Mediocre Muscle: 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 – SOLD!

by | Aug 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

September 12, 2021 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

September 1, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the seller lowered their asking price by two thousand dollars to land at the current ask of $21,500. Even with that price reduction, the seller remains well about the #1 Guidelines we rely on.

Despite being the most popular car sold in America at the time, increasing emission standards had really taken a bite out of the Oldsmobile Cutlass S Coupe by 1977.  Even Oldsmobile called the optional W29 442 equipment nothing more than an “Appearance and Handling” Package as the optional 350 cubic inch “Rocket” V8 could only muster 170 horsepower. 1977 was also the final production year of GM’s Colonnade Hardtops, so it’s a real treat to find a low-mileage survivor Cutlass S 442 such as this silver-over-black example originally listed in August 2021 on Craigslist in Baden, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). Offered at a negotiable $21,500 currently (the original as was $23,500), comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their 442 priced above this guide’s #1 “Concours” appraisal of $19,700.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the seller’s ask is well above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $18,240 after factoring in a twenty percent premium for the 442 package and the bucket seats with console.  Luckily the seller hints they are negotiable on price so that you can make an offer in line with the current market guidelines shown above.

With new downsized mid-size GM replacements in the pipeline one year away, for 1977 Oldsmobile made minor tweaks to its best-seller Cutlass line-up.  Ordering the optional W29 “442 Appearance and Handling” package on a Cutlass S gave buyers the only version available with the “Waterfall” grille developed for use in NASCAR. The W29 option provided Oldsmobile’s highly regarded FE2 Rallye suspension, featuring higher-rate front and rear springs, larger-diameter front anti-roll bar, rear anti-roll bar, firm ride shocks, and 15 x 7-inch wheels. It also added a special body-side paint treatment with billboard “442” callouts, “442” decal on the decklid, and Y74 bright rocker panel and wheel opening moldings.

Unfortunately, engine offerings were once again shuffled with Buick’s 231 cubic-inch V6 replacing the base model Chevy 250 inline-six. Optional powerplants again included the Oldsmobile-built 260 and 350 cubic-inch Rocket V8s. Replacing the big-block 455 as the top engine was a new Oldsmobile 403 cubic-inch small-block Rocket V8 rated at 180 horsepower. Transmission offerings included a three-speed manual or Turbo Hydra-Matic paired with the V6, a five-speed manual or Turbo Hydra-Matic mated to the 260 V8. Unfortunately, the Turbo Hydra-Matic was the sole offering when buying either the 350 and 403 V8s. Interiors included a standard bench seat with cloth-and-vinyl or all-vinyl bench seat or optional Strato bucket seats with all-vinyl upholstery and without the swiveling feature of previous years. The console remained optional with bucket seats.

Here’s a 1977 vintage commercial of Oldsmobile trying to capture the youth market with its tape-stripe 442:

With its low mileage and great documentation, this Oldsmobile Cutlass has the potential to earn its new owner an AACA Junior and possible Senior Awards show they choose to follow that route with this car. However, the aftermarket headers and true dual exhaust likely help this 442’s 350 Rocket V8 breath so well that you may not want to revert back to the stock configuration.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1977 Oldsmobile 442
True 442 VIN Serial numbered car, VIN: 3G37R7M177157, not a clone!!
52,665 Original Miles
Very Nice Silver Metallic / Black paint, Excellent Black Cloth/Vinyl Interior
350 cubic inch, 4bbl, Rocket Olds Numbers Matching Engine
TH350 3-Speed Automatic Transmission
Optioned with Factory Air Conditioning, Power Steering, Power Brakes, Rear Window Defogger, Bucket Seats with Full Console
Documented with Body Broadcast Build Sheet, maintenance records and Original Owners Manual Package
Minor modifications include headers with full 2-1/2” dual exhaust with chrome tailpipes, Kenwood AM-FM-Cassette Stereo w/ Alpine 75 watt amplifier in trunk.
Same owner for past 16 years
Rare Classic that gets a lot of attention everywhere you go! Price is Negotiable!

Show or go: what would you do with this survivor Olds 442?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Ron Gajdos

    If you find anymore 1977, silver and black 442’s let me know! Bought a new one back in 1977!


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