In The Family Again: 1969 Oldsmobile 442 W-30

This beautiful 1969 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 restovivor comes along with a lot of documentation and a neat story. After a short time with the original owner, the current owner’s brother purchased the car in early 1970 and eventually sold it to the current owner’s best friend in 1974. Fast forward to 2002 and the seller purchased it from that best friend. Now it’s up for sale here on eBay, with spirited bidding having topped $35,000 so far. It’s located in Lincoln, Nebraska, not too far from where it was originally purchased.

I’m guessing someone doesn’t like Road Runners! The fact that this is a special ordered color (documented), a four speed 442 W-30 and in pretty darn nice shape, even with claimed 60% original paint is pretty remarkable. The only non-stock items are the wheels (originals are included with the sale) and the exhaust, which is not very hard to return to original (although I’m betting you wouldn’t after listening to it).

The clean lines of this generation Cutlass/442 are very evident in this photo. No question; this car was intended to both look fast and go fast. The odometer shows 96,286 miles from new, and the seller has provided much more information (and contact info if you want more) than the typical advertisement I see. Thanks go to reader Bob J. for spotting that advertisement and sending it in to us!

The seat covers and parcel tray are newly fitted reproduction items; everything else, including the carpet, dash, steering wheel, 8-track tape player and headliner are all the original items. And it’s nice to see that shifter!

While obviously a driver rather than a concours winner, the underside of the car looks to be in great shape as well.

Now this is special. Really. The original engine has just been professionally rebuilt and has less than 100 miles on it! The car actually spent a lot of time with a 455 in place, but thankfully the original unit has followed it around. Not only that, but the original accessories and attachments as well! I know this is a premium price, but in my opinion you are getting a premium car for it. What do you readers think of this 442 W-30?

Fast Finds


  1. Howard A Member

    Wow!!!!!!!! If this car doesn’t do it for you, you might want a family member to wheel you in the nearest healthcare facility. This, for me, was the ULTIMATE 442. In regard to Gary’s question on the ’77, THIS is what the automakers were trying to hang on to. Truth be known, these cars didn’t look like this for long. They were driven hard. While it will be a warm day in N.Wis. before I could ever afford this, it’s fun to remember, this was the heyday of the American muscle car, and even though, I had a lowly 2 door ’64 Valiant V-8, 3 speed,( very similar to BF’s Dart) I’m glad I was part of it. It was a great time to be a young man. Jobs were plentiful, gas was cheap, and just about anybody with a job, could have a fast car like this. It didn’t get any better than this.( maybe a ’69 454 Chevelle) Outstanding example here.

    Like 1
    • Larry K

      Right on Howard!

    • St. Ramone de V8

      Yep. Good as it gets. 👍

    • Greg

      I have a VERY rare set of those wheels…ORIGINAL 15 INCH SS1’S…All 4 are 15X6 with a different lip…Came off a prototype Hurst car, if anyone is looking they are for sale… I have the Motorwheel Part numbers…………

      Like 2
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Thumbs up Howard. What a great car! And the story behind it is outstanding. For some reason, today I wish it were green.

  3. Dave Member

    I’ve been drooling a lot these days. Sheez, what an astounding example of American bad-ass.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dave, I know. I just think of what our European friends were driving in ’69. A 28hp Fiat.( this thing would easily go faster in 2nd gear) :)

  4. bob S

    The high water mark for US auto design and construction. You could put huge miles on this (if you can afford the gas) and keep rebuilding it.

  5. Rock On Member

    I hate to have to correct you Howard, but the 454 didn’t come out until 1970. You could get a 396 in 1969.

    • Howard A Member

      Thanks, Rock On, regardless, the 396 Chevelle was no slouch either. This car, I think, had a bit more class.

    • Glen Riddle

      BTW the ’69 was a 402 actually; just called a 396.

      • Trey

        Glen, the 402 debuted for the 1970 model year.

      • Glen Riddle

        Trey, brain fade on my part. Remembered a friend having the 402 in his brand new Chevy back in 1969, but I just asked him and he confirmed it was a 1970 model year car bought in September 1969. Wish I could say memory is the first to go, but alas many other things have gone by now, too! :-(

        Like 1
  6. PackardMike

    My best friend ordered one of these & followed it down the line when he worked for Olds. In Lansing, Mi. Special order 69 Toronado color Caribbean turquoise. W-30. As I recall the Roadrunners may have been faster, BUT he had a classy Olds. I wanted that car SO bad! What a fun time that was. Except for Viet Nam. He traded it for a Maverick Grabbed & joined the Navy. Thanks for the memories…….

