Daughter’s First Car: 1973 Oldsmobile 442

This 1973 Oldsmobile 442 was acquired from the original owner, who parked the car in 1979, from which point it remained in various stages of storage and slumber. The one-female owner was given the 442 as her first car by seemingly very trusting parents, and evidently she took care of the vehicle while on the road. Some rust has crept in while it’s been stationary, but the seller notes it’s minimal and they’ve sorted it out enough that it now runs and drives. Find it here on eBay with bids past $5,300 and the reserve unmet.

While this iteration of the 442 may seem like a far cry from the fire-breathing original, there was still plenty to like: upgraded suspension with bigger anti-roll bars, plenty of stripes and decals, and available V8 engines. You could have built one of these with the 455 and a four-speed stick, but that configuration doesn’t pop up all that often. This one has the standard Olds Rocket 350, which makes about 200 b.h.p., and is paired to a factory automatic transmission. I love the old-school CB antenna on the trunk – I hope the next owner leaves it in place.

The 442 also came with some of the best bucket seats ever seen in a domestic coupe, with a sporty shape and deep bolsters. The most impressive feature, however, was the ability to swivel, allowing drivers to simply turn their bodies and exit the vehicle. Really, swivel seats should have come back into production years ago, and I wonder why they’re still not a thing. The backseat looks unused from here, which is completely possible given the one female owner since new and years of hibernation with no passengers coming or going.

The seller notes this 442 retains all of its original details – original paint, numbers matching engine, and obviously, a tattered-but-original interior. The fact that they were able to get this 442 running again with presumably minimal effort is a good sign for the next owner, and the very honest appearance of the car would seem to suggest it’s led as boring of a life as the sellers suggest.

While this 442 will never be as much fun to melt the tires on, the looks are there and the interior is a fine place to spend time – throw on a free-flowing exhaust and call it a day.

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Comments

  1. Rob

    nothing but a gutless cutlass….LOL

    Like 5
    • Arthur

      That makes it a perfect candidate for a custom chassis and an LS swap with either a Tremec T-56 Magnum or a Bowler Performance 4L80E with Lokar Sport Shifter.

      • Steve R

        People building that style of project will start with a better car.

        Steve R

        Like 1
    • bone

      You’d be surprised- while not as powerful as the earlier models, these would still move out . I had a 1974 Supreme with the 350 rocket and 3:08 gears and believe me that thing would boil the tires off. My parents street had some many black striped on the road it looked like an airport landing strip !

      Like 4
  2. Dave

    Antenna is a Turner Signal Kicker. Didn’t see a radio in the photos, but a 23 channel mobile would be period correct as 40 channels started coming out on January 1st, 1977.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      The car has an AM/FM with CB. Look at the walk around in the video I posted below.

      • Dave

        Good eye! That is a Panasonic AM/FM/CB radio combination. I would guess that it’s a 40 channel but info on those is hard to find.

  3. irocrobb

    Some parents buy there kids a car when they turn 16. I had to buy my own bicycle when I was young
    . I never cared for this year in a 442. Make mine a 1970

    Like 8
    • Duaney

      Sure, everyone wants a 1970, but they’re now $40,000 millions, and this 1973 is affordable. At least by 73 the suspension is improved, and the steering.

      Like 4
  4. Miguel

    This car was actually sold at Copart not long ago.

    It was included on a Copart walk around in this video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvrU-Z8UR7o

    Like 7
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      So then…. THIS:

      “We purchased this vehicle from the original owner. Her parents bought it new for her first car. She drove the car until 1979 when she parked it on the side of her house until 1989 when she parked it in a warehouse. We bought it from her and serviced it and cleaned it up. All original paint and motor, completely stock car with 54,996 ACTUAL original miles! Car has very little rust and runs and drives! ”

      Is a palpable LIE?? !!!

      Thanks for the reality check, and good research, Miguel.

      Edit: The only way it seems as though the eBay seller’s assertion could be true is if the car was put through COPART by the lister, before posting it to eBay. Yea, that doesn’t make too much sense, but I suppose that it is possible.

      Like 4
      • Miguel

        Anything is possible. You can see in the walk around video I posted that the seat is the same one in these pictures and the yard it was at was in Del City Oklahoma. The Ebay seller is in Oklahoma City, so it has to be the same car.

        If I were a seller, I would have listed it on Ebay first to get the maximum amount out of it as possible. Copart sells to dealers and they pay as little as possible.

        Like 2
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Little doubt that it is the same car.

      Found a record of the listing on an auction tracking site, but I can’t link directly to it. Went through the auction @ Oklahoma City on 11/26. Maxed out at $5100, but that is listed as “Price Sold or Highest Bid”.

      https://www.salvageautosauction.com/price_history

      Enter 1973 Oldsmobile, and it comes up at the top of the list.

      Not a verifiable answer to the question of whether the seller is being truthful, but is sure seems sketchy!

      Like 1
  5. Miguel

    Here is another one that was salvaged and went to Copart. I can’t believe for such a small bit of damage they total a nice car.

    https://www.copart.com/lot/26675276

    Like 4
    • Barney

      So question. Do you have to have a dealers license to buy from Copart?

