1969 Oldsmobile 442 - $67,900
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Good looks, lots of performance, and a pedigree? Yeah, this car nails it.

In this business, it’s a mistake to talk in absolutes. Words like “perfect” and “flawless” always come back to bite and making claims that something is “the best” is likewise an invitation for trouble. However, when this spectacular 1969 Oldsmobile 442 Sport Coupe rolled through our door, all of those words immediately came to mind. It’s just spectacular. And don’t worry, all the important stuff is in order: matching-numbers, documentation, receipts, photos, awards, and all the things that make a good car into a great car. Make no mistake, this is a great car and I can say with a great deal of confidence that you will never find a better 1969 442.

While the 442 seemed to live for many years in the shadow of the GTO and Chevelle SS, it is finally getting the respect it deserves. For a time, it was the most potent muscle car you could buy and it offered comfort and an upscale image that the lesser brands just couldn’t match. There is a difference in the way an Oldsmobile drives, and that was entirely intentional on the part of GM engineers—it had to be better because it cost more. By 1969, you could load it up with comfort and convenience options and it became its own stand-alone model, no longer simply an option code on the Cutlass. And while the formula was originally a ‘4’00 cubic inch V8, ‘4’ speed manual transmission and ‘2’ exhaust pipes, this 1969 model is a lot more user-friendly without losing the performance edge that made these cars legendary. And looking through the paperwork, it appears that only 509 442 Sport Coupes were built in 1969, making this a very rare piece. Good looks, lots of performance, and a pedigree? Yeah, this car nails it.

Restored to original specs, this car is wearing a gorgeous coat of code 51 Trophy Blue paint that makes it stand out without shouting. It’s handsome and sophisticated, just as you’d expect from an upmarket Olds, and finish quality is exemplary throughout. We can detect no panel replacement or patches in the bodywork, which means there are none or the guys doing the work were so good at their jobs that they erase all traces of even being there. We have an extensive photo album showing the full frame-off process, including the body being fully refinished, and again, we’re pretty confident that it didn’t look this good the moment the last guy on the assembly line snugged the final bolt into place. Panel gaps are even enough to pass the Lexus ball bearing test, the surfaces are glossy and smooth enough to reflect as well as the mirror in your bathroom, and the latches have been adjusted so that everything just clicks into place without a hard slam. Obviously that takes time and money, something GM didn’t have to spare in 1969. Somebody put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this car and it shows in every single nook and cranny. Correct pinstripes were added on the hood, the chrome was all treated to show-quality plating, and even the headlights are proper T3 units. The Parchment vinyl top, which was also how this car was originally ordered, was professionally installed and looks like new.

There’s more beautiful Parchment vinyl inside, where virtually everything you can touch is new or restored. There are some who will raise their eyebrows at the sight of a bench seat and a column-mounted shifter, but this car was restored as it was built, not converted into some new owner’s dream of what it should be today. Does that mean anything to you? It’s important if you want to compete at the very highest levels, which is where this car was built to go. The beautiful door panels use correct Oldsmobile Rocket emblems, not the more familiar Cutlass symbol that most restorers inadvertently choose. The seats are finished with new upholstery that replicates the original stuff exactly, and there’s fresh foam underneath so they’re firm and comfortable. The carpets are new, the dash pad is new, the weather seals are new, and, well, you see where this is going. The steering wheel is nicely restored, the burled walnut appliques on the dash look very authentic, and even the factory-style tags for the radio and seat belts are included. Speaking of the radio, it’s a factory AM/FM unit, which is a somewhat rare find, and it has the Rocket Rally Pac gauges, an $84.26 option that includes a Tick-Tock-Tach (which, sadly, is not operational, the only real defect on the entire car). A set of 442-logo floor mats protect the carpets and all the seat belts were fully restored with new webbing. In back, there’s a beautifully finished trunk with a matching full-sized spare, jack assembly, and reproduction mat.

The biggest engine you could get in 1969 was Oldsmobile’s 400 cubic inch “Rocket” V8, which was essentially a smaller bore 455. The result was more torque at lower RPM and 325 horsepower at the big end. This is the car’s original, numbers-matching engine, verified by the partial VIN stamped on the driver’s side pad. It is a correct 3960263 G casting and wears proper C-code heads. It was fully rebuilt to stock specs save for a slightly upgraded Edelbrock performance camshaft and then fully detailed for show. There’s proper copper paint on the block itself, a correctly coded intake manifold and Rochester 4-barrel carburetor under the bright red air cleaner, and beautifully preserved exhaust manifolds complete with head shields. Little things like the plug wires, alternator pulley, and even the tags on the lines and radiator cap were all faithfully reproduced. And as good as it looks, it runs even better! This isn’t one of those trailer queens that can barely limp off a trailer, but a great-running Olds muscle car with all the go to match its show. It starts quickly and easily, even in the cold (indeed, when it showed up at our shop, it had been in a trailer for three days in freezing weather and fired up immediately and idled smoothly in the parking lot). There’s a healthy burble from the twin trumpets out back, which are augmented by a Flowmaster exhaust system that isn’t quite correct but sounds spectacular. This is a car you can show or drive the moment it arrives in your driveway.

Underneath, it’s every bit as nice as you’d expect, with correctly-finished floors that show no patches or other signs of distress, as well as a lot of new hardware. That’s the original, numbers-matching TH400 3-speed automatic transmission spinning a correct 12-bolt rear end with 3.08 gears on a Posi limited slip—the “economy rear axle” mentioned on the window sticker as a zero-cost option. In practice, that tall gear makes this Olds very easy to drive and quite comfortable on the roll, with the exhaust nothing more than a distant burble and surprisingly good ride quality over any surface. Obviously it hasn’t been driven a lot, but someone clearly spent a lot of time getting this one dialed-in just right. Front disc brakes, correct tags and markings, and proper finishes round out a very nicely detailed chassis that helps explain why this is a multiple award winner.

Documentation is extensive, starting with a big package of information from Vintage Vehicle Services in Canada, which is GM of Canada’s documentation headquarters. It includes full details on the car’s build, a reproduction window sticker, and other nice details about the car’s construction. There are dozens of restoration receipts and an album of photos documenting the process from start to finish so you can see that the work was done right. It also includes a small build sheet tag and a large stand-up board for display at shows.

This is an extremely impressive car in every way that matters. If you’re a serious collector, you already know this car couldn’t be duplicated for the asking price and while it may seem like a lot for an Olds, look again at the quality and the pedigree. You will not find a better 1969 Oldsmobile anywhere and nobody ever regrets buying the very best. Call today!

Vehicle: 1969 Oldsmobile 442
Price: $67,900
Stock Number: 115016
Mileage: 53,500
VIN: 3447791130908
Engine: 400 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.08
Wheelbase: 112 inches
Wheels: 14-inch Magnum 500
Tires: F70-14 Firestone Wide Oval
Exterior Color: Trophy Blue
Interior Color: Parchment vinyl
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