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Colonade Muscle: 1977 Oldsmobile 442

The numbers 442 mean different things to different people. Some see 4 barrel, 4 speed, and dual exhausts. Later generations see 4 cylinder, 4 valves, and 2 camshafts. Either way, for most car guys and gals, 442 means some of the fastest and toughest Oldsmobile’s ever made. This final year colonnade coupe still wears those famed numbers on its faded flanks. Find this 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 in Sioux City, Iowa for $2500 here on craigslist or saved here.

Though this particular year and model might not have been the first 442 to come to mind, it still found more than 11,000 buyers in 1977. The new 403 Rocket V8 seen here was the top dog motor now that the 455 was out of the picture. All 442s that received the 403 came with a Turbo Hydra-Matic three speed automatic, and this example has the optional floor shifter with console. Though 1977 Cutlass’ received a new front clip for their top selling year, the 442 kept the older, more aerodynamic nose with new grill inserts.

Restoration, repair, or parts is how this tired muscle car is listed. If restoration is the route, then every piece of this car has needs. The 403 is said to run and the car is driveable, but the brakes may or may not work, the gas tank has a possible leak, and the exhaust system probably resembles Swiss cheese.

Rust and corrosion look to be coming out from every panel, with the worst being the rear quarter panels and the non existent driver’s side floor pan. The car is said to have had repair work done to the front end after meeting an unwanted animal thirty years ago. The paint definitely looks original, if tired, and a lot of the trim is still intact.

The interior perfectly mirrors the exterior. The dashboard is covered in cracks, the plastic interior panels are crumbling like so many GM cars of this era, the carpet is stained, the optional buckets need new vinyl, and the windows and door locks need repair. You can almost hear those heavy doors groan on their tired hinges! On the positive, the headliner is still intact, the steering wheel looks clean, and the car has a lot of options like tilt, AC, and a clock. There are definitely some salvageable parts if that it is the route.

What fate do you think this big 442 deserves? We all know with an unlimited budget that this cruiser would make a great pro-touring candidate. The car could be repaired and driven as is with all the patina intact. Or is it time that this 442 donates its useable parts to more worthy candidates?


  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    Stick a fork in it, it’s done.
    The bigger question is what’s right about it?

    • Mark

      The headliner is still good, so they say. Is that enough? Not for the faint of heart.

      • Fordfan

        That’s because its the old type , hung from wire hangers across the roof 1978 had the saggy new foam type glued to cardboard

  2. ccrvtt

    Despite my affinity for Oldsmobiles, my favorite colonnade car is the ’73 Buick Regal GS. The later 442s were tape-stripe muscle cars.

    Hard to get much horsepower out of tape.

    • Dave Siton

      My favorite colonnade is a 77 can am. Still want to add one to my collection

  3. Midwest Jeff

    In this case, “442” could easily equate to “$4,000 + $4,000 + $2,000”

  4. Superdessucke

    I see 4 rusty body panels, 4 bald tires, and 2 rusty doors.

  5. Dave Siton

    Boy, everything looks repairable except where in the hell would you find a dash replacement for this?

  6. Rx7turboII

    I usually like most of the 442’s…but this one is more like a 44 Ewwwwww…

  7. DR Member

    Not everything should be saved from the crusher. Next shift at the junkyard starts at 4:42.

  8. Neal Schnell

    Somebody somewhere should save her.

  9. bull

    His ad could have been shortened if the seller told us what the car DOES NOT NEED rather than what it does need!

    Damn shame as it is a 403 car. $1,000 car IF you really wanted it!

  10. Jon Hellinga

    I live close by if anyone wants me to take a look! But it does look tough

    • James

      Hi Jon I would like to know if the seats swivel and if the seller is willing to sell for less. My brother had one of these blue & white and he has cancer looks like he’s going to beat it and I know this would help his spirits Thank you James email

  11. Buick Fan

    It’s junk, sorry…

  12. Troy s

    Muscle was long gone by the time this 442 hit the showroom. To call it one is a complete insult to all the real 442’s that were built for speed. Would have been a potential bomber stocker a my local circle track before they tore it down a few years back.

    • russell s

      Exactly. Imagine lumping this lump in with say a 1970 W30 442, which WAS a muscle car. This was just a dull midsize with a slightly less slow and more thirsty engine than your mom’s car. Ecch.

  13. howard maryles

    Perfect as is! Too bad it’s not a four door!

  14. jaymes

    easy fix

  15. JohnD

    This definitely was not my father’s Oldsmobile, but I always wished he’d bought one instead of his ‘77 Regal. Love the buckets and floor shifter. I grew up w/ these cars in the 70s and 80s and have a big soft spot for them. As ubiquitous as they were in the late 70s it’s hard to find a nice one left.

  16. russell s

    The 73 Cutlass was far and away the best looking of this series. This is ugly even if it was in good condition, which it’s not.

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