Original 455: 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

Some owners can be more protective than others when it comes to their beloved classic cars. The previous owner of this 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible has kept it parked in a storage unit since 1981. It has only emerged for the occasional spot of motoring on warm and dry days, but it has now come out on a longer journey to a new home. It is a well-preserved vehicle that is a turn-key proposition for the coming Summer months. Located in Grand Junction, Colorado, you will find the 442 listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $32,450, and with the reserve now off, that next journey is only a few days away

The 442 is finished in Rally Red, and it features a Black power top. The top operates exactly as it should and appears to be tight and free from problems. The paint shows plenty of chips and marks, but it still remains presentable for a driver-quality classic. The seller states that there are no signs of any previous repainting or repair work, and he believes that all of that Rally Red is original. Rust hasn’t managed to get its claws into the Olds in any meaningful way. A hole in the trunk pan will need attention, and since it is no larger than a dollar bill, it will be easy to address. The remaining floors and the frame appear structurally sound, with no issues to report beyond the occasional spot of surface corrosion.  All of the trim is in good order, as are the glass and the wheels.

I said that there was no meaningful rust in the Convertible, but that doesn’t mean that it is completely rust-free. Both doors have developed matching rust at the bottom, and this will need to be tackled before it progresses too far. This isn’t something that would require immediate attention, so the buyer could drive the car during the upcoming Summer and then tackle these problems when the weather turns cool once again. That might also present the perfect opportunity for the owner to treat the 442 to a repaint so that it once again presents at its magnificent best.

The Oldsmobile is a numbers-matching car that is in a mechanically sound state. The engine bay is occupied by a 455ci V8 that would produce 365hp. The original owner also ordered the car with a 3-speed Hydramatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. In a Convertible that weighs 3,726lbs, those rampant horses can offer the car’s occupants a rapid wind-in-the-hair motoring experience. Point it at a ¼-mile, and the journey is over in 14.5 seconds. Hold the foot to the floor, and it can wind its way to 132mph. If anyone is wearing a rug, they’d need to make sure that it’s nailed down pretty well! The vehicle has had limited use since 1980, and while the odometer shows 25,000 miles, the seller believes that it has probably rolled over. He has treated the Olds to a significant amount of recent work, including a service and a complete fluid change. The carburetor and transmission have both been rebuilt, and new tires have been fitted. He reports a very slight leak from the power steering but no other problems. He says that the 442 runs and drives well, with brakes and steering that feel tight and precise.

If the buyer wants to retain the 442 as an original survivor, there is very little that the interior will need. Some items are marked or damaged, but the problems are limited to the edges of the armrests and other minor components. The upholstery on the seats and door trims looks good, while there are no problems with the carpet or dash. The interior features air conditioning, but it doesn’t blow cold. The console seems to be good, and it features the Hurst dual-gate “His-n-Her” shifter. The gauge cluster is in excellent order, and it adds to this car’s cool factor by the inclusion of a Tic-Toc-Tach. The original AM/FM radio is still present, but the aftermarket speakers fitted to the kick panels, and rear seat trims suggest that there may have been a different stereo fitted at some point. The original owner wanted his luxury touches when he ordered the car, so he chose to have it equipped with power windows, a tilt wheel, and cruise control. Apart from the A/C system, everything works as it should.

This 1970 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible isn’t perfect, but it is a turn-key classic that has appeared on the market at the right time. Warmer weather is creeping our way, and it is hard not to let our minds wander to thoughts of cruising down a highway or a country road in a classic convertible with the top down. It is quite common to find nice 442 Convertibles on the market for $50,000, while pristine examples can push into six-figure territory. This one isn’t threatening either of those figures, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t with a bit of work. That could be in the future for the next owner because it would be hard to resist the temptation to hit the road right now for a spot of instant gratification. Would you fix its issues first, or would you be like me and give in to temptation?

Fast Finds


  1. Classic Steel

    Nice Olds and quite the runner.
    Its a good body and convertible.. what’s not to like other than the missing pedal 🙃✅

    Nice write up 😉

    Like 3
  2. Keith

    People have more money then smarts anymore. 32k and needs this kind of rust work that you can see what about when the carpet and seats are taken out.125k for miles drivetrain needs gone thru. By one done.IMO

    Like 4
  3. Billy Bob

    Lots of options on this car; PW, A/C, Dual Gate TB 400, W-30 Mirrors, Ram Air, Cruise, AM/FM, Strato Buckets. Red looks original.

    Like 4
    • Poppy

      I agree it’s nicely optioned. Special order paint code on body plate means it was one of 4 special order colors – including the Rally Red it’s painted with now, but almost certainly not the original paint. 977 trim code and A top codes mean it came from the factory with ivory bucket seat interior and white top.

  4. Gtprend

    The listing says all original under the hold, but where’s the Ram Air air cleaner top?

    Like 4
  5. 69W31

    Doubtful that the paint is original as the car is missing it’s body stripes and the stripes that run along the bottom of the trunk lid.

    Like 4
    • Poppy

      And the front fenders appear to have been changed.

  6. cmarv

    The car has rust showing , how much more is hidden ? There are chips in the paint all over the car, dents and dings albeit small ones , too .It has the glass hood with stress cracks present , but has no matching ram air cleaner . The pictures seem to have been taken to hide things . I have owned many 442’s over the years , great original and restored cars to fair driver quality cars to parts cars This car scares me at anything over $25K . JMO .

    Like 2
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Looks like Billy Cardell’s car that he drives up in on the Ocentra (spelling is wrong) commercial. His is probably much nicer.
    My wife passed away Tuesday evening so I’m grieving, this is therapy.
    God bless America

    Like 3
    • billy bob


      We are sad to learn of your loss. Please accept our sincere condolences to you and your family. In Christian Love.

      Like 5
  8. Dave K

    Where are the orange front inner fenders ? I don’t think this is a real 442. If you’re buying, check the VIN before you send any cash.

    Like 1
    • Billy Bob

      Red inner fenders was part of the W-30 package, not on 442’s. The VIN looks legit. And the color is original.

      Like 2
  9. John Oliveri

    That’s the way I love cars, highly optioned w a/c and the largest motor available, if I didn’t have my 73 Grand Prix, I think I’d be on this

  10. tony

    ..what i noticed in the commercial was that Billy’s car didn’t have a front hood ornament, and looks to have been a repaint with an unoriginal white stripe pattern to the car, wide custom wheels/tires..but, you’re right, it does resemble this car..prayers going out to you in this time, man..

    • 69W31

      The Olds in the ad that Billy was in is a ’69, this is a ’70.

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