Lot 2157

Fort Lauderdale 2022

1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Convertible


$247,500 USD | Sold

United States | Fort Lauderdale, Florida



Chassis No.
Engine No.
US Title
  • Believed to be one of 264 1970 model-year 442 W-30 Convertibles and one of only 96 four-speed convertible 1970 W-30’s
  • Restored in 2020 at a cost of more than $86,000
  • Benefits from previous, long-term ownership
  • Factory-correct Twilight blue with white convertible top over Astro Blue vinyl
  • Powered by 455-cI, V-8 engine paired with a close-ratio, four-speed, manual transmission

In 1970, Oldsmobile produced what would be the ultimate iteration of the 442 model. In response to new regulations, the company made its mighty 455-cubic-inch V-8 standard. This gargantuan engine produced 365 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, more than enough to take on competitors in the American muscle-car war. Checking off the “W-30” option on the build sheet brought even more power by adding a performance-calibrated, four-barrel carburetor, improved air induction, a hotter camshaft, and a low-restriction exhaust system. Total claimed output for the 442 W-30 was a heady 370 horsepower.

To put all that power to the pavement and keep the chassis in check, the W-30 package included a close-ratio, four-speed manual transmission with 3.08:1 final drive ratio, an Anti-Spin rear axle, front disc brakes, sway bars fore and aft, and meaty, white-letter tires on 14-inch wheels. A fiberglass hood was also part of the W-30 package; it saved 18 pounds over the standard steel version and featured dual air intakes. Meanwhile, an aluminum intake manifold, differential carrier, and cover, plastic inner fender liners, and less sound-deadening material further reduced weight.

This 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Convertible is believed to be one of only 264 such convertibles produced for the 1970 model year and one of 96 1970 W-30 convertibles to be built with a four-speed manual transmission. The car is believed to have been purchased new from a dealer in Kansas, according to anecdotal information from the previous owner, who acquired the car out of Utah in 1984. It remained in his possession in Utah for more than 30 years, undergoing a partial refurbishment during that time. The consigner purchased the 442 in 2018 and relocated it to Pennsylvania.

In 2020, the car was placed in the expert hands of Thornton Motors, Inc. of Telford, Pennsylvania and received $86,000 worth of restoration work, both mechanical and cosmetic. The high level of detail and care taken throughout the process is evident in the various decals and markings found under the hood and around the body, all meticulously placed for authenticity. Finished in its factory-correct color scheme of Twilight Blue paint over Astro Blue vinyl with a white top, the car is truly impressive to behold.

Documents that would definitively confirm factory specifications have unfortunately not survived, but chassis- and engine-code stampings do contain matching number sequences, while the transmission and rear-end stampings appear to be correct for a W-30 model. Furthermore, historical photographs on file and markings on various components discovered during the tear-down for the 2020 restoration appear to indicate that the intake, distributor, cylinder heads, and carburetor are also correct for a W-30, according to experts at Thornton Motors.

Included with the sale are service invoices documenting the restoration, historical photographs, a GM manufacturing tag, a full-size spare, a tire iron, and a jack. Benefitting from a trifecta of low production volume, a recent restoration to high standards, and known history that includes long-term single ownership, this Oldsmobile 442 W-30 is an exceedingly desirable example of one of the most sought-after muscle cars from the marque.