Oldsmobile built just 1,304 442 convertibles in 1971, a fact that makes surviving examples such as this car very attractive to collectors. This 1971 Olds 442 came with all the attractive features that appealed to the typical performance-minded Oldsmobile buyer. The Cutlass-based 442 still had the handsome body style introduced for the 1970 model year, one of the best GM styling creations of the era. It also kept the powerful 455 CI big-block V-8 that, while rated at 270 HP net under the new SAE rating standard, retained its 340 gross HP and 370 lb-ft of peak torque, plenty to boost the 442 off the line. The matching-numbers 455 CI V-8 in this 442 convertible has stout backup in the form of a 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission, controlled by a console-mounted Hurst Dual Gate shifter which works as intended. Power steering and power front disc brakes were popular additions to most 442 buyers’ order forms.
The crowning touch of a detailed frame-up restoration, the car’s brilliant Viking blue paint is decorated with white hood and body-side stripes and capped with a power-operated white convertible top and added rear spoiler. Color-keyed Super Stock II wheels feature the same paint with chromed trim rings and center caps. A big part of the 442’s appeal could be found in its luxurious, upscale interior. Here it features bucket seats and a center console, a padded-rim Sport 4-spoke steering wheel, wood-grain accent trim on the dash, console and door panels, and rich Pearl White upholstery with pleated seat panels. The horsepower sweepstakes may have been beginning its decline, but in 1971, the Oldsmobile 442, especially in rare convertible form, still stood for performance mixed with mature styling and driving comfort, all found in this fine example.
This 442 has the coldest Air-Conditioning I have experienced in a vintage car. Some other nice options include power windows and a Tic-Toc-Tachomter. The original AM/FM radio works perfectly as well as both front and rear speakers, controlled and faded by its factory adjustments.