Low-Mile Survivor: 1987 Oldsmobile 442

This 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 is a nicely preserved example of one of the later iterations of Oldsmobile’s classic muscle car. Though it was a slightly different take on the iconic original, it’s still a model that we don’t see much of today, and this one appears to be in extremely nice condition with low miles and its original 442 graphics still visible on the bumpers. The seller notes that it has just over 44,000 original miles and that the Carfax is clean. The paintwork is probably the highlight here, as the shine coming off of it is impressive in photos. Find the here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $18,999.

That is a tall asking price for a model that historically, has not commanded big numbers. Still, the question that’s usually poised at times like this is how many are still available in this nice of condition? As is often the case with limited edition domestic muscle cars, the number of time-warp specimens may surprise you: many a collector socked cars like this 442 and every pace car tribute ever made away like the grown-up version of baseball cards and comic books. Whether you’re cleaning out the garage or the attic, someone else usually has the same edition is similarly preserved condition. Regardless, this 442 is in original condition with no obvious modifications.

The story under the hood was likely depressing for anyone who drove an original 442. The 307 V8 produced a paltry 170 b.h.p., and both 0-60 and quarter mile times were fairly average. The interior didn’t differ greatly, either, from a standard Cutlass, which certainly didn’t help matters inside with making this late 442 tribute feel like a collector car. It’s always surprised me that Olds didn’t spring for some decent Recaro seats, a better steering wheel, and some other cosmetic dress-up to round out the 442 package, especially considering there was no significant boost to be found under the hood.

Regardless, this is a very nicely preserved example with gorgeous paint, a mint interior, and no obvious alterations from stock. It comes with the usual assortment of convenience features, and the seller notes the Olds makes a good noise with its factory dual exhaust. The asking price seems a touch high to me, especially given I can’t find too many other recent sales that demonstrate the Cutlass 442 of this generation has been tearing it up on the auction block. For my money, I’d rather hunt down a genuine Monte Carlo Aero Coupe; which special edition G-body would you choose?


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  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t see this Cutlass bringing that kind of money. Besides the 442 badging, there’s not much here to differentiate it from a standard Cutlass. Granted, it’s in great shape with low miles but I think the seller will be lucky to get half of what he’s asking.

    Like 13
    • nlpnt

      It’s essentially a more tasteful (then)/less retro-cool alternative to a regular Cutlass Supreme.

      It’s always nice to see one without a vinyl top and on rally wheels, although the late Bill Mitchell-era razor edge styling was dated in ’87 it’s aged well since and that shows it to best effect, but the FWD Cutlass Calais that inherited the 442 name from it was more in step with where the sporty coupe buyer was in the late ’80s (unfortunately for it those buyers were not in an Olds showroom).

      Like 1
    • Phlathead Phil

      IMHO, I think YHO (your humble opinion) is correct.

      In Cali, the seller is REQUIRED to have a CURRENT Smog Certificate to sell a vehicle, which, is ONLY good for 90 days. DMV WILL NOT license a post 74-75 vehicle without it. Ask me how I know.

  2. GuernseyPagoda Member

    Always loved the rims on the these 442’s.

    Like 14
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      I think those rims were used on Cutlass Brougham’s and maybe other models for a couple of years. Yes they were attractive IMO also.
      Car looks good but IMO it’s more of a cruiser now rather than a teeth rattler.

      Like 3
  3. Steve R

    Hasn’t this one been featured on this site a couple of times? If not, it’s twin brother has.

    It’s pricey, for the asking price you should be able to find a pretty nice early 442, from the musclecar era.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  4. Jcs

    These 442s deserve just a little more credit than you guys have given thus far. They are nice, comfortable and well driving cars that are nothing more than a victim of their times. Definitely a step up from a Monte Carlo and more stylish overall than a Regal (short of a GNX)or Grand Prix, depending on who you ask. There is a reason that the Olds Cutlass was the number one selling car for so many years, by a significant margin.

    For $19K it would need to be absolutely perfect with miles below 20K. Even then it’s a little bit of a stretch, but would be within reason.

    Pretty car. Seller could at least have addressed the sagging headliner before asking this kind of money.

    3.73 is the standard axle ratio, however oddly enough Limited Slip was not standard equipment. Fortunately this one is equipped with the Eaton Limited Slip. Always look for G80 on the SPI sticker on these. This RPO code applies across G-body platforms as well as most others that were RWD well into the 2000s.

    Like 8
  5. wesley j alker

    Having worked in the service department of an Oldsmobile Dealership in the eighties, I regularly was able to “wake” these 307’s up in about an hour with a teenie tiny drill bit and no parts. No, I didn’t open up any fuel passages or jets. It was ALL internal carburetor adjustments to correct the factory “detuning” to address an evaporative emissions management issue. The drill bit was to create a “bleed hole” to slow down and modulate the EGR valve. The secret was knowing where to put the hole!

    Like 2
  6. Cushmoney

    Did everybody that brought on of
    These store it seems to be a lot of them on here with the same story

  7. Roger

    I have an 82 and I love it very good driving car

    Like 1
    • Autoworker

      I too, had a 82 Cutlass Calais. Two tone silver and charcoal. It had the 260 V8. Beautiful car, but what a dog. My Dad’s 84 V6 Cutlass was quicker.

  8. Jimbo

    $19 large is a big ask for this car. Granted, it is in excellent condition but these vehicles are not in big demand and there is no shortage of them if that’s what you’re looking for. $13-$14K seems more gettable IMO.

    Like 1
  9. Les Anweiler

    I have a 1983 olds cutlass brougham. I’m the original owner. Number match , no notifications what so ever. To this day love the the car. People I’ve run into what buy it . But I’m at the age what for. I drive only in spring & summer. Parked fall & winter.

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