Holy Grail of Oldmobiles found after 35 years
Every car tells a story. It’s 1970, and you have purchased a beautiful new Oldsmobile 442 Convertible with the highly desirable W30 package. Not many people know about the W30 option except for those who read the car magazines. But you’ve managed to order one with a 4-speed. It is red with black W30 stripes, black top and black interior. It has the monster Olds 455 big block motor, rated at 370 horsepower for 1970 with the W30 option. It has the ultimate Oldsmobile street package for its day with a smooth shifting manual transmission and 3.91 gears … and its fast. Too fast! It’s your pride and joy. But you have a bit of a drinking problem and you lose your license in the next two years. So you put the Olds 442 convertible in the garage with only 39,000 miles and some change.
For one reason or another you keep the car in storage for the next 35 years or so. There are many suitors for the car but you never sell. At some point a tree actually grows out of the ground and blocks the entrance to the shed. The 442 is trapped.
Fast forward to 2005. Four suitors are hold up in a Michigan motel. They are all after the legendary garage find, a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible that is rumored to have surfaced after all these years. A Michigan Speed Shop now owns the car and is ready to put it 1970 Oldsmobile 455 big block motor on the market. They put the word out. Steve Klein, an Oldsmobile muscle car guy from Connecticut, gets a call. “Do you have pics?” Yes. “Paperwork?” Yes. Klein makes a deal but it is December and he is told the “wagons are circling” and he’d better get there “yesterday” or someone may out-bid him. He pays way to much to get a plane to Shelby, Michigan and survives the scary flight in high December winds. The sellers are good to their word and he takes the car back east. Klein sells the car to a friend in Illinois (another Oldsmobile muscle car collector.) The new owner takes it to the Bowling Green Nationals and it scores high in as is condition.
The current owner is high on the car. He owns three other 1970 W30 rag tops. Yet he feels that this one is perhaps the rarest W30 convertible in existence because it has bullet proof documentation. It is, in his words, “the most complete original and documented 442 on the planet.” This weekend fellow collectors will have a chance to view more photos and review more history on this car as we feature it on our Cars On Line blog site. Feel free to comment on it. Compare it to the 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible that was recently sold at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale for $357,500. The Illinois collector says his is better.