      • Miguel

        No. There are states that allow anybody to buy there and the states that do require a license will allow you to use a broker. It will cost a little more, but it is possible.

      • Dave

        There’s a Copart about two miles from my house and they sell to anybody. You have to compete with dealers at the auction so you have to be savvy about how much you want to spend. For the number of wrecked cars they have the place looks more like a junkyard than a used car lot.

      • Miguel

        Copart isn’t a used car lot, it is a salvage auction where some complete cars are also sold.

      • Dave

        Just making a comparison. There used to be a Goodwill auto auction next to where I was working and they had better and more interesting cars than Copart. Two that I remember were a 67 Fury fastback and a 64 Mercury Monterey.

        Like 1
  6. Arthell64 Member

    I had friends that drove these and I always like them. I remember they rode well.

    Like 3
    • Dave

      This year featured a “Steel Side Guard Door Beam” that was essentially a piece of highway guardrail inside the door! They work well but make the doors quite heavy.

      Like 2
  7. TimS Member

    This is a great bodystyle and not every car needs a 500-horsepower big block. Fair amount of work to do here but once someone does, he won’t see another like it very often.

    Like 6
  8. Stevieg

    I just hope it has a clear title, and that it isn’t a salvage title from going through Copart. Not every car that goes through them is salvage.

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      It did have a clear title when they were selling it at Copart.

      The car did run pretty well in the walk around.

      Like 1
  9. Mike D

    These colonnade body styles are really starting to grow on me. Didn’t like them much at the time.

    Like 2
  10. Stevieg

    Keep in mind that Copart will sell anyones car. They don’t sell just for insurance companies, although that is the majority of their business. Copart MIGHT have sold it for the now older woman as a 1 owner vehicle, or her estate. On the other hand, the current seller might just be full of crap lol.
    I used to own a used car lot & I have gone to many dealer auctions, a couple times a week. Car dealers want to maximize their profit. I would much rather bid against car dealers than the general public. The general public will just keep on bidding on a car, as long as they think they are getting a bargain. If you get two morons who want a car, they will go to rediculous lengths to get the car. You see it on Barrett Jackson all the time. Whoever said you have to be savvy when going to bid against dealers was not exactly correct. Sometimes you get a dealer who will bid against you to raise the price against another dealer as sort of a middle finger to the opposing dealer, like saying “I just took away your profit” lol. I learned those games the hard way from some old timers who thought I was a cocky young punk (maybe they were right lol). I learned those games well & was able to spot them, & I got them back lol.

    Like 4
    • Dave

      Gotta remember that the dealers know how much they can sell a car for. That price includes the labor at their mechanic and detail shop. This only applies to general late model cars. If they’re bidding on a special interest car then flipping it ASAP with the barest minimum of labor comes into play.
      The more work you can do yourself, the greater advantage you have. Just as you don’t want to get into a bidding war, a savvy dealer isn’t going to get upside down on a car. But you have to know when to say when, and if you’re in over your head, fold ’em and stick the other guy with an upside-down deal. He’s buying the car to sell it; you’re buying it to fix it up and drive it.

      Like 1
  11. Oregon_Guy78

    My parents had a 1975 Monte Carlo with swivel seats

    Like 3
    • lc

      My first car that my brother gave me was a 73 Monte Carlo without swivel seats. It had bench seat, 350ci, auto. It was gold/beige color that I had repainted same color and got rid of the vinyl top. It looked nice with the tinted windows. Unfortunately, I backed the passenger side of it into my parents rod iron fence, and I lost interest in it from there. Sold it for $800.

  12. James Martin

    73 is getting pretty popular. Most are ho,s but they are commanding pretty high price . I had a swivelbucket 4 speed 73 s it looked a lot like this car, minus strips. I am interested to see what this car sells for. I have a 75 442, basically same car just different sheet metal.

    Like 2
  13. Andrew Franks

    It’s a bizarre and very interesting design. I would consider it if I had a place to put it; I’m negotiating for more space in a larger building and frankly I’m running out of patience doing business with an apparent moron landlord, and I don’t care if he reads this but i doubt it.

  14. Bob McK Member

    The daughter sure did a lot of damage in 6 years. I have never seen a seat with that much damage after being driven so few miles. Something smells here…

    Like 2
  15. Doug F

    It sat outside the house in the sun for ten years, then someone got in it and it was moved to a warehouse, vinyl doesn’t take too well to sitting in the sun closed up for ten years. The steering wheel didn’t survive too well either, but amazingly the top of the dash and back seat look fine.

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Well, that is the story told, anyway. If you read above, you’d see that the car went through a COPART auction at the end of last month. That kind of calls into question what is said in the description in the eBay listing.

      Like 2
  16. TimM

    Cleaned up it could be a good driving car!! Not the monster that the earlier 442’s were but a decent car!!!

  17. lc

    I just saw a 73 Pontiac Grand Am on American Classics show. It had a LS engine in it that produced about 600 horse power. It was silver in color, and looked pristine.

  18. lc

    If that was my car, a bid at $5350, SOLD!

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Ya well, if the eBay lister paid $5100 at COPART plus their fees, he’d be hurting to let it go for that.

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