Texas Field Find! Four-speed 1965 Oldsmobile 442

This Midlothian, Texas project car may have been rode hard (into a tree?) and put away wet, but the body tag confirms it’s a real four-speed 442 in desirable black-over-red, and seller graciously includes a correct block and heads, transmission, and other parts as a package deal. Listed here on eBay, this fast Olds’ “Buy It Now” price of $5500 seems darn-near hospitable for a real-deal 442.

The VIN decoder at aliquippaoutlaws.homestead.com confirms this genuine (4V) 442 Holiday Coupe (hard top) left Oldsmobile in Lansing, Michigan with black paint and red bucket seats, a floor-mounted four-speed transmission…  and front seat belt retractors. Apparently Lansing body tags did not always include all options and trim codes, so other coded items (and those without codes) may be fitted to the car as well.

High praise to the seller for including the parts cache he or she had assembled in hopes of restoring this 442, including the correct floor shifter and console, hood (dented), and an unrestored red bucket seat interior, front and back glass, core support, and more.

We can see a power brake booster from this view, but perhaps an angry rattlesnake or a ornery armadillo kept the seller from photographing the right-front and engine compartment. While front discs were not offered on the 442 for 1965, this one has had its front drums converted to discs. The 442’s obligatory 400 cid engine made 345 HP, ten more than the standard 389 GTO of the same year (thanks to hemmings.com for some details). I would consider buying this car. It might need a bunch of metal-work, but it’s a real 442 with many original specific parts intact and a host of new parts as well. What do you think of the $5500 entry fee?

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Comments

  1. 86 Vette Convertible

    Lots of potential there. The red one ahead of it in the one picture may have missing glass etc. so might be able to work out a deal there too if it’s better than the included glass. I’ve ridden in a similar one once, it was a real neck jerker.

  2. Angrymike

    My favorite 442, I love these body styles, I had a 65 Malibu SS convert in the late 80’s, and think this was the cleanest body style of all. After 65 they all started growing, but my 67 Chevelle SS 427 was the baddest of the bad ! I hope someone takes this on it’ll be a great car when finished !
    My 65 looked EXACTLY like this (pic related) but the pic is in a bit better shape. It was a 300hp 327 with a 4 speed.

  3. Nrg8

    Guess you missed the part about the 442 realated parts that could be bought for extra. Sell it all or part it down ya ……..

  4. chad

    haven’t followed prices on these but 5K$ seems hi?

  5. Madmatt

    If your going to restore an Olds, a
    Cutlass is the way to go,as they make a ton of repo
    parts for Cutlass / 442. I have a 63 dynamic 88
    Hardtop..one year only front sheet metal.,and front/parts
    ..are hard to find,or fiscally out of the question.
    Not too many repo parts for most other Olds….which,
    by the way…sucks! I would love to see it done.
    This sounds like a great deal on a 442 project,
    and would be gorgeous when done..!

  6. jim

    As the owner of a 65 4-speed convertible, I like your enthusiasm. I note that some of the parts shown, particularly the dash pad, is not from a 65. Alot of work to do there.

    Like 1
  7. TriPowerVette

    As many of the BF readers know, my first 4-speed on the floor experience was in a test drive of a Triumph GT6. It was only the second time I had ever used a clutch. Both times were as a result of the efforts of my best friend (at the time). Dane Guard.

    My third turn behind the wheel of a 4-speed car, was in a 1965 Olds 442.

    My mother had a many friends in the greater Phoenix area. Among them were several car dealers. One day, I passed the lot owned by one of her friends.

    Back in those days, my brother, my friends and I (and all car guys, really) had our heads on swivels, constantly driving distracted, always searching dealer’s inventories for the occasional big block Corvette, Chevelle or Camaro, or Shelby Mustang, CobraJet or Boss, or else Daytona Charger, Hemi this or 440 that. It seemed at that golden moment in time, the world was awash in hidden and not-so-hidden (high horsepower) gems… Yes, 442’s, GTO’s, real Trans-Am’s too.

