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Muscle Car Perfection: 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30

For many muscle car enthusiasts, 1970 marked the pinnacle for the production of the Oldsmobile 442. With the W30 option on board, the 442 offered its owner some serious performance, and these are now one of the most coveted of muscle cars. This 1970 442 is a car that has had all of the right options ticked when new, it is completely original, and it is a low mileage example where the mileage claim can be verified. It is now also on the market, and the next owner is set to score themselves a pretty special car. Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, you will find the 442 listed for sale here on eBay. Of course, desirability and originality do come at a price, with the BIN option being set at $144,900.

To call this Olds completely original is slightly misleading because it did have some paintwork on the lower body resprayed by the dealership under warranty due to factory imperfections. From the information provided by the owner, that’s about it. The body is straight and true, and the Twilight Blue paint looks to be in fantastic condition. This is hardly surprising, as the car seems to have been well loved and cared for during its 49-years of life. Those 49-years haven’t equated to a lot of work, with the car having an original and verified 2,305 miles on the odometer. The owner also provides a wonderfully clear photo of the underside of the vehicle, and it looks to be perfect. The trim and chrome look to be in good order, while there are no signs of any problems with the lightweight fiberglass hood.

The original owner appears to have been a person who wanted to extract the maximum out of the 442. When you look at the original Window Sticker that comes with the car, they chose to delete the bucket seats in favor of the bench, which is lighter. Apart from a push-button radio, there is absolutely no luxury in this car. It’s all about performance. The interior is in great condition, with some scuffing of the kick panels being the only really obvious flaw. The rest of it is pristine and is in keeping with a car with such low mileage.

With this 442, you open the hood to see what all the fuss is about. This is a full numbers-matching car. With the W30 pack on board, that 455ci V8 delivers an official 370 hp. There are many who believe that Oldsmobile was fudging the figures a bit here and that the power output was significantly higher than this. The 455 was fitted with what was referred to as “Select Fit” engine parts, which resulted in what was effectively a blueprinted factory engine. When you add improved cylinder heads, an aluminum intake manifold, a specially calibrated carburetor, low-restriction exhaust, a hotter cam, functional air scoops in the fiberglass hood, and a low-restriction air cleaner, it does seem to add up to more horses than were claimed. Hooked up to that monster engine is a close-ratio M21 4-speed manual transmission. The car is also fitted with the W27 aluminum rear end option, all in a bid to extract as much performance as possible. If you wanted a fast 442 in 1970, then this was your car. The 442 is fitted with non-assisted front disc brakes and those rather cool plastic fender liners. The car also comes with a fair old collection of documentation that verifies both its authenticity and the mileage claims. As well as the Window Sticker, you get the Protect-O-Plate, the Purchase Invoice, and a raft of other documentation.

This is another one of those cars that throws up a wonderful conundrum. This is an ultra-low mileage survivor, and it is in amazing condition. Cars like this were made to be driven and enjoyed, but this is a car that has seen very limited use throughout its life. It isn’t a cheap car, but it is an extremely desirable one. If you have the cash to hand over for this magnificent classic, what would you do with it?


  1. NotSure

    The price burned my retinas! Lovely car and yes, if I had the cash and if parting with the cash caused no substantial hardship, I’d be booking a charter to Lincoln right now with a suitcase fulla cash!!!! An unmentioned additional expense would be theatre ropes (I think they’re called that). I’d set up a twenty-nine foot perimeter around the car each time I parked it somewhere. No point in taking a chance on getting someone else’s drool on it….

    Like 10
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Too cool and it wasn’t ordered by a dealership, someone walked in the door of that Olds dealership and knew the boxes to check. But why wasn’t it driven? There was no collecting a muscle car then. This car was built to run, and somehow it missed it’s day, has to be a story in there. This was probably the peak of the era of factory built muscle cars and Dr Olds was still working. Beautiful car!

    Like 8
    • Johnny Joseph

      Exactly correct. In 69&70, the muscle cars coming out of Detroit were made to be driven/raced. If you had the cabbage to afford the W30 over the standard 442, you were most likely to put the miles on it a quarter mile at a time. Buying a brand new, blue printed 455 with all of the go fast options was to be either a weekend warrior or a street king. NOT to sit in a room/barn/garage for the next 40-50 years! As nice as it is, the guys who own or have owned all four GM 1969-1970 Stage 1’s, W30’s, GTO/Judge’s, or LS6’s say that the Pontiac is the best all around car of the 4. They say that they are the fastest (on any given day), best driving, sound and look the best, and are just simply ‘IT’. That’s not counting the Ford and Mopar guys, both of which will scoff and point to a BOSS 9, or a Daytona/Superbird or Hemi ‘Cuda.

