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Well Documented: 1969 Oldsmobile 442

Potentially, an owner can make all manner of claims about a classic car, and proving these can be a battle. However, when the owner holds a significant selection of documentation that verifies a car’s credentials, that places that vehicle on a different level. Such is the case with this 1969 Oldsmobile 442 Holiday Hardtop. It presents well for its age and appears to have no immediate needs. The included documentation verifies that this is a highly optioned car with performance to satisfy most enthusiasts. This Olds needs a new home, so the owner has listed it for sale here on Craigslist. Located in Nassau, New York, the owner has set a sale price of $39,500. A big thank you has to go to Barn Finder Pat L for referring this beauty to us.

Before we proceed any further, I have a confession to make. The paler shades of gold like the Palomino Gold gracing the panels of this 442 are not the most appealing in my book. I’m aware that is a personal preference, but it is something that I wanted to place on the record so that nobody thinks that I may be playing favorites with this classic. The paint looks consistent across the car, with no signs of the patchiness or matte appearance that can develop with age. I believe that this 442 may have been the recipient of a repaint because the twin hood stripes that show on both the original Window Sticker and  Build Sheet are missing. In a similar vein, the Olds rolls on a set of Super Stock I wheels, but the Build Sheet indicates 14″ steel wheels with hubcaps. The panels look straight, with no dings, dents, or other problems. The owner doesn’t mention rust issues, and none are visible in the supplied photos. Otherwise, the trim and chrome seem acceptable for a survivor, and the glass looks flawless.

With emission standards yet to impact the classic American muscle car, vehicles like this 442 offered excellent performance for potential buyers. With its 400ci V8 pushing 350hp to the Posi rear end via a four-speed manual transmission, this beauty should storm through the ¼ mile in 14.4 seconds. I admit that I’m surprised that while the original owner specified power front disc brakes, they skipped power steering on their order. When we start to examine the comfort options selected shortly, you may feel the same way. The seller indicates that the Olds runs and drives well, with no mechanical needs. He claims that it has a genuine 73,000 miles on its odometer but fails to mention verifying evidence. In addition to the Window Sticker and Build Sheet, he holds the Protect-O-Plate and other documentation. With that thought in mind, that odometer verification may be present.

Turning our attention to this 442’s interior, the first impression is positive. The original owner ordered the car with bucket seats and a console, which are intact. The interior features Black vinyl upholstery that ticks the right boxes. There is no significant wear or evidence of physical damage, and this extends to the carpet. The dash and pad are excellent, with no cracks a bright woodgrain trim. The wheel has a couple of cracks, but it remains restorable. This 442 rolled off the line equipped with air conditioning, which functions perfectly. The remaining features work as they should, including the Rally gauges with the factory tachometer, interior lights, key buzzer, and the reverse lock-out. One glaring omission is the factory tape player that appears on the Build Sheet and Window Sticker. While the original stereo AM/FM radio is intact, there’s no evidence of the tape player. The seller doesn’t mention this item, but I did find a couple of working examples online. The new owner may need to swallow hard because they generally sell for around $500.

In 1969, Oldsmobile produced 27,263 examples of the 442. Of those, 19,587 were Holiday Hardtop derivatives like our feature car. That makes this one of the more common variants, but it doesn’t hurt its desirability. Today, tidy and original examples can fetch decent prices, and these values only climb if the owner holds verifying documentation. Prices beyond $40,000 are now typical, although that figure can rise significantly with the right option combination. The low odometer reading and documentation help this 442 stand out from the crowd, suggesting that the owner’s asking price is very competitive. It has only been on the market for just over a day, and I suspect it will head to a new home pretty quickly. Do you agree?


  1. Harvey Member

    To me this is almost the perfect 442.If I had the cash I would buy this in a ❤ beat:-)

    Like 7
  2. Joe Padavano

    Beautiful and well documented. The car has apparently been repainted, however, as the OEM pinstripes on the hood and trunk are not present. Repaints always beg the question of what’s underneath them, especially for a car from the rust belt.

    Like 8
    • Sam Shive

      Not all had the stripes and or pin stripes on the hood and trunk.

      Like 0
      • Joe Padavano

        Every 1969 442 left the factory with either the standard equipment RPO Y73 GT hood stripe, which was the double pinstripe around the raised areas of the hood or the optional W42 wide hood stripes. The fact that repainted cars you see today don’t have them doesn’t make it correct.

        Like 1
    • Stan

      Right Joe. Love these 442 good write up Adam. If body and frame are solid this is good value. Imagine back in 69 the standard motor got you this sweet 400 w 350hp/440tq, 3.42 gear. or go across the street for a Plymouth and you got a 383 as standard issue. 👍

      Like 2
      • Michael Berkemeier

        …and yet those 383 Road Runners are worth way more than this car.

        Like 0
  3. Poppy

    I suspect that the disc brakes were added because they do not show up as an option on the window sticker or the sales invoice. That looks like a factory disc brake master cylinder, but I’m not sure what the RK code for the master cylinder indicates on the build sheet. Just make sure they are really there and that someone didn’t just replace a drum brake MC with a disc brake one.

    Like 1
    • Joe Padavano

      Correct, the disc brakes were added, apparently some time ago. That’s not an original 1969 master cylinder, it’s a 1970-newer style. Note that not only are the RPO JL2 Power Disc Brakes absent from the window sticker and build sheet, but RPO J50 Power Brakes don’t even show up, so the power booster was added when the discs were added. Between that and the repaint (and who knows what else) the car isn’t quite as original as the seller claims.

      Like 6
      • Alan J Odze Member

        1967 was the first year option for GM to offer disc brakes. Ford and Chrysler had disc brakes options much earlier (1965) ?

        Like 2
    • Little Bear

      Poppy 1968 was the beginning of power front disk brakes on some Oldsmobile models as standard equipment. The Vista Cruiser was the Platform for the 442 and Hurst/Olds. I own a 1971 Vista Cruiser with standard front disk brakes factory th400 tranny and mine was ordered with 308.1 posi rear w/rear sway bar 350 4 barrel and dual exhaust. Has alot of options too. This 68 442 came from the factory with front disk and rear drum brakes. I have owned Oldsmobiles since 1969 and I wont own any car newer than 1972. Im old school and staying that way. My Vista has 80400 original documented miles with the performance 350 she has a drinkng problem 15 highway. Vista Cruiser’s 70-72 came factory with 350 2 bbl carbs unless ordered special.

      Like 1
      • Joe Padavano

        Little Bear, that is not correct. The only time disc brakes were standard on the 1968-72 442s was MANUAL disc brakes included as part of the W30 package in the 1970-72 model years. Disc brakes were an OPTION for the 1969 model year on every 442 made, and in any case, the master cylinder does not look like the one in the photo for the 1969 model year. Also, the JL2 RPO code would appear on both the window sticker and the build sheet. Power front disc brakes were standard equipment on the Vista starting with the 1970 model year. That is completely unrelated to any 1969 442.

        Like 5
  4. Jeff

    I think a repaint would have been necessary at some point because that metallic gold finish did not last. Once the polish rag started turning black it was all over

    Like 2
  5. Rick Rothermel

    One of the handsomest cars GM ever made. Not a wasted line on the whole car. This is a beautiful example.

    Like 8
  6. Vance

    This was my first car, I always thought the single lens rear end look was the sharpest one. Now mine was only an S model with a 350 2V, but I loved it. A 16 year old holding the keys and nothing seemed more important.

    Like 3
  7. Desert Rat

    My favorite year for a Oldsmobile, love this cars styling and the gold color is a plus for me, wish my grandparents who always had Oldsmobiles would have bought a cutlass two door and past it down to me.

    Like 1
  8. OldsMan

    They were all attractive, but this is the best looking of all the 68-72 GM-A body cars in my opinion…

    Like 2
  9. John Oliveri

    Lotta money for a car that’s gonna need paint soon, a motor refresh and detail, power steering installation, and gotta have that 8 track to play Tommy James and the Shondells and Gary Pucket and the union gap tapes

    Like 1
  10. 19sixty5 Member

    Not a bad appearing car, but again, an thorough in-person inspection would be best. I *believe” the SSl wheels are from a later model, I think the originals should be fully chromed. I’ve had numerous 69’s, but all had the SSll wheels.

    Like 2
    • Joe Padavano

      RPO P05 SuperStock I wheels were a factory option in the 1969 model year, but were not available with disc brakes. Olds didn’t redesign the SSI wheels to clear discs until the 1970 model year. The ones on this car are likely aftermarket repros, which are readily available.

      Like 1
  11. Tom

    I would buy this right now!!!……………………Wife says we need some other dumb $h!t.. oh well I guess i can always look from the outside …..LOL!!

    Like 2
  12. George Mattar

    Seems a bit overpriced, but at least it isn’t a rotted out engineless 69 Charger with the same asking price. When GM ruled the world. Today, a total joke with junk vehicles.

    Like 1
  13. trav66

    IMO, everything on here is factory. From the disc brakes to the original hose clamps, I don’t think anything has been changed on this 442. The steering wheel looks like a P/S wheel because a manual one would be larger and I think the 442 option included P/S and disc brakes automatically. I can’t see this having manual steering. Just my .02 cents. Great find and the asking seems fair in today’s market. Wish I could afford it, I would love to call this mine!

    Like 0
    • Joe Padavano

      Sorry, trav66, but nearly everything you wrote is incorrect. The steering wheels were exactly the same on PS and manual steering cars. The ratio in the box was different. The sell shows photos of the build sheet and cowl tag, which do NOT show disc brakes; nor were P/S or disc brakes “automatically” included in the 442 package in the 1969 model year. The 1970 W-30 was the first time that MANUAL disc brakes were included, and only with the W-30. Read the factory ordering literature, which is available on line.

      This page is from the 1969 Salesman’s SPECS booklet:


      Like 3
      • trav66

        Wow! Thanks for the educational link, Joe! I’ve been engrossed all morning going back and forth from the ad pic to the dealer spec page and I agree that the brakes have been converted but it looks like a thorough job. Can’t tell if it has been converted to P/S but if it hasn’t yet, that would be top of the to-do list if I had it. Still a very nice 442 and compared to others for sale on the interweb, it’s a good asking price for it’s condition.

        Like 1

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