HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1971 Oldsmobile 442 marks ‘bittersweet’ muscle car decline

Pick of the Day: 1971 Oldsmobile 442 marks ‘bittersweet’ muscle car decline

The big-block performance car came toward the end of the high-powered era


To some, it might seem symbolic that Oldsmobile debuted a color called “Bittersweet” (officially, paint code #62) in 1971, just as the peak muscle car era was facing a rapid decline.

The Pick of the Day is a restored, low-mileage 1971 Oldsmobile 442 2-door hardtop in that very color being advertised on by a private seller in Hudson, Massachusetts.

According to the listing, this Olds two-door hardtop is one of just 112 units that were finished in Bittersweet for the 1971 model year.  Adding to that unique appeal is a long list of factory options including air conditioning, power steering, power disc brakes, a center console and a sport steering wheel – and the car has just 78,000 miles on the odometer.

The listing describes this Oldsmobile as a “professional frame-off rotisserie restoration.  Solid frame, floors, and trunk.  Undercarriage is just as clean as the top side. All body lines and door gaps are perfect.”  Even the interior is said to display perfect materials.


The 4-4-2 nomenclature originally came about in 1964 as a nod to the combination of a four-barrel carburetor, a four-speed manual transmission and dual exhausts.  The 442 shared General Motors A-body underpinnings at the time with the Chevrolet Chevelle, Pontiac Tempest, Oldsmobile F-85 and Buick Special. 

In fact, the 442 nameplate was initially offered only as an option package.  But Oldsmobile, like the other GM brands, was swift to move in on the hot muscle car segment, and the 442 became a standalone model beginning in 1968. 


This 1971 442 draws power from its numbers-matching 455cid V8 mated to a three-speed automatic transmission.  The seller outlines the car’s mechanical condition by stating that the Oldsmobile runs and drives excellently.  “All electrical works as it should including gauges, interior lights, blinkers, etc.” 

The final year of the second-generation 442 was in 1972, when the name officially went back to referring to an appearance and handling package (option code W-29).  New regulations around fuel economy and heightened attention to rollover protection, impact-absorbing bumpers, and other safety standards led to a complete redesign called the Colonnade body style in 1973.

Taking that into consideration, this Oldsmobile 442 is wearing a color that was aptly named for the time in which it debuted.  The seller is asking $48,900 for the Bittersweet 442.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine,, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.


  1. Was motor rebuild how about the turbo 400 transmission is it a w-30 package?how long ago was car re-done? how many owners? Do you pictures from roitersier ? How long have you owned it? Where is car located?

  2. I actually had put a deposit on this car and he was holding it for me. My house closing got dragged on too long for me to get the money before agreed holding limit. After he sold it, my house closed and I had the money. I am so sad. This is the same car with same color scheme I had in HS. I don’t know if I will find another as much of a match as I had in HS.
    If the owner of this car reads this and ever decides to sell it, please reach out to me.
    I wanted it so badly.
    [email protected]


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