Real W-30 4-speed, 3.91 W-27 rear, 2 build sheets, ownership history, receipts
- Condition: Used
- Make: Oldsmobile
- Model: 442
- SubModel: W-30
- Type: Coupe
- Year: 1970
- Mileage: 87,745
- VIN: 344870M277243
- Color: Green
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Interior color: Green
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30
In 1970, M corporate management finally lifted the 400 cubic inch limit on intermediates, nd within minutes there were big block Pontiacs, hevrolets, ldsmobiles, nd Buicks running around the Milford proving grounds. Some of the most amazing hardware ever produced during the muscle car era debuted in 1970 with names like LS6, rand Sport Stage I, he Judge, nd, f course 442 W-30. The 442 had been around since the GTO hit its first homerun, ut Olds engineers were always hamstrung by the corporate rules. Well, hat all ended in 1970 and the result is perhaps the very best blend of performance, ngineering, nd comfort available anywhere. The 1970 Oldsmobile 442 was already pretty potent with its 365 horsepower 455 cubic inch V8, ut for some, hat wasn't enough. Enter the W-30, hich was every trick that Olds could reasonably cram into a street car, ncluding shaving weight, nstalling a cam so radical that power brakes were an impossibility, nd even factory blueprinted engines built from the best of the best components. The factory rated the W-30 at 370 horsepower, nly 5 more than a stock 442, ut we're pretty sure that GM was up to its usual tricks in the rating department, ecause this mill cranks out a towering 500 pounds of torque. If we had to guess, e'd say the real number was probably closer to 410 horsepower. Regardless of the number, he result was one of the most potent cars on the road in 1970.
Of course, he W-30 was more than just horsepower, t was a complete package designed to put it to good use. The most visible signs of the W-30's potency are the W-25 cold-air fiberglass hood, hich was 18 pounds lighter than the steel version, nd those red inner fender liners which also helped shave weight. There was less sound-deadening material in the cockpit and if you wanted to really get radical, ou could even spec the W-27 aluminum rear end (we'll get to that in a moment), hich dropped another 22 pounds. If you wanted a 4-speed in your W-30, ell, hat meant you had to do without A/C and power brakes, ut if it was performance you were after, ou probably didn't care anyway. Only 1032 442 W-30 4-speed cars were built, aking them some of the rarest and most desirable A-bodies of the muscle car era.
So that brings us full circle to this gorgeous Sherwood Green 442 W-30 Holiday Coupe. To answer your first question, o, t's not a clone and we have not one, ut TWO original broadcast cards to prove it. You've probably already checked them out and noted that W-30 is clearly indicated. You've probably also wondered why the numbers on the cards don't match the VIN (they're close, ut no cigar). That's not because it's a fake or a typo at the factory—check out the BODY NUMBER stamped on the original Fisher cowl tag. Yep, t matches, o there's no question this is a real W-30. This car also includes a full list of all its owners, ating back to Story Oldsmobile in Lansing, I, he original selling dealer, wonderful bit of evidence that builds a rock-solid foundation for everything else.
A few years ago, his extraordinary Olds was treated to a very expensive restoration to a very high standard with absolute authenticity being the goal. Starting with a complete, lean, olid, ell-preserved car is always a big plus and the results you get from such a base point are bound to be spectacular. The original Sherwood Green finish was replicated in modern two-stage urethane with the factory-style white stripes being painted on and buried under the clear rather than stick-on decals. The bodywork is show quality without a wrinkle or wave anywhere to be seen and the gorgeous muscular quarter panels reflect like mirrors. Body gaps are excellent and even the fiberglass hood fits better than it has a right to. The original W35 rear spoiler was reinstalled and the deck lid pops open on original springs strong enough to lift the heavy wing, ore evidence that this car is the real deal. There are three or four nicks on the nose that have been touched up, ecause a car like this is obviously hard to resist, ut it still looks extremely clean, traight, nd bright in every way. All the chrome was also refinished and remains in outstanding condition, ncluding the unique 442 grille up front, he lock-down pins for the hood, nd the unique rear bumper with cut-outs for the exhaust trumpets. Proper emblems and badges were reinstalled wherever necessary, nd all the stainless window trim was polished. This car totally nails it.
The lovely green bucket seat interior was also restored, nd it's here that you can see Oldsmobile's dedication to luxury as much as to performance. The seats have beautifully detailed covers that are more than you'd get with the lesser brands and the burled walnut appliques look rich and upscale, arming up the interior in a tangible way. There's a center console with the requisite Hurst 4-speed manual shifter and cue ball knob, nd you'll be pleased to note that the mechanism that locks the shifter in Reverse when you pull out the key is fully operational. The beautiful gauges were fully restored and it includes auxiliary dials to the left of the speedometer and a relatively rare tick-tock-tach to the right, feature that's so subtle that it's easy to miss. The clock portion isn't working, ut you can watch the tach needle orbit the clock face as you run through the gears—very cool! A correct N34 4-spoke steering wheel has the Oldsmobile rocket emblem on the horn button and there's a D33 remote driver's-side sport mirror. A factory AM/FM radio was added during the restoration (the original AM radio is included with the car), nd it works properly as well. New carpets, orrect door panels, nd a nice, aut headliner were all part of the deal. In back, he rust-free trunk is outfitted with a correct mat set and a full-sized spare tire and wheel assembly along with a correct jack.