      Like 9
      • Cary A Gay

        And they’re fools. That stage 1 could not only eat a hemi’s lunch, it would throw the empty milk carton back at it!

        Like 5
  3. Bakyrdhero

    Obviously an awesome machine. I think 68-72 A bodies are some of the nicest
    Looking and performing, mass produced cars GM ever made. $144k? Who’s paying these prices?! This is a somewhat rare and well ordered example of a MASS PRODUCED CAR. The money these are selling for is pure insanity.

    Like 18
  4. canadainmarkseh

    As the saying goes you have to pay to play. Far far out of my league, but this only this is valuable because of the low miles and good condition. The minute you start driving it like any new ( this essentially is a new car ) you will drive the value off with every click of the odometer. I expect their car will just end up in the row of a collection of other car that never get driven.

    Like 6
  5. rm

    Stunning example!

    Like 0
  6. Little_Cars Saul Member

    Not knowing my Olds history, so what’s with the flat red inner fenders?

    Like 1
    • Eric

      They are made of plastic to save weight.

      Like 3
      • Dan B

        Same weight as the normal black plastic ones.

        Like 1
      • DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

        I thought that the normal ones were painted black, but were steel on standard Cutlass bodies, including the 442 without the W-30. Plastic was not in common use yet for inner fenders?

        Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      Red inner fenders came along with the W30 package. On regular 442 and Cutlass they were black (like most normal cars!).

      As to WHY Oldsmobile decided to put red inner fenders on the W30 has always been a mystery to me. Personally I don’t think it looks very good

      Like 4
      • cmarv Member

        Red inner fenders came on GTO’s first (64-67) . Olds waited until 67 when the W 30 package was introduced , they stopped using them in 71 . The patina of those go well with the story , they all faded and a lot of people painted them black or red with spray bombs . The 67 – 69 W 30’s had holes at the front of the fenderwell for the under bumper ram -air .

        Like 5
  7. Mike

    I’m not doubting this cars authenticity, I just wonder what the real story is. With under 3k miles, 4 speed, bench seat, steelies and dog dish caps, my first thought was drag car. After a few minutes though, I changed my mind since if it had been seriously raced 1/4 mile at a time, I highly doubt that it would still have it’s original drivetrain. Things that make you say hmmmmm. It’s a beautiful W-30 though no matter what.

    Like 7
    • canadainmarkseh

      Maybe it’s one of those son went off to war and never came back. Parents couldn’t part with it. Weren’t you guy still in the tail end of the Vietnam war when this was new.

      Like 3
      • Little_Cars Alexander Member

        What a shame this date is lost in US military history: Apr 30, 1975. 1970 Olds was years before that and thousands of lives lost in those last 5. There was a country song sung by David Ball about a Vietnam GI buying a new Corvette Stingray before being shipped off to war and not coming back. It was written by a local fellow and neighbor of mine in Tennessee.

        Like 6
  8. PaulG

    It’s the 460 ft. lb. that make these engines what they are, torque monsters…
    strange, like the others’ I’d like to know the entire history.

    Like 4
  9. Jeff

    Why has the engine been completely repainted on a vehicle with 2,305 verified miles on the odometer?

    Anyone other than me believe the engine paint color is not factory correct?

    Like 2
  10. Jeff

    This 1970 engine appears to be painted the correct color.

    Like 3
    • r s

      Look up ‘1970 Oldsmobile w30 engine’ on Google and check the photos… they looked like the photo in the ad for this car. It’s correct. Here’s a photo of a 100-point W30 engine:


      I’m waiting for some bonehead to say ‘I’d buy it and drive the wheels off it!’ This is a time capsule of a real piece of muscle car history, not some toy for Justin Biebers. It deserves to be driven gently and sparingly.

      Like 2
      • Doug B

        closet queen. what a waste.

        Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Ja…..that appears to be an odd shade of metallic blue. I personally have never seen that color claimed to be original. On the other hand maybe it’s the light as the inner fender color looks to be particularly washed out for only having 2500 odd miles. As a matter of personal taste I would have ordered the buckets! Seems unlikely this was run on a dragstrip, the bench seat wouldn’t have worked very well.

      Above is a picture I took off a thread discussion on the correct way to restore the red color on the inner wall. This is an unrestored inner fender from a W-30. The part to the right in the picture is the section most likely unaffected by exposure to the light, tucked down by the firewall, which one assumes is the color as it aged unaffected by light exposure.