  7. racer99

    Nice car with documented history. It checks all my boxes.

  8. Tom Member

    Awesome car. I guess my thought that a 442 always had a slightly different hood, typically louvered in some way, is wrong. Maybe it is just this year?

    Any 442 experts out there that can explain the W-30, W-31 & W-32 option?

    I have heard confusing explanations along the lines of people trying to argue about what “442” actually stood for. It is a performance option for sure, but I have heard things like A/C or Convertible played into the 30-31-32 designate.

    Anyone know ?

    • JP

      It originally stood for 4 BBL 4 spd Dual exhaust in 1964, but the meaning (or lack thereof) changed over the years.

    • Poppy

      Others can chime in but from what I know, the W-30 was the big block W car (400 cid in ’67-’69, 455 cid from ’70-’72). W-31 was the small block (350 cid ’68-’72) W car – both with fairly radical cams designed for the drag strip. Low vacuum at idle limited some options. The very rare W-32 was a W-30 with a milder cam for better street manners. In ’70 and ’71 W-32 became the option code for the big block Cutlass SX – “The Gentleman’s Muscle Car.”

    • Trey

      Tom, 442 was 4-speed 4-barrel 2-exhaust in 1964.

      In 1965, it changed to 400ci 4-barrel 2-exhaust because the standard tranny became a 3-speed and an auto became availble. This was true through 1969.

      In 1970, a 455 was introduced but the name stuck. All this stemmed from the 88, 98, etc. tradition of numbers and atomic age imagery.

      W30 was an option code for a hi-po package starting in 1966.
      W31 was the same thing, but for a 350ci engine for the F85/Cutlass
      W32 was a hi-po package for the 1969 442 that included the air induction and a state of tune higher than standard but lower than the W30. It was only available with an automatic. For 1970, the option code became available for the Cutlass SX package, which was somewhat like a Turnpike Cruiser that they had for 1967-68. It’s basically like a 442 on the Cutlass Supreme body style, as it’s the same 455. Standard was a 2bbl for the SX, tho. No 1971 SX W32 AFAIK.

      Like 1
      • Poppy

        *Yep, ’66 was the first year after all and no W-32 in ’68. Thanks for corrections.
        *Definitely an SX in ’71 but not in ’72. SXs with the 442-spec. engine were the only ones with the W-32 option code. The 2bbl and some lo-po 4bbl SX cars had the Y79 “Turnpike Cruiser” option code.
        *Lastly, I should clarify that the W-31 option in ’68 was badged “Ram-Rod 350.” All are awesome cars.

  9. Dan

    I drove one in 1971 on the local Olds dealers used car lot. 4 speed with I think 4.10 years, the thing was a beast. Had the scoops under the front bumper for the ram air hoses, alas I was just 19 and couldn’t afford it.

  10. Rock On Member

    Don’t feel too bad Howard. Remember Bruce Springsteen singing about his ’69 Chevy with a 396, fuelie heads and a four on the floor? Fuelie heads only fit on small block Chevys.

    • Scot Douglas

      Well, you don’t have to be smart to sing. :)

  11. JW

    Beautiful car, love it !!!

  12. Blindmarc

    Dream car!

  13. Woodie Man

    The holy grail! For me at least………time to wipe out the savings?

  14. Joe

    What a very nice example of a true muscle car. My opinion may be just a little biased, as the owner of a 68 442 for 40 years I can say these cars are big fun to own and drive. But heck aren’t all muscle cars and hot rods fun to own and drive!

  15. Rustytech Member

    I’m not usually into bumper stickers, but I love that one! That’s saying a lot as I’m a Mopar guy. Gorgeous car.


    My 68 H/O had those original vacuum cleaner ducts under the bumper and those red plastic inner fenders, so nice to see an original car that hasn’t been wrecked w changes….

  17. ccrvtt

    My 3rd car was a ’69 Cutlass coupe in Cortez Gold. This was not a particularly common color but it wasn’t rare, either. Olds had a lighter gold as well. I loved the lines on that car. They were well-balanced and coherent. The elimination of the beltline on the C-pillar of the B-O-P intermediates was very sleek. But those were the days of the dreaded Black Vinyl Top and GM saw fit to force them onto these cars. The worst was the Olds because it looked like some kid just drew a straight line across. Thankfully this beautiful example was not mutilated with a BVT. This car is worth the premium price. It’s only going to get more valuable as time goes on.

