1972 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible 455 – For Sale

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Rare opportunity

* Real deal “U” code 455V8 / 442 convertible
* Matching numbers all original driveline
* Loaded with Options
* Multiple Award Winner   /   40 AWARDS
* Known History / Documented 2 owners from new
* ZERO rust / original panels / southern car
* Factory fit and alignment

1972 442 convertible “U-code” 455

Believed to be 1 of less than 300 built.

Total production in 1972 of 442 convertibles was a mere 1,171 cars, which INCLUDED both 350 small block cars & 455 big block cars.

The number of “big block” 1972’s is dramatically lower than built in the previous two years. The 1970 and 1971 “442” production runs were entirely big block cars and produced in larger numbers than the combined total built in 1972.

Unfortunately, the exact split in 1972 between the small block 350 cars and the big block 455 cars is not known, but it is believed that less than 25% of the 1,171 cars in 1972 had the 455 (less than 300 which would have included a total of 113 W30’s).

After subtracting the W-30 equipped 442 convertibles you end up with an approximate number of something less than 200 remaining 455 big block 442 convertibles.

Unquestionably ultra rare and best of all, this one is loaded with desirable options.

It’s Loaded with OPTIONS

Options “Above & Beyond” the 442 package include

- “U” code 455 big block / Turbo 400 transmission
- Convertible
- Power Windows
- Power Top
- Power Seat (drivers side)
- Am/Fm Stereo / Rear Seat Speaker
- 8-Track tape player
- Air Conditioning / Tinted Glass
- Notched Rear Bumper / Trumpet exhaust tips
- Buckets / Console with floor shifter
- Deluxe Steering Wheel
- Special Stripes including Hood Paint
- Color coordinated convertible top

“Standard” options with the 442 PACKAGE include

- Special Suspension & Handling package
- Cutlass Supreme interior upgrade
- Special Finned Hood
- Special Wheels
- Special Badging
- Special Grill
- Dual Exhaust System
- Power Disc Brakes
- Power Steering
- Wheel well molding
- etc

The most luxurious “muscle car” in the GM lineup
As equipped, this car in 1972 cost 30% MORE than the average priced vehicle. Considered expensive at $5,000 when the average annual income was only $11,859 and a new home was $27,500. Very few people could afford it and, consequently, very few were built.

It was RARE in 1972, it is much rarer 41 years later.

2 owner history

This is a documented TWO-owner car from the dry south. The buyer of this car will get BOTH phone numbers of both former owners and copies of old titles in their names. They both live here in the Dallas Texas area.

The kind of history I love. It comes with “living history”, meaning the only two people who have ever owned it are alive and can tell you all you desire to know. This kind of history, on any 41 year old car “is desirable”, on a rare car it’s a dream find.

Documented 2 owner
It has NOT been passed around. Its entire ownership history consists of two “age mature” couples, both of which lovingly cared for it.

Original Owner
It was purchased new at “BALCH Oldsmobile” in Little Rock Arkansas by the original owner who is now 85 years old He loved this car and kept it 31 years. Towards the end of that ownership, he had it freshened up as needed including a paint job in the factory color and rebuilt the original numbers matching motor. The car currently has 87,xxxx miles on the odometer. The exact date and mileage at the time of the rebuild and repaint is unknown as the original owners memory is a little clouded on this detail. It remains in excellent condition. The OVERALL presentation of this car is that of a well-preserved original that has been sympathetically restored only as needed.

Second Owner
The second owner is a 65 year old local Dallas area gentleman that purchased the car from the original owner10 years ago. Other than taking care of any maintenance issues, he kept the car substantially as purchased. He enjoyed showing the car here in the Dallas area and won a tremendous amount of AWARDS with it.

When it was not being shown, it was garaged under a car cover. While not a national level “frame off” type car, it is a strong “local DALLAS car show” competitor and has over 40 awards to prove it.

It is ultra hard to find any 41 year old car with a two owner history …. it is a dream come true to find an ultra rare 72 442 big block convertible with this history.

