Dying Breed: 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 350/4-Speed – SOLD!

May 2020 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

October 2020 Update – We’re busy updating our database to accurately reflect the status of every car we’ve featured since starting GuysWithRides.com.  This rare 1973 Olds Cutlass 442 we first featured in May 2020 has since sold. This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.

Despite the rising popularity of the personal luxury version of the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, the lower-trimmed Cutlass-S based 442 versions such as this 1973 example listed recently in Providence, Rhone Island found themselves on a rapid decline as muscle cars began to fall out of favor.   This Rocket 350-equipped example is even rarer with a factory four-speed. Offered at $18,500, checking the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his 442 priced somewhere between the current #2 “Excellent” estimate of $22,000 and the #3 “Good” appraisal of $16,000.

Originally expected to debut for the 1972 model year, GM delayed the introduction of the new “Colonnade” hardtop body style until 1973 due to a protracted United Auto Workers Union strike in 1972. GM redesigned the body to feature massive five-foot long doors and front energy absorbing bumpers. The rear windows were fixed and the roof was reinforced in anticipation of roll-over standards being imposed by the government. These cars were a few hundred pounds heavier and slightly larger than the 1972’s.

Consistent with 1972, the 4-4-2 option remained a handling and appearance package, code W-29, and was available on the Cutlass and Cutlass “S”. It consisted of a faux louvered hood, FE2 suspension, specific grilles, emblems, and stripes. Items such as dual exhaust and super stock wheels had to be ordered à la carte. This was all part of the industry-wide weaning of U.S. consumers from muscle cars.

1973 was the last year of the 4-speed manual transmission in the Olds “A” body. The “M” code 350 cubic inch Rocket 350 factory equipped with duals produced 200 horsepower is the power train found in the example featured here.. Positraction rear ends, axle ratios, gauges, Super Stock wheels, HD cooling, and many sport type options were available, but had to be ordered.

Interior trims for the ’73 4-4-2 included a cloth/vinyl or all-vinyl bench seat and rubber floor covering (carpeting optional) on base Cutlass coupe, while Cutlass S included full carpeting on the floor and lower door panels, woodgrain trim, deluxe steering wheel, and more luxurious cloth-and-vinyl or all-vinyl bench seat, or optional swiveling Strato bucket seats with vinyl trim that could be rotated 90 degrees for easy exit/entry. Center console with floor shifter was optional with either the 4-speed manual or Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions.

Here’s a commercial we found from 1974 highlight the swivel bucket seat’s functionality:

This is a nicely option ’73 442 that we feel is the best looking of this design due to the smaller bumpers featured this first year only.  While the appreciate the owner’s transparency about the speedometer/odometer change, we’re having a hard time reading the Oldsmobile production numbers sheet trying to illustrate the rarity of this car.  By 1973, Oldsmobile wasn’t making many four-speed equipped cars, so regardless of the actual number, its safe to say this is a rear example that presents nicely and likely sounds very appealing when running.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1973 Oldsmobile 442, M code 350 factory M20 4 speed. Very rare 1 of 871 G37 442 4 speeds made.
The car was Lansing built and sold new in Muncie Indiana. The original owner restored the car in the early 2000’s and then sold to the 2nd owner in 2004. This owner only drove the car 400 miles until I purchased it in March 2019. It had 69,312 miles on it and I have put 700 miles in the year I have owned it. A couple of months back the odometer broke at 70008. I took it apart and found the plastic numbers retainer broken inside. I decided to buy another speedometer assembly that now reads 62655 and works perfectly. I have photos showing the old and new odometers.

The car has the following options;
Factory a/c, not converted or charged
Swivel buckets
4 speed console
Tilt sport wheel
Factory gauge package
AM-FM radio, not working presently
SSIII 15” sport wheels
New BFG radial tires

What I have done to the car in the year I have owned it;
Done final brake adjustments and bleeding, all parts are as new
4 new tires as the ones on the car were 19 years old
Replaced the clutch fan
Replaced choke tubes because of exhaust leak
Changed clutch start switch with a new NOS unit
Changed the backup light switch with a new NOS unit
Had the gauges refurbished, all work perfectly
Changed the gas tank sending unit, gas tank appears new but sending unit was not
Replaced window door sweeps

The engine and transmission were rebuilt at some time and run perfectly and smooth, no problems.
The paint on the car is probably a 7 out of 10 but shows excellent.
It’s not a 100 pt. show car but it shows very well.

I have the Indiana title for the car as Rhode Island does not issue titles for cars older than 2001.
Sold on a bill of sale and Indiana title.

The car is shown as is and no guarantees or warranties given or implied.

Asking $18,500 or best reasonable offer, I have more than that into the car but have enjoyed it.
Thanks for looking!! Manny”

Do you have a Olds 442 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

6 Comments
  1. Cindy Watkins

    My husband is restoring his 1973 Olds 442 car that he has had sense high school. This classic has a 4 speed console but my husband is having a lot of trouble locating one piece for the side of the console called the “bump”.. My husband,(Jim) has gone to many swap meets trying to locate this piece to no avail. This is a very rare pice only made for the e 1973 Olds. If you know where I can get my hands on this part please contact me.
    Sincerely searching,
    Mrs. Cindy Watkins

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Hi Cindy, we’re going to add your request to the “Parts Wanted” section of our new “Guys With Parts” page. Hopefully we can get you connected with someone who has the part your husband needs soon!

      Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Hi Cindy, we just created a “Parts Wanted” page earlier this week, so we placed your request along with a picture we found over there. Please keep us posted if you hear from someone via our site.

      Reply
    • Mike

      Cindy I have access and may be purchasing a 73, what exactly is this hump thing so I can check it out for you?

      Reply
  2. Jim

    Is this car still available?

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Jim, this Olds 442 sold in May. Apologies for the confusion – as our site’s popularity grows, we’re busy updating older posts such as this one to avoid future confusion. Thanks for your patience as we work hard to get caught up!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.