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10k Miles And Original Paint! 1985 Oldsmobile 442

During the limited run of the Hurst/Olds in 1983-84 (remember the Lightning Rods Triple Shifter?), the Oldsmobile marketing gurus were looking for an encore. That led them to resurrect the 442 nameplate from the 1960s. The reborn 442 would also be a limited run car, too, with less than 11,500 of them over three years. This edition is from 1985 and gives the impression of a car that was squirreled away early on in anticipation of an appreciated value later. The seller’s ad reflects just over 10,000 miles which – given its overall condition – could be possible. It’s located in St. Louis, Missouri, and available here on eBay where the reserve auction sits at $3,499.99.

Oldsmobile had an on-again, off-again love affair with the 442. Initially named 4-4-2 (for the 4-speed manual, 4-barrel carburetor, 2 exhausts), the muscle car started out in 1964 as an option package on the F-85/Cutlass. Just like its Pontiac cousin, the GTO, the 4-4-2 became its own series in 1968 and reverted to option status again after 1971. Following the 1985-87 version of the 442 that the seller’s car represents, it made yet another comeback in the 1990s as an option package for the front-wheel-drive Cutlass Calais.

When the 442 reappeared for 1985, the first “4” in the name now referred to the car’s 4-speed automatic transmission. Like the Hurst/Olds, the automobile was powered by a modified 307 cubic inch V-8 rated at 180 horsepower and 245 pound-feet of torque. Back at the rear wheels, there was a robust 8.5-inch differential with 3.73 gears. The suspension was of the heavy-duty variety and the car had disc brakes upfront. To separate the car visibility from the Cutlass it was based upon, the 442 had two-tone paint with a trim stripe and subtle 442 markings. 15-inch Super Sport wheels were employed with Goodyear Eagle GT tires to meet with the pavement. The car was deliberately subtle in appearance as to appeal to the audience that probably bought cars like the 442 a couple of decades earlier. Thanks, Hemmings, for the story of 1985-87 442.

The seller’s car looks good overall after 35 years. The black paint is said to be original, although the sun-facing surfaces may have faded some over the years. Rust doesn’t appear to be a problem except in one spot at the bottom of the driver’s side door. The gold pinstriping on the car is chipped, cracked, or flaking in several places. Unlike so many of the Hurst/Olds that preceded it, this car didn’t come with T-Tops. The grey interior is virtually spotless. The driver was treated to a performance set of gauges, which included a tachometer, and they all look good. The 442 was well-appointed inside, with bucket seats, air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a center console. While this may disappoint fans of the Hurst/Olds, the Lightning Rods shifter was gone, having been replaced with a routine automatic transmission shifter. From the passenger cabin, it has all the earmarks of a 10,000-mile car. It would be hard to think of something this nice having 110,000 miles.

This machine is one of the 3,000-even 442’s made for 1985. Production would go up slightly for both 1986 and 1987 before the 442 name would be mothballed again. This generation of the 442 doesn’t seem to go for nearly as much today as its predecessors do. Perhaps that’s because the cars aren’t nearly as powerful as they once were. Hagerty doesn’t even quote a value and the few I found online for sale were in the $10-15,000 range. So, if this car was set aside years ago in anticipation of a big payoff one day, that hasn’t come to fruition – at least not yet.


  1. Avatar photo Wonson

    Wow, this is a rough 10k miles…. I’m more inclined to believe a decently taken care of 110k.

    Like 33
    • Avatar photo Pete R

      I agree. Not a bad car, looks like how you could have found it used in the mid-90s. If it does indeed have that few of miles on it, i suspect the original owner was a very dirty person, otherwise 110k makes the most sense.

      Like 12
      • Avatar photo John

        Yeah, I’m having an extremely difficult time believing 10k miles, there Pete. My truck, well taken care of, has 160k miles, and still shows it.

        Like 4
    • Avatar photo DrillnFill

      Agreed, my same-era Caprice has a spotless interior in better shape and has 215,000 miles.

      Like 10
  2. Avatar photo Kincer Member

    No way no how that’s 10k miles! 110k miles for sure, car looks rough, not positive but don’t think the right grilles are in it either. Car is way too dirty for 10k miles, it’s been cared for somewhat but not overly cared for.

    Like 10
  3. Avatar photo PaulG

    The Auto Check report in the eBay ad states last mileage reported was 104K.
    Nowhere does the seller claim it to be 10K original, but fails to say 110K in the info. box…
    So, obviously 110K and probably makes sense now given the condition

    Like 20
  4. Avatar photo Keith


    Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Will Fox

    This one’s been around the block a time or two. I think a “2” was left off the front of that mileage claim.

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo mike

    This seller….ought to be in Jail.. for claiming a 10,000 mile car..

    There is no way… no how… this car only has 10,000 miles on it…

    Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Steve Clinton

    The seller is hoping some poor sap will believe him and buy it.

    Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Vin_in_NJ

    A 10,000 mile car would not have had the tires replaced, radio changed, and shift knob replaced.

    Like 3
  9. Avatar photo ACZ

    These were a really nice driver in their day. The G body was a good all around car and the Buick and Olds versions were nicely appointed. Big V8 fit in them easily, if that’s your game, and we’re very dependable. Too bad GM did keep making these instead of the trashy FWD cars that replaced them.

    Like 2
  10. Avatar photo chippincharlie

    This is not the original shifter in this car.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Russell Monnin

    Were they really that rare? There didn’t seem to be any shortage of them back in the ’80’s.

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Jeff

    There’s a hose laying under the car in one of those photos. Seller should have maybe thought about using it before taking and posting these pic’s.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Phlathead Phil.

    I’m wondering if the “scent-tree” hanging from the mirror is “pine” or “new car.”

    Nothing worse than an “Old Man” or “Old Woman” smell in a car.

    I’d rather breath moldy vintage tin.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Beel

    I always liked (visually) the flat-hood GMs of this era. Can say much for the the cheap GM plastic interiors, inferior quality control, and embarrassingly under powered motors. Oh, and corporate committee designs. Otherwise, nice to look at…

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo John

    The only way I’ll believe this is a 10k mile engine is if it was rebuilt, and its obvious that it wasn’t.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Beel

      @John Yeah, unlikely rebuild. I mean, seriously…

      Like 0

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