    At once, I alerted that there was an interesting car, nestled among the grocery-getters on the lot. It was a 1965 442 (as it turns out 4-speed, with A/C). There it sat, looking like Mike Tyson among a bunch of Pee Wee Hermans. It was the inversion of the color combo of our subject 442; it was maroon, with a black interior. Gorgeous!

    It didn’t take long to persuade the dealer to let me take it on an extended ‘test drive’. Because of the ‘mother’ connection, I was able to keep it all the rest of the day. My brother and I went over it with a fine-toothed comb. It was in excellent condition. We drove it all over town, just basking in the potential. I accelerated very hard a couple of times, but was careful to spin the tires as little as possible (I was respectful that it was someone’s else property, and my mother’s reputation).

    At one point in our adventure, my brother and I got into a hilly area of Scottsdale, and just at the peak of one particularly steep rise, a STOP sign materialized. Somewhat startled, I brought the proceedings to a stop, transmission hastily shifted to NEUTRAL, one foot on the brake, one on the clutch. At this moment, I learned the need for finesse with brake and clutch.

    My first attempt stalled it.

    On the second attempt, a bit too many revs, and way too much horsepower, combined with 15 inch narrow, bias-ply tires meant clouds of tire smoke (in spite of my best efforts at prudence). I quickly got it under control, but the coming years would bring similar circumstances every so often, and I had a wonderful initiation from which to draw.

    I am now adept at NOT spinning the tires, burning up the clutch, or stalling the engine. Thanks, mom (and Holiday Oldsmobile). And thanks for most manufacturers’ change from an e-brake that was a tiny pedal on the far left (and release handle just above it), to a far more useful hand brake.

    The particular 442 in this article tugs at my heart. Nostalgia washes over me. I have the money, now, and would love to relive that day in my past over and over.

    However; one of these in nice condition can be had for mid-twenty$. The parts shown must be bought for extra $, above the $5500 ask. For someone who could (or even wanted to) do for him/her self all of the body work, paint, glass, suspension rehab, wiring, interior, engine, trans, diff, ad infinitum, you would still be well above $30K at project conclusion. And that assumes that whatever front-end mayhem had occurred to this street brawler in the past, left no lasting consequences to the chassis.

    A wonderful result could be had, for sure, but just too expensive at this point. Would have to be a labor of love for someone who is financially care free.

    That person would not, sadly, be me.

    Sigh.

  8. rustylink

    Love this car – but alas you could buy a running preserved example for the amount of time and money you’d have to put into this one. I am glad they have a slew of parts to go with it and it’s not a bad deal – just a lot of work on one of the rarer 442’s and parts will surely be an task to track down.

  9. mike D

    if you read the ad, lots is included in the price, but, also lots of work will be a beautiful car when finished hope somebody does it justice

    Like 1
  10. Gus

    I would love to restore this car but not well enough and too old. My brother brought back another 65 442 that that was crashed from Colorado to Wisconsin, then spend the next year putting it back to perfect. He put in a warmed over 455 with a 400 turbo. White with red interior.. Beautiful car and prettyfast for the day. The Street Machine Nationals were coming up and I traded my 67 Vette for his 442 for the weekend so my buddy and I could go down to Indy in bigger, more comfortable car and nicer than my Vette. Long story short we’re circling the fair grounds and on our 3rd go around an Indiana State trooper walked out into the street and motioned us to pull in. Oh sh*t whated we do.? He told us that was the nicest car he had seen go by and before long there were 6 Troopers inspecting the 442-inside, in trunk under the hood. We shot the sh*t for a while then went our merry way. The rest of that week end we probably had two dozen guys ask what we got busted for.Great week end. The 442 is long gone as is my brother but good memories.

    • Loco Mikado

      Great story Gus.

  11. Brian M Member

    Probably the most difficult part to find will be the correct flywheel. One year, one engine; interchanges with nothing.

  12. Danb

    The vin decoder might tell you that it was Lansing built (M in the vin tells you that), but it will not tell you if it is a 442, that did not happen until 1968, when the 442 became it’s own model.

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