Orange Olds: 1977 Oldsmobile 442 – $17,000

by | Jun 2022 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

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By 1977, midsize personal luxury cars were the “it” automobile to own. Leading the pack was the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. However, with performance emphasis solidly on the decline, the 442 version of the Cutlass ended up selling in much lower quantities. This orange over tan 1977 Oldsmobile 442 currently listed here on Craigslist in Amissville, Virginia (Fredricksburg) appears to be a nice survivor quality example featuring many new parts.  The most interesting detail is the “W-31” decals on the front fenders and the ram air scoops mounted underneath the bumpers.  Unfortunately, the seller did not include pictures of the engine, but as far as we know, Oldsmobile did not offer such a package in 1977, so you’ll want to ask the seller more about that, especially since he did not include a picture of the engine.

Currently offered for $17,000, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is right in line with the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for third-generation Oldsmobile 442s produced between 1973 and 1977.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the truck featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $13,475 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $20,650.

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 or 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 a recently rebuilt transmission, a new set of tires, and a fresh tune-up, this 1977 Oldsmobile 442 is ready for the summer cruising season.

If you are serious about buying this 442, you can start the conversation by calling Phil at (703) 282-2410. When you connect, please remember to mention you saw his vintage Cutlass featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Olds 442 with 350 Rocket engine. The transmission received a complete rebuild last summer. New BF Goodrich radials all around. New front brakes, new QA1 rear suspension. I just had a new distributor, coil, plugs, etc installed. Aluminum radiator, headers, and a new Holley carb. The interior is almost perfect. No rips in the interior, and the dash is not cracked. Turn key car. Drives really nice. Very sharp car. 17K. OBO

Show or go: What would you do with this 1977 Oldsmobile 442?  Please comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous

    Car has the w31 air cleaner and hoses. Swapped out the stock carb with a Holley and added a super coil on the new distributor. W31 Air cleaner will not sit properly with the Accel supercoil in place. So it currently has a standard chrome stack air cleaner on it. W31 air cleaner hoses exit the engine bay through holes in front of fender and clamp into scoops.

    Phil

    Reply

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