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Rallye Red Rocket: 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30

When it rolled off the production line in 1970 wearing its special order Rallye Red paint, this 1970 Oldsmobile 442 must have been a stunning looking car. It now needs a full restoration, but there is no reason why it couldn’t be returned to its former glory. The Oldsmobile is located in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $12,900 for the 442, but the option is also available to make an offer.

While it is a striking looking car, the new owner is going to be faced with some rust issues that will need to be addressed during the restoration process. The rockers look like they are solid, as do the quarter panels. There is matching rust in the bottoms of both fenders, and in the bottom corners of the doors. The owner says that the floor pans and trunk floor will also require replacement. The 442 also underwent a repaint in the 1990s, and if it has lasted as well as it has for more than 20 years, it suggests that it was probably completed to a fairly high standard.

Looking at the interior, it looks like new covers on the front seats and some new carpet would have it looking good again. There are a few aftermarket items in there such as a column-mounted tachometer and Pioneer under-dash radio/8-track player, but removing those would be pretty easy. Apparently, the car was originally ordered with a dual-gate shifter and console, but a factory error saw it delivered without the console and with a column shifter. It would be interesting to be able to see some of the original paperwork to establish whether this was an administrative error or an assembly error in the factory.

With General Motors relaxing the engine size cap in 1970, this gave Oldsmobile the opportunity to fit the 442 with the 455ci V8 as the standard engine. The W-30 option saw the engine pumping out 370hp. This was fed to a Posi rear end via an automatic transmission. Sadly, the original engine in this car was blown at some point in the 1970s, and was replaced with an F-Block 455. The original automatic transmission has also gone, but the 442 still wears its original Posi rear. The owner says that the car runs and drives well, it feels strong, and the transmission shifts smoothly. It appears that all of the original components for the ram air system are present and in quite good condition.

Even in its current state, this 442 is a great looking car. The color suits it beautifully, and once restored, it will turn heads wherever it goes. I’d like to think that one of our passionate Barn Finds readers would buy this, and I would love to see some photos of it once it has been restored.


  1. Rock On

    Price seems very low to me. I’ve seen rusty hulks of 442’s listed for double this.

    Like 11
    • poseur Member

      Completely agree. can’t tell much from phone screen but what appears to be an honest used legendary muscle car that would make a sweet driver for $12k is exciting

      Like 5
  2. Camaro Joe

    The price isn’t bad at all as long as the car is basically solid. It appears that it was always in the Allentown PA area. That area gets 1/10 the snow that the area I live in between Cleveland and Buffalo gets. It’s still PA, but the weather is completely different. It’s not bad, but it’s no Arizona car either.

    If the floors and trunk need replaced, the quarter panels and rockers are suspect. If you’re thinking of buying it without inspecting it, plan on replacing lots of stuff and there’s a small chance you’ll get a good surprise.

    I don’t see W-30 adding a lot of value to the car since the original motor and transmission are MIA. As far as I know that was most, if not all, of the W-30 package. But a good percentage of that type of car that I knew didn’t make it out of the 1970’s with the original block in one piece.

    It still looks like a decent project, good luck to whoever buys it. It will be really
    spectacular when done.

    Like 7
  3. Capriest

    Seems like a 90’s restoration that fell into the hands of someone who didn’t take care of it. Storage wise anyway. Was likely parked outside on grass with a cover on it. I’d want an FPI to see the extent of the undercarriage rust, but this could be a bargain. It’s certainly a looker as is. If you could get a close paint match done on some replacement fenders that would save a ton of money if a driver is what you’re looking for. That’s the route I would take. Full resto would turn this into a trailer queen.

    Like 1
  4. TimM

    It’s got a pioneer supertuner too!!! That was the stereo to have in the day!!! Would get some stations further away than any other stereo!!!

    Like 8
  5. Al

    Now I am curious as to what this car could be worth.

    I still own a 1970 Oldsmobile 442, with the original motor, 4 Manual Hurst Close-Ratio transmission, Posi rear, transmission cooler and about 103,000 miles. I have owned my car since it was new.

    Like 13
  6. Tom

    If this car checks out, its a good deal. This is pretty much the pinnacle of the 442 model. If it had a four speed, it would be perfect. It would be expensive to restore, but in super nice shape, it would pull decent cash IMHO.

    Like 1
    • Chris

      If it were a 4spd I dought it would’ve lasted that long especially at that price without someone buying it. Auction is now over because it saying that vehicle is no longer available.

      Like 0
    • Chris

      No solid lifters on the Olds W motors all hydraulic lifters. W package basically consisted of larger cam larger valves in the cyl heads a aluminum intake & special carburetors & distributors. Also depending on if a 4spd or auto trans was ordered the W cars ordered with an auto trans used a OW designated turbo 400 trans all heavy duty special valve body & converter. W31 350’s also used a special larger harmonic balancer on the crankshaft.

      Like 0
  7. John Oliveri

    That’s a great price for this car, wonder how such a nice car that was restored fell on not disrepair? Loss of storage? Cause those fenders didn’t get that way inside, as far as the underdash Pioneer FM 8track, it’s gotta stay, its day 2 and it’s perfect

    Like 3
  8. Troy s

    Usually 1970 muscle will wind up being an ego stroking of Stage 1 Buicks or 454 Chevelles, great cars that they are don’t ever under estimate a W machine. Blueprint engine, solid lifters, I can’t remember all that package had, but these made killer street machines. I’d be more surprised if the original engine Hadn’t blown! W-31 350 was no slouch either.
    This one is real nice looking, if not a bit too high profile in that color for me, it is really too bad the original W-30 engine is long gone though.

    Like 0

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