1971 Oldsmobile 442
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Classic American Muscle Car
1971 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Convertible:
1 of just 110 W-30 Convertibles produced in 1971, this example is one of 74 fitted with the special W-30 M40 Turbo Hydramatic 400 transmission and one of less than ten such examples fitted with factory air conditioning.
The W-30 was Oldsmobile's answer to the 426 Hemi from Chrysler, and even its corporate cousins including LS6 454 Chevelles, Ram Air IV Pontiacs, and Stage 1 Buick Gran Sports. All W-30 engines were hand-assembled fully balanced and blueprinted from the factory, or as Oldsmobile called them "Select Fit" by "Dr. Oldsmobile" himself! Much more than a simple appearance package, the W-30 had special cylinder heads, a special high lift camshaft, aluminum intake manifold with special Rochester carburetor, high-flow cast exhaust manifolds, a recurved, application specific distributor, free flow exhaust, and functional Ram Air induction which included the fiberglass W-25 dual scoop hood. W-30s also benefited from special suspension and brake upgrades. Any muscle car aficionado will tell you that Oldsmobile W Machines and Buick GS cars simply ride and handle superior to their Chevrolet and Pontiac A-Body siblings. Their interiors are also more well appointed and with better trim. They are indeed upscale Muscle.
On the appearance side, it was easy to spot a W-30 with its unique red plastic front inner fenders, special W-30 painted stripes, and W-30 front fender emblems.
This particular car was purchased nearly new in early 1974 by a school teacher from rural Iowa. Unlike the little old lady from Pasedena, this school teacher did not spend her nights drag racing, she simply used her W-30 as daily transportation for the over 30 years before she parked it. Thanks to the care and gentle use from its prior owner, unlike most W-30s this one survived intact with all of its original components and full numbers matching drivetrain. In 2005 I purchased the car and embarked on a concours level, 1400+ hour no-expense spared restoration that cost well into six figures. Every nut, bolt, and component is factory original yet restored to better than new. 100% original factory installed matching numbers engine, transmission, rear, carb,and distributor. Better still, the thoughtful school teacher saved every slip of paperwork from new, including the original window sticker and even the canceled check from when she bought the car. No less than 3 original build sheets were discovered in the car during restoration. Thanks to the virtually untouched and incredible original condition this car was in prior to restoration (it still had its original convertible top!), not only is EVERY component original to the car and numbers matching, but also every nut, screw, washer, bolt, hardware, etc. is original to the car - even the trunk mat and floor mats are original. I have never seen a more correct or better documented W30 Convertible in my 20+ years of following these cars. As more and more fraudulent W30's surface with reproduction W30 components and fraudulent paperwork the handful that have survived like this one with verifiable history and previous owners that are available to speak to will become even more valuable while the impostures become virtually worthless.
Much like LS6 Chevelles, W30 Olds cars are impossible to verify without REAL paperwork and owner history. This fact has led to far more fakes and UFO's than GM ever built. This W30 convert has an absolutely staggering amount of real factory paperwork including its original window sticker, multiple build sheets, real POP, original books, etc, etc... just unbelievable docs and 2 owner history.
I consider this car to be one of the best W30 convertibles in existence, and the paperwork and history is second to none. This is not one of the ever-prevalent "lipstick on a pig" hastily (and cheaply) restored, super-glossy, "auction specials" routinely seen on offer with bogus (or no) paperwork. This is a diamond in a sea of cubic zirconias!
Not only does my W30 look as if it is sitting on the showroom floor in 1971, I have spent considerable time and effort fine tuning it to perfection, as I do with all of my cars. There is not a squeak or rattle in it, it tracks straight and true down the road, and starts, runs, and performs as good or better than new. The factory air conditioning blows cold, the engine runs cool, and the factory AM/FM plays your favorite tunes crystal clear. I defy anybody to find a better driving W30. Period.
Don't let Oldsmobile's reputation for building boring cars fool you; some real factory muscle did roll out of Lansing during the heyday of the horsepower wars. 442 W30's are living proof of this!
Don't let the price fool you, this car is far better than selling it for the restoration costs would suggest. I've had my fun, and I need some room- so my loss is your gain. If you've wanted the best in Olds convertible muscle, here's your chance!