Humpty Dumpty: 1974 Oldsmobile 442 W-30

There’s always a healthy debate (discussion?) (argument?) when a third-generation 442 comes up. This 1974 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 is an incomplete project car so the next owner will need a lot of talent and money to finish it. We featured this one last year, but the seller has lower his asking price to $3,995 and relisted it here on eBay. Check it out and let us know if you could put it back together again.

The body on this 442 looks really good, at least given that it’s a Midwest car and it’s 44 years old now. There will be rust to repair, of course, there always is. But, it doesn’t appear that there is a lot of horrible lose-sleep type of rust-out and heavy fabrication. The trunk floor is coated with heavy surface rust but hopefully that can be treated so it doesn’t get any worse.

Being an unusual guy, I really like this generation Cutlass – especially when it’s a 442. And even more so when it’s a big-block 455-powered W-30 car. This car even has the “rare Hurst alarm system and fender key.”

Umm.. ok, so you’ll have to hit the aftermarket catalogs for interior kits, you’ve done it before! The seats have seen better days and that dash gives me the shivers.

But, how about that engine compartment! Wait, hey, where’s the 230 hp 455 V8 that should be poked down in that hole?! Ahh.. here it is, sitting on an engine stand. The seller says that this “is 1 of 380 made with the W30 package and Big Block 455 engine. Numbers matching engine and transmission that are currently out of the car.” Do you think you could put this Humpty Dumpty back together again? It sure would be a fun car.


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  1. Superdessucke

    Actually, this looks like a 1974 Hurst/Olds, not a regular 442.

  2. slickb
    • grant

      As noted in the article

      • slickb

        oh.. I missed that. oh well no big deal

  3. Nrg8

    4k? The saving grace was the options. Start trying to put this back together you will be upside down in no time. Motor locked up? Blown up? Knocking? Machine shop bill could run high. Pass

  4. Classic Steel

    Ugly design by Olds who Gave up performance in gas crunch times.
    This boat has an anchor of weight and was a family size car compared to past performance of early 70s and late 60s muscle and cool design 🙃😢

  5. Sanity Factor

    Hurst olds not 442….

  6. Tort Member

    The GM designers should have been fired after coming up with this! Gaudy and just pure ugly!

  7. Henry Drake

    What’s that saying about boats? The two happiest days are when you buy it and when you sell it. The seller is trying to get that second happy day on this puzzle.

  8. Jack

    Funny, I just read this listing in Hemmings the other day about a restored 1975 Hurst Olds.

    • Steve

      IMO, if you just had to have a post 72 H/O or 442 for some reason, then the car in the Hemmings ad would be the way to go. There is a lot more than $18k in the resto of one of these…

    • r spreeman

      Hugely better value in the Hemmings car for $18K. Add $14K to this hunk of junk and you won’t be halfway there.

  9. ccrvtt

    Goofy striping doesn’t look like real Hurst to me, but I’m getting old. Despite being a native Lansingite and an unrepentant Oldsmobile fan, the Cutlasses were the least successful examples of the Colonnade-era styling. (The 1973 Montes and Skylark GSs were the best.)

    As for this car it’s overpriced by a decimal point at least.

    Maybe two.

  10. Steve

    That 455 could be rebuilt with more compression and a better cam to make more power than even the hotter but stock 455’s of earlier vintage, so that wouldn’t be an issue, IMO. What would scare me away would be trying to track down resto parts for a platform that isn’t supported by the aftermarket.

  11. Rustytech Member

    What ate half the front seat? The interior and electrical (i.e. Dash ) scare me more then the engine/transmission.

  12. PatrickM

    No power train, bad electrical, lots of interior work…… Not $4k. Half

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