Lost Interest: 1965 Oldsmobile 442

We’ve all been there, as far as having lost interest in a project car, project truck, motorcycle, boat, motorhome, tractor, whatever. I’m there right now and I have to get back on track now that winter is here and I’ll have time again. This 1965 Oldsmobile 442 is one of those projects for the seller who has it listed here on eBay in Abington, Massachusetts. There is an unmet opening bid of $3,000 and a buy-it-now price of $6,500. Thanks to local_sheriff for sending in this tip!

This is a first-generation Oldsmobile 442, having come to the party the year previous to this car in 1964. The second-generation cars are certainly more popular with the masses but I prefer these early examples. This car looks pretty good, although you can see that there is some variation in the tone of some of the body panels and some issues with the gaps and a ding here and there. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of rust in the body which is nice.

The seller says that they have just plain lost interest in finishing this car. They have a ton of parts that go with it and it runs and just needs someone to spend a few months making it right and straight and nice again. Originally, the 442 stood for a 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, and dual exhaust. In subsequent generations, those definitions evolved.

This car doesn’t have a 4-speed, unfortunately. I know that I always talk about how desirable a manual transmission is and I still think they are. A lot of buyers are looking to check off boxes and having a manual transmission just gives a vehicle that little extra added interest with most buyers today. On the other hand, a lot of buyers don’t want a manual due to the difficulty of driving one in bumper-to-bumper traffic or starting on hills or their knees aren’t what they used to be, so there’s that. The interior looks great in this opening photo but the seller shows us what’s under the carpet in this photo. They mention that it needs help with the floors and an area around the back window.

In 1965, 442 stood for a 400 cubic-inch V8 engine, a 4-barrel carburetor, and dual exhaust. The engine would have had 345 hp and 440 ft-lb of torque, definitely a tire-squealer.  They say that this one runs and drives and it sure looks like a nice project to me. Are there any fans of the first-generation Olds 442 out there or are you all second-gen fans?


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  1. Rhett

    if and when, a 65 442 will be my next project. I appreciate the best-of-class GM 65 model year styling, and these A-bodies look so clean and light next to the 66-67’s. The big-bore 400 punches WAY out of it’s weight class, and the ST300 with a “switch pitch” converter is a fun transmission to play with. Plenty of NOS/OEM spares, and all other mechanicals are common and cheap. Looks like the guy was on the right path with staging this resto, make his loss your gain. Like this one all the way around.

    Like 12
  2. Dave

    This car looks like a worthy candidate for a restomod. Freshen up what needs freshened, call 1-800-WILWOOD for brakes, and drive it! Don’t forget to stock up on octane booster for that Ultra High Compression/ Premium Fuel Only motor.

    Like 5
  3. Ben T. Spanner

    First generation fan. I had a 1964 Cutlass post with the bucket seats, console and tach. Depending on the amount of rust, this good be a deal. AC car is a bonus.

    Like 5
  4. DRV

    Never try to sell a car saying lost interest.

    Like 3
    • Lucas H

      Why? Not arguing just would like to know.

      Like 1
    • Dave

      There’s a Rodney Dangerfield type joke about his wife in there somewhere…

      Like 1
  5. Troy s

    I like em all, but more of a ’68-72 fan on these GM mid sized monsters. Actually like the ram rod 350 W31 and the ’69 Hurst/Olds a tad more than the 442’s, and those two cars are total opposites really. This is a nice ride here, wheels make it stand out.
    Funny but I know some people in their early forties who are clueless when it comes to Oldsmobile. Kinda sucks what became of Olds and Pontiac.

    Like 1
  6. TimM

    Good looking car at a reasonable price in my opinion!! It is in Massive two $hips though so I would check it for rust!!!

    Like 1
  7. Del

    Is that a complete replacement front clip or just fender replacements. Color seems different ?

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