OK, umbers junkies, it down, ecause I know you want all the details on this amazing machine. The block is a date-code correct 455 Olds—what happened to the original, e can't say, ut obviously every effort was made to put the car into showroom-fresh condition and the only thing that isn't 100% correct are the actual numbers stamped into the side of the block. It's worth noting that it is indeed a correct 396021 F casting, ith the proper stick type F (without serif) on the top and bottom of the block and an 0383130 engine unit ID on the oil filler tube. The heads are F-code 404438 castings, hich were unique to the W-30 and used larger valves, nd they exhale into correct W- and Z-coded castings (casting numbers 402295 left and 402294 right, espectively). Up top, here's a 406115 casting aluminum Winters intake embossed with "OLDS W-455," which was correct for W-30s built after January 1, 970 (this car was built on February 24, 970). The carburetor is a 4-barrel Rochester, nd it, oo, as exactly the right numbers (7040256) because not only were W-30 carburetors unique, ut the manual transmission carburetors were different from the automatics. The cold air induction system sits on top and it's fully functional; you can hear it snap open when you turn off the engine. Power steering and front disc brakes were part of the package, ut there were no power brakes or A/C available, o don't ask or imply that this car has a deficiency, ecause you just couldn't get them.
The W-30's engine bay is just beautiful to look at; the combination of the blue engine enamel, lack firewall, nd red inner fenders makes it colorful and the detailing is highly accurate throughout. It does show some minor signs of use, ost notably some burned-off paint around the exhaust ports, ut that's easily remedied if you decide to go in search of trophies with this car. All the factory hardware was retained, he heat shields on the manifolds are intact, nd all the proper hoses are held in place by the right clips and clamps. The W-30 emissions decal on the radiator shroud is a reproduction, ut the original is included with the car as well, nd it's in excellent condition so you know the car led an easy life. It starts easily, dles smoothly even when it's cold, nd pulls like a freight train on the open road. To be honest, e're shocked by how docile this machine is and if not for the 4-speed and manual brakes, t would drive just like my grandmother's 1970 Cutlass coupe. That's a rather impressive achievement all by itself, ecause accessible horsepower from this era is often rumored to exist, ut the reality rarely measures up. This car delivers in every way that matters.
The undercarriage is every bit as amazing, articularly the rear end. The Muncie M21 4-speed manual transmission is original to the car, arrying the 3952648 casting number, 0B16B build code, nd the all-important 0M277243 VIN stamp on the driver's side (very difficult to photograph, ut I have personally verified it is there). Out back, here's an ultra-rare W-27 aluminum rear end housing, hich probably deserves an article all by itself because it's such a remarkable piece of hardware for the era. Yes, he entire housing is aluminum, hich not only reduced unsprung weight but also improved cooling and added an extra pint or two of capacity for durability. It wasn't a particularly expensive option at $158, ut you couldn't get it without also buying the W-30 package and a $42.13 limited slip, nd all that added nearly 15% to the car's price. It also eliminated power brakes and A/C from your list of options, addled you with a pretty radical 328-degree cam, nd likely jacked up your insurance premiums. As a result, nly 355 were sold and you're looking at one of them. This one is equipped with SZ-coded 3.91 gears on a Posi limited slip, hich is how perhaps 40-50% of them were sold, nd it gives the big 455 the legs it needs to really get moving. Around town, t's effortless with zero clutch slip needed to get it rolling, nd in any gear the Olds simply lunges forward like a rocket ship. It's a little busy on the highway, ut nobody was buying their 442 W-30 with an aluminum rear end because they had a long commute. These axles are not reproduced (the aluminum cover is, nd in 1971 the W-27 option included ONLY the cover on a standard 10-bolt rear) and if you can find one today in usable condition, ou should expect to pay somewhere between $10,000 and $20,000 for it. Be sure to take that into consideration when you're evaluating this car.
Of course, he other stuff underneath is accurate, oo. The floors are spotless and original, he rear suspension has correct boxed lower control arms to try to hook up all that torque, nd the exhaust is a correct reproduction system that has a very mellow sound that helps hide the monster living within. NOS spiral shocks were installed at the corners and there's a new gas tank out back. A few very, ery minor signs of use are evident, ut a weekend of detailing would make it show-ready once again, ut I think that would be a shame because this monster was built to drive. The brakes are effective, t tracks straight, ides beautifully, nd while we haven't pushed it anