1970 OLDSMOBILE 442-W30

1970 OLDSMOBILE 442-W30                                                            NO 78


The 442 W30 is considered to have the best balance of presentation, performance, ride and handling in its day.

Only 264 442 W30 Convertibles were produced in 1970, of those, only 126 were optioned with the Hurst Dual Gate shifter and only a handful ever left the factory optioned with Air Conditioning.

The W30 package featured a 455 CID engine producing 370 HP / 500 FT-lbs torque.  This vehicle also has FE2 suspension, deluxe interior, strato-bucket seats and custom stripes, Hurst dual gate shifter, factory air conditioning, FE2 Heavy duty suspension, N47 Vari-ratio power steering, tilt steering column, JL2 power disc brakes, power convertible top, U21 Rocket Rally Pack, W27 Differential, Soft Ray tinted glass, tic toc tach, etc; just about every option available.

First owner took delivery of the car at the Oldsmobile factory in Lansing MI and showing former employer Carlson Oldsmobile, Inc. as the delivering dealer.

This W30 convertible is excellent in every way. Mechanically, the car is outstanding featuring a recent freshening of the original motor and transmission, all new poly urethane upgraded bushings in the suspension and steering improve the already excellent ride all Oldsmobile’s offered. Much attention to factory detail was exercised during the restoration as this car presents a near perfect interior, excellent fit, and outstanding paint.

This car is documented with original registration and original owner history.


Oldsmobile and the 442

First established in 1897 by Ransom E. Olds by 1903-4 the Oldsmobile became the highest selling car in the United States. The Olds “Curved Dash” Olds was the first mass produced car made from an assembly line.  Henry Ford refined this process by making it a “moving assembly line” in 1908.  At first the cars were called “Olds Automobile” but that quickly was shortened by the market to “Oldsmobile.” That name was popularized in 1905 in the well remembered song “In My Merry Oldsmobile.”  In 1908 Oldsmobile was purchased by Wm C. Durant and made a Division of General Motors.

Beginning in the 1920’s following Alfred Sloan’s marketing theory of “a car for every pocketbook,” Oldsmobile occupied the price niche below Buick and above Pontiac and Chevrolet. To make that more than just a niche, Oldsmobile established itself as a performance leader bringing many firsts to the marketplace.

Among these innovations they brought the first automatic transmission to the market in 1937.  It featured a conventional clutch pedal which the driver pressed allowing the driver to shift to high or low.  In low, the transmission shifts between first and second while in high gear the car shifts between first, third, and fourth gear.

In 1940 Olds brought out the first fully automatic transmission which did away with the clutch pedal altogether. It was called the “Hydramatic” and had the gear selector on the steering column.

In 1949, Olds brought out the Rocket V-8 engine featuring an overhead valve V8 design rather than flathead straight eight design that everyone else was using.  It produced far more power (which translated into speed) than other engines of the period.

Mid-1955 saw the introduction of the pillarless hardtop on the Holiday four door. During the 1960’s Olds introduced “the first turbocharged engine in 1962 (the Turbo Jetfire which created a memorable whistling sound at highway speed), the first modern front wheel drive car produced in North America (the 1966 Toronado), and the Vista Cruiser station wagon (noted for its glass roof)” and forward facing third seat.

The 442 began as a 1964 muscle car package (4-barel carburetor, 4-speed manual trans, and dual exhaust) on the F-85/Cutlass. In 1965 the original 330 cid 310 hp was replaced by a new 400 cid /345 hp engine.  The “442” definition was changed to “4” hundred cid V8 engine, “4-barrel” carb, and “2” exhausts. Named the “Car of the Year” in the 1965 Car Craft Nationals” the 442 it became it own model in 1968. In 1970 the larger 455 cid (7.5 L) V8 was installed and when mated with the W30 option created was has been called the “finest blending of presentation, performance, ride and handling” of the day. A prime example of this outstanding vehicle in convertible form can be seen to this day in the Lang Collection.

Finally bowing to changes in the marketplace, General Motors closed down Oldsmobile production in 2004 ending over 100 years of well- designed and well-engineered cars.