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Stored 40 Years: 1970 Oldsmobile 442

This project has a lot of things going for it; original paint (so nothing’s hidden underneath), reasonably rust, an engine that runs (but needs work) — basically it’s your ideal project for someone that doesn’t mind some work and can’t afford a better condition car to begin with. It’s listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Souderton, Pennsylvania. Bidding hasn’t met reserve yet, but is still below $5,000 as I write.

The seller has taken a nice set of pictures and provides good information about the car. They also state that they have specialized in 442s for 30 years and provide contact information; all things that inspire some confidence.

There’s some rust, as you can see, but being a car this popular, patch panels are readily available. What’s really nice is that it hasn’t been repainted, so you know exactly what you are getting into.

Not only can you get patch panels, but you can actually get complete fenders! Fairly reasonably priced, too! And you don’t have to tackle that right away — start with the mechanicals and enjoy the car while you are refurbishing it.

Pretty solid under here as well. Thanks to the seller for providing such clear pictures — I wish all ad photos were this clear. Not only that, but they give a great description of what body work you’ll be doing: “The frame and main floor pans are in great shape; no heavy scale, frame is solid and smooth. I pulled the carpets back on interior and they look great. Cowl and dash solid. Hood solid top and bottom. Left outer rocker starting to rust though, see pics. Inner rocker solid, right rocker good. Right rocker solid. Both fender heels are gone. Left door is worst of the 2, see pics. Both repairable. 1/4s repairable; right trunk drop perfect, left good, needs repair extreme bottom. Upper trunk gasket ledge is gone (between hinges). Trunk floor center and left section need to be replaced. Roof excellent shape.” Why can’t all sellers be like this?

Sure, you need a reupholstery set. Luckily, those (and pretty much anything else you can think of) are available too!

The seller was able to bottle feed the engine to get it started, but there is a loud knock–probably the reason the car was taken off the road in the first place. Being the original 455 cubic inch V8, it’s certainly worth rebuilding rather than replacing! This was probably somebody’s father’s Oldsmobile — would you like it to be yours, now?


  1. Sparkster

    Interesting is the amount of miles that is shown in the Ebay listing. 320,000+ miles. Lots of rust here.

    Like 0
  2. Troy s

    I use to cruise around in a ’68 Chevelle that had seats ripped just like these, mine were actually worse.
    Oldsmobile claimed the 455 actually got better gas mileage than the older 400, not that anyone would have cared in the least when it came to these big cube screamers.
    I have to admit that for a youth oriented factory hot rod that engine is as plain looking as white bread. Like.

    Like 4
  3. jw454

    It needs a lot of metal work to start with and then go from there. Too bad… It’s one of my favorite years for the 442s.
    You know, it may be just the one to drive it just as it is and have some fun. Let the other guy’s spend many years and a lot of dollars restoring their’s. I’d fix the front seat and do what’s needed to make it reliable and not worry about the rest.

    Like 8
  4. Barzini

    My first time in car that exceeded 100 mph was a friend’s 1970 442. It was both thrilling and terrifying because he was a fearless teenager who probably would not have stopped if the police tried to pull him over. We were both fortunate that the ride ended safely. (No seats belts on, of course. This was 1979.)

    I love the 442s and Cutlass Supremes from this era.

    Like 7

      I have a similar story from 79 but in a red W30 4spd car. My buddy was a little nuts and we were at the local BK lounge parking lot. It was time to leave but first impress the chicks so he dumps the clutch coming out of the drive-thru.

      I then saw all sides of the parking lot and the straightened out and headed for busy York rd. coming fast. Out into traffic and still burning rubber. Hit the median AND SPUN AROUND AGAIN. I was holding on for dear life. He looked at me and laughed then took his foot off the gas and straightened out. He was a crazy mofo, but fun times.

      Like 3
  5. Robert White

    Strip the engine and rebuild. Then, without any body work, or paint, smoke the tires off the rims to break in the new engine.

    P.S. Buy new tires, and repeat the process until engine is tuned.

    P.S. 2 Buy more tires, and think about a paint job.

    Personally, I like flat black.


    Like 8
  6. 86 Vette Convertible

    Got some work to do here but a lot of potential. All depends on how much someone wants it, depends on what the reserve is whether it’s a good deal or not. The rust, mechanicals and interior are going to take some $$ before it’s done.

    Like 3
    • Ron

      Car has some nice options on it but its rough.

      Like 0
  7. Fred W

    Rebuild the engine, redo the interior and leave the outside as is. Show the kids what the high school parking lot circa 1977 really looked like.

    Like 2
  8. Bing

    Graduated from college in December of 69. My first new car was a 1970 Olds 442, so a lot of nostalga here. That was many cars and years ago, but I loved that car. A lot of work ahead of whomever buys it, but it appears to be a solid unmolested car. I’d rebuild the engine and drive train, brakes, shocks and what not, and drive it. Years later, with two kiddos and a spouse we traded for an Olds Vista Cruiser… Natural progression at the time.

    Like 2
  9. Steve

    My late brother had a 72 Hurst Olds Pace Car Coupe. (His 69 Camaro Pace Car was featured on this site a few years ago.) I became a fan of the 455 Olds one day around 1990/1991 when I was 19/20 y.o. In addition to being a 455 to start with, the H/O was “supposedly putting out around 500 hp and over 500 ft lbs of torque, as it had been treated to full balance an 800 cfm Holley carb, full Mallory ignition, headers, Edelbrock aluminum intake, a lumpy sounding cam and an overbore that evidently included higher than stock compression pistons (due to it only being agreeable to 93 octane gas with octane booster, or av gas when we could get it, as the car was stored at the airport in a hangar) by the previous owner. We were cruising around Grapevine Tx on a 4 lane divided parkway with a 45 mph speed limit where our other brother lived. (All three of us in the car and I happened to be driving.) We were on a somewhat deserted street, no traffic, when a kid about my age (teenager) came up next to us in a fox body mustang with loud exhaust (Flowmasters, probably). It had a standard trans, as he reved the engine a few time next to us without moving (so much so that it sounded like he was floating the valves, so he was a little “over enthusiastic” LOL . When he started to pull ahead, I didn’t even ask, I just matted the “go” pedal. The Olds felt like it jumped off the ground (not that it did), and pinned me back in the seat. I looked in the rear view mirror but couldn’t see him behind me due to the tire smoke! (I had a 71 El Camino with a warmed over 355, so I wasn’t prepared for something with enough torque to break the tires loose at that speed) I looked down at the speedo and saw I was quickly approaching 80 mph (!), so I lifted. He finally came screaming by me a few seconds later. Really, kid?

    Like 3
  10. Ron

    Re the comment on the fenders, repro is available but they are 71-72 style which has crumple zones. They’ll work but 70 is a one year only design. While the body is untouched, the engine looks like its been worked on. In the pics it doesn’t look to be Olds blue, which is more metallic, and it looks to be some kind of ignition box on the firewall.

    Like 0
  11. DG

    You know how hard it is to find an all original ’70 442 at this price? I’d get it and slowly restore it. Love the color too. I actually like that its not a W30, very sleeper looking, it looks basically like a Cutlass.

    Like 0

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