ZERO rust body

This is a ZERO rust car with 100% original sheet metal and excellent factory panel fit and alignment …. in short, this is a high integrity car with no hidden sin.

Paint
It’s beautiful. While not a mega dollar perfect paint job, it does present well, has no distracting blemishes and no evidence of real wear. The color is the original code 69 “Nutmeg”, which is beautiful and very unusual. It has a lot of gold metal flake in it and consequently it really pops under lights or in direct sun light. The way the camera lens reads this car causes it to appear darker in the photos than it is with the naked eye. The Palomino stripes and top are the perfect accent color.

Bumpers / N25 trumpet exhaust “cutouts”
The front and rear bumpers have been re-chromed and are beautiful – this is easily a $1,500 outlay but it makes all the difference. The rear bumper is the o’so cool N25 bumper which automatically came with the big block 442 in 1972. It had to be ordered if you wanted it on the small block 442’s.

The N25 upgrade has cut outs for the “Trumpet Exhaust” tips.

Interior
The interior is a combination of original and restored. The seats have been recovered and the carpet replaced. There is NO fatigue in the seats, they look and feel much as they would have when new. The remaining interior is as it left the factory and very presentable.

Convertible top / color coordinated
I just put a NEW high quality Robbins convertible top on it. The top was installed by the best shop in Dallas and has that nice taunt look. It is a power top and comes with a new boot as well.

One of the cool things offered in the Cutlass/442 lineup was a COLOR COORDINATED top (not your normal black or white). The top matches the body stripes and blends beautifully with the interior and exterior paint. The unique color of the top and the over all color presentation on this car is not only striking, it is a real crowd pleaser and probably the reason it has done so well at shows.

Performance
This is a high integrity super tight car. It remains in absolutely beautiful condition and in need of nothing for immediate enjoyment. It runs and rides as it should. Everything works except the AC and sound system. Both of these items can be addressed before shipping to you – HOWEVER, extra time would be needed and extra funds. Once the car has been purchased and paid for, then I will resolve either or both issues at your cost. Once these issues are resolved, and once paid for, the car will be shipped or you can fly in and drive it home. Sorry, I do not have a good estimate but a guess might be between $1,500 to $2,000. I have already taken into consideration these items when pricing this car.

The car is an excellent value and will only appreciate.

What’s it worth?
The 442 convertible is easily one of the fastest appreciating muscle cars in today’s market. It will only continue to go up in value. There are recorded RECENT sales of fine examples bringing in the $60K to $90K range. I have seen numerous fine examples bring in the $60k to $90k range. The W30 convertibles are well over $100k with some selling north of $200k. The ever escalating price of the W-30 convertible is driving up the price of the regular 455 equipped 442 convertibles. This car is the lowest production and consequently rarest of that exclusive group.

The below NADA price guide definition for “high retail” is for a car that is designated as ……. “completely restored OR a well maintained original showing only minimal wear. The exterior paint, trim, interior and mechanics are not in need of reconditioning….. AND, car is not considered a high 100 point car”


What changed in 1972?

I would NOT normally give a “history lesson” when describing a car, however, so much confusion exists around the 1972 “442” that I wanted to bring some clarity to the differences in 1972 that are in fact UNIQUE to 1972.

1972 was the END OF AN ERA with the LAST 442 convertible ever built. The cost of the Oldsmobile 442 was “substantially” more expensive than its equal counterparts, which classified it as an “executive muscle car”. Making the 442 more affordable in 1972 was the motivation behind offering the less expensive 350.

  • First and foremost, it is important to understand that the 442 in 1972 did not require a 455 V8 as it had in the previous two years. In 1972, the 442 was an “option package” as opposed to a specific model. As an option “package” it could now be ordered with a small block 350 V8 as opposed to requiring the big block 455. Because the 442 was now an “option” package as opposed to a specific model, you didn’t get a 442 glove box emblem on the 1972 convertible. It was a Cutlass Supreme model and the nameplate script goes on the glove box door.
  • In 1972, the “442”, unlike previous years, no longer had a unique vin number that started with a “344” in the vin to designate it as a 442. Only the 455 cars will have the U in the vin.