  18. erikj

    Me to, I love to see these kind of old school muscle cars. As a highschooler of the 70s I seen a lot of real steel. I wound up buying and selling(to pay for the next lol) a wonder of muscle like this. To this day, I wish I could write a book of all I had. Truth is, nobody would believe me!!!. So I rest silent in my times. I had for real, hundreds of what’s now massive dollar stuff. At least I have the story’s-for real.
    Back to this 442- of the 3 remember was a 68 4sp 400 red/black int. the orig. owner was going to keep the engine to put in a truck since the brakes went bad in the 442. I came along and saved the car for 300.oo and sold it to a guy that loved it enough to want to make his jewel. Saved it from junk back in the 80s.

  19. George

    nicest 442 ive seen in a while!

  20. Mr. Bond

    Love it. I had a 69 442 convertible in high school. A great ride. Raced a couple of brothers with a brand new fully loaded Trans Am up a long steep hill and all they could say at the top was that my car smoked a little when it shifted gears.

  21. Tom Driscoll

    How awesome to buy a very special car from an honest individual with only 3 Ebay transactions as opposed to flipper talking out the side of his mouth…
    That’s rare!

    Like 1
  22. racer99

    $35K+ with 9 hours left.

  23. Rolf Poncho 455

    nice nice nice love the shape

  24. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended, reserve not met at $35,300.00. 40 bids.

  25. Gearheaddoppings

    I have owned a 1969 442 (post car) for almost 20 years. Great car that gets a ton of looks. The “D” heads on the W-30 car are getting to be worth a small fortune. Just a few more weeks and I get to wake her up.

  26. Rick Rothermel

    The ’69 Cutlass/442 is one of The handsomest cars ever made by GM. Not a wasted line on the whole car. This one? Stunning!

    Like 1
  27. Jim Koziol

    Not sure if any of the above enthusiasts who posted all of the kind comments on this car will get this but I would like to thank you!! I just stumbled across this article last night for the 1st time and was Blown away by the interest. Since it has been 3 years I would also like to provide this update. I did sell the car to a friend in 2017 that pretty much just kept the car in storage. Because of the history of the car I recently had sentimental reasons to buy the car back and now have the car in my garage to stay!! Here is a bit more trivia and clarifications for those of you car nuts! The cartoon on the back bumper was hand painted by the original owner. I contacted him 2002 when I 1st bought the car back from my close friend. Original owner had a couple buddies that bought new Roadrunners and neither one could ever beat him!! I might mention that he was running open headers, 456 gears, and slicks while utilizing “drag bags” in the rear coil springs for additional launching stability! Probably a pretty nasty competitor for 1969-70 standards!!! When I acquired the car in 2002 the rear bumper was the only thing that needed replacing due to the exhaust erosion from the trumpet tips. I then repainted the cartoon in its exact form and location. All of the car guys from my home town remember the car and the cartoon!!! Now with the original motor I am running 2″ tube Hooker Super Comp headers into 3″ Pypes exhaust in the original location. I had to have the trumpet tips custom made and chrome plated to keep the integrity of the car. Along with the added performance it really as a “healthy” sound!! Very different than your basic
    Camaro or Chevelle with Flowmasters! 😊 I am currently trying to research just how many 1969 W-30 4 speeds were ordered with “special order” paint. Mine has the 2 hyphens for the paint code on the metal dash tag. I also have a build sheet showing Special Paint 1969 olds “X” Nugget Gold which was only offered on the Toronado. It’s possible that this is a “one of one car??? Well thanks for reading if anyone gets this. Jim

    • Trey

      Everyone thinks his car is special. Go to a show and tell me your car is 1 of 1 without evidence and I’ll laugh at you.

      Like 1
    • md

      Looks like the same color as the “Fournado” ?

  28. Jim Koziol

    You’re right, everyone does think their car is special. So what do you have Trey?

    • Trey

      I don’t currently have a car but my last one was a GTO.

  29. Pete

    Had a 1965 442 that I convinced my father to buy as a family car. That car ran. After getting out of the service purchased a new 69 Olds 442, convertible. Blue with white interior and white pin-striping. For a stock car it screamed. GTO’s, Chevelle’s… more wins than losses. What a car. Seeing this beauty brings back some fond memories. Once an Olds man, always an Olds man.

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