who paid me $12,000, but the only reason they did so was because it was agreed-upon value and I was paying the premiums to support that. Bottom line, don’t count on celebrity status to make anything worth more than it is for what it is.

    Like 10
  5. Avatar photo Haig L Haleblian

    I don’t want to play any head games or seem cold as ice, but isn’t that color midnight blue? I was hot blooded for this ride, but it feels like the first time I felt cold as ice over this ride because it’s a long way from home. I guess it was just another double vision day for this dirty white boy.
    badda bing swish.

    Like 38
    • Avatar photo Capriest

      You rocking the foreigner belt?

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Will Fox

      …….don’t quit yer day job.

      Like 2
  6. Avatar photo redwagon

    Have a thumbs up — now show yourself out…….

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo Bob C.

    Midnight blue, ohhhhhhhhh.

    Like 2
  8. Avatar photo Newport Pagnell Member

    “Rev On The Red Line” Lou…Great band!

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo Johnmloghry

    It’s worth a look see. Not because it belonged to a singer, but because it’s a 53 year old convertible in reasonable condition. The engine is of some concern as to the value, yet even if it needs a rebuuld and it looks like a new top for the right price you could end up with a very nice cruiser.
    God bless America

    Like 5
  10. Avatar photo Morley Brown Member

    I have a lead on a burnt Superbird that was in Europe and own by an obscure order of Monks. Alas their obscurity is so obscure that little is known about them and the new owner has to swear an oath to be obsecure!!!!!

    Like 3
  11. Avatar photo John Oliveri

    Graham Parsins? Now we’re talking, Lou Graham? No clue, nice car, if I had room, and a few extra dollars it could’ve been Dolly Partons I’d take it home

    Like 0

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