      What say you, conspiracy theorists?

      Like 1
  11. Black Bowtie

    It was in my hometown of Des Moines in the ad shown from 1996, but I do not ever remember seeing the car at any shows?

    Like 1
  12. Mainsgt1

    I have a friend who has a collection of Olds 442’s, his first one which is a 70 W30 that he bought in 1980 had the speedometer disconnected for yrs while he drove it to work and such, until he was able to restore the car, at which point it was reconnected with around 20,000 on it. That may be the case here.

    Like 3
    • r s

      Looking at the bottom of the car I’d say it wasn’t driven 20,000 miles.

      Like 1
  13. P E

    $144,900, does anybody else think this guy has been watching way too much barrett jackson?

    Like 5
  14. Mountainwoodie
  15. Mountainwoodie
  16. David Rhoces

    the 455 in my 70 Riv GS ( different motor )was also rated at 370 hp but the boys who built them in Flint say it was closer to 400 …. so it is probably the same for the Olds

    Like 0
  17. Bakyrdhero

    It’s just an awful lot of money for a car that’s going to sit in a warehouse with 50 others and hardly driven at all, just so the owner can say “yup, I have one of those!” At least someone will have fun with the 85 Plymouth Colt turbo that’s on Barn finds right now..I guess that’s easy for me to say since my budget is more in line with the Colt.

    Like 6
  18. Morley Brown Member

    If you must put a Hurst shifter in, at least get a period correct ball–and the right colour. I do not disagree with the money , but when you take short cuts , what else have you screwed with??????

    Like 2
  19. Ted

    Early 80’s in Richmond I bought some sbc parts of a guy who had this identical car in green on white, stashed in a garage alongside something else that I can’t remember. Who’d have thunk we’d ever see these numbers for cars that weren’t really that popular 40 years ago? 137K? Holy Mother of Mary, if I added up the current market values of some of the almost 200 cars I’ve been through I’d be able to bribe college officials to put all my family into rowing scholarships.

    Like 5
  20. Jeff

    I still question why the engine was repainted with only twenty three hundred (2300) miles on the clock.

    I wonder how much a OEM new old stock speedometer costs.

    Stories of GI’s never coming home and a super collectible never driven vehicle found fifty (50) years later is what I call Bull$hit.

    Like 2
  21. Comet

    $144,000 seems like a screaming fire sale deal compared to yesterday’s $1,000,000 Jeep.

    Like 1

    What would I do with it at 144k? Probably drive it to my divorce hearing…

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      Andrew, no you wouldn’t. You wife would have already claimed that car in the divorce.

      Like 5
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      LOL!!!! Outstanding ANDREW L TANNER!

      Like 1

    Miguel, you speak the truth.

    Like 2
  24. Cary A Gay

    My all time favorite! Had I had the scratch, I couldn’t give it to him fast enough. Worth every penny of it.

    Like 0
  25. Troy s

    Heavy hitter street missle that didn’t see much action. Didn’t the 4 speed get a hotter cam than the automatic? It’s definitely purpose built (ordered) for straight line action.
    The picture from ’94 is interesting as it has aftermarket wheels and only 5 miles less than is claimed now. Sure it’s nice to see one so clean and practically brand new looking at the same time it seems like a waste of machinery to have been enjoyed so little on the road. And that trend will continue for this car as the price is seriously a lot of money.

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars Alexander Member

      Original owner probably tossed those dog dish poverty caps, wheels and tuber into the garage and went for more sticky wheels and tires when/if the car DID get driven. Then, when the time came to sell out came the steelies.

      Like 1
  26. TimM

    It is an awesome car no doubt about that. I was certainly surprised to see a bench seat instead of a pair of buckets!! Is it worth what there asking……maybe but you won’t ever get it out of me!!! I own a 2600 square foot house with inground pool and 1500 square foot garage and when I built it it was less than this cars price tag!!

    Like 1
  27. ACZ

    Feast your eyes. This is a living legend.

    Like 0
  28. Bakyrdhero

    It’s an Oldsmobile..

    Like 0
  29. Cary A Gay

    Well now we know you can read.

    Like 1
  30. CliffOswald

    I have always felt that wheels should be a tool and not a focal point. Look at how this car smells of good breeding.

    Like 0
  31. PDXBryan

    Oo-la-la! Love the caps and steelies and the big white ball on the stick comin out the floor! The only thing better (to me) would be this same car but with the W-31 Rocket 350 package.

    Like 1

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