Restored National Award Winning 442 Convertible 400 V8
- Extensive frame-off restoration
- First place at 2007 Oldsmobile Nationals
- Original 400cid V8
- TH400 automatic transmission
- 12 bolt rear end
- Power steering
- Power brakes
While Pontiac may have kick-started the muscle car era with its GTO, it didn't take Oldsmobile long to follow suit with their 442. Praised for its balanced performance and handling, the 442 was a well groomed street fighter that seemingly got better with every production year. By 1969, the formula was firmly in place and Oldsmobile rolled out some incredible machines like this Saffron Yellow 442 convertible. The subject of a comprehensive frame-off restoration, the results were good enough to net this Olds a first place trophy at the 2007 Oldsmobile Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Featuring a numbers matching 400 V8, automatic transmission, head-turning color combination and a lengthy list of factory options, this fully functional investment grade 442 is ready for the back roads or the show field. If you're in the market for an alternative A-body, there are few nicer than this Oldsmobile.
Despite its late December build date, workers at the Linden, NJ assembly plant undoubtedly let their thoughts drift to summer as this pastel convertible rolled down the line. With its combination of light colors, it's virtually impossible to picture this car outside of a sunny landscape. As far as design, many of the 1968 442's highlights remained in place for the 1969 model year but subtle changes including an updated front end and taillight treatment refined the look. Restored in 2007, the smooth coat of Code 40 Saffron Yellow paint practically glows across the 442's modernist lines. From all angles, the time invested in both paint and body are obvious. Fit and finish is light years ahead of most cars produced during this era, with clean even gaps all around.
Straddling the line between luxury and performance, the 442 had plenty of trim to go around. At the front of the car, a bright chrome bumper hangs clear parking lights below the updated stainless trimmed grille which frames a silver “442” emblem and four T3 headlights. At the sides of those headlights, slick stainless trim traces both the car's fender lines and wheel openings; and behind those headlights, a 'power bulge' hood is accented by gloss black pin stripes. At the top of the car, like-new glass is framed by a nice combination of pristine stainless and the well-fitting black top that contrasts nicely against the Saffron Yellow. At the sides of the car, chrome door handles complement a spotless driver's side mirror, bold “442” fender emblems and cool Oldsmobile rocket marker lights. Out back, the car's smooth decklid hangs a large “442” emblem, a fresh Hurst emblem and another gloss black pin stripe above pristine, rocket inspired tail lights. And a broad, show worthy chrome bumper aligns crystal clear reverse lights with polished, 442-specific trumpet exhaust tips.
Pop the hood and you'll find the original 400 cubic inch V8 living planted in the subframe. Displaying a 396026G casting number and the correct partial vin stamp, this is the real deal wearing a period correct shade of bronze paint. Professionally rebuilt and fully detailed, the hot V8 is a super-efficient wedge head design which utilizes a standard stroke and undersquare bore to create a healthy 350 horsepower and 440 lb./ft. of torque. Stomp the throttle and the Rochester Quadrajet carburetor mixes fuel from new stainless fuel lines with air from a new Fire Red single snorkel air cleaner, and shoves it into a correct cast iron intake manifold. At the sides of that intake, original Oldsmobile “C” heads hang above restored cast iron exhaust manifolds which make quick work of spent gases; and behind that carburetor, the distributor sends fire through fresh Packard TV R Suppression wires. Cooling is provided by reproduction GM hoses which cycle water through a correct heavy duty radiator. Charging comes courtesy of brand new V-belts which spin a fresh alternator, factory correct power steering pump and a Frigidaire air conditioning compressor behind a standard four blade mechanical fan. From the washer fluid reservoir to the grease pencil markings, nearly every piece of this engine bay shows as it should have in the showroom.
Behind that 400 V8 lives a 400 of another sort – the TH400 three-speed automatic transmission. From there, power spins through a driveshaft that sports correct yellow and green striping. Out back, a limited-slip 12 bolt turns the 15 inch Super Sport II wheels wrapped in 225/75 Coker redline radials. The detailed undercarriage retains its stock layout with double A-arms up and stiff coil springs up front with a 4-link featuring boxed lower control arms and a factory sway bar keeping the back end in place. Being a well optioned car, all the amenities are in place including power steering and power brakes that utilize discs up front and drums out back. Aesthetically, the undercarriage is nearly museum quality with correct finishes, tags and grease pencil markings in all appropriate spots.
Open the doors on this 442 and a pristine code 937 Parchment interior awaits. Up front, recovered bucket seats look as though no one has sat in them since the restoration wrapped up. One of the rarer options on this 442 is its reclining passenger seat – a scarcely mentioned option for the 1969 year. In between those seats, the center console is wrapped in wood applique and outlined in chrome. In the center, a wooden knob tops the chrome gear selector. From the driver's seat, the rally pack gauges and speed minder speedometer keep tabs on that 400 V8. Just in front of those gauges, the three-spoke steering wheel sits atop a convenient factory tilt column. In the center of the dash, an AM/FM radio with power antenna remains fully functional in its original home. Above the radio, controls for the power top are kept within easy reach. Factor in the air conditioning system and power windows and this interior provides a surprisingly modern driving experience for a car built over forty years ago. Best of all, absolutely every piece of it functions like it should.
Included in the sale of this vehicle is an original 1969 Oldsmobile owner's manual that covers all the 442's finer points in classic General Motors lingo.
With plenty of stock motivation under the hood, a truly comfortable interior and plenty of creature comforts this 442 is sure to win over friends and car show judges alike. If you're ready to park a first rate A-body in your garage, don't miss the chance to bring this Oldsmobile home.
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What Customers Are Saying
First I would like to say that the staff at RK Motors were very professional and courteous. I was very impressed with the write-up and the details that were presented on this car. The photo shoot was amazing and the video was outstanding. Tony Klein, the consignment manager was amazing to work with. Tony always answered all of my questions within a timely manner. I was impressed with the time frame in which my vehicle was sold. I would and have recommended RK Motors to all of my car enthusiasts. Thank You RK Motors for a great job!