(This post was originally published by HotCars and written by Jonathan Baker.)
If tasked by Webster’s Dictionary with supplying the illustration for the term “muscle car”, the Pontiac GTO would probably be the most obvious choice. But its Oldsmobile 442 corporate cousin would not be far behind. Both featured large V-8s from their brands’ large full-size models shoehorned into a mid-size platform. Unlike Pontiac’s borrowed Italian name, Oldsmobile’s was more descriptive. 442 referred to its four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission, and dual exhausts.
Subtle But Looks The Business
This example hedges a bit because it was ordered with the 3-speed automatic. But it does come with a 400 cubic inch big block so there is your other “4” for you. This is the last year before the model went to the fast back body style, normally associated with the 442. Exterior boasting of high performance upgrades were quite subtle back then with the factory louvered hood and dual exhaust being the only overt backup of the 442 badging. The exterior’s aftermarket features are period correct with Cragar Eliminator wheels sporting white-letter tires.
Original Where It Counts, Updated Where It Makes Sense
There is other subtle and sensible updating. The engine with its Quadrajet 4-barrel is original but was rebuilt in 2011, as was the transmission. The radiator was replaced a few years later, and the eventually cracked exhaust manifolds were replaced with headers. In the rear sits a .308 positraction diff. Positraction was also part of the original 442 package. Power steering was a 442 option and this car has it. Front disc brakes were an option this 442 didn’t have but does now. There are new shocks at each corner with Air Lift 1000 air helper springs in the rear.
It is red everywhere you look with the exterior repainted in the original Spanish Red, and an all red interior, including the replaced carpet, which might not have been quite that red originally. The T-shifter handle looks replaced but it was that shape originally. The dash pad is there for a reason as the dash surface has bubbled a bit.
The car resides in Palmyra, Indiana and shows 54,729 on the odometer. As of this writing, the current bid is $12,500 and you have 11 more days to put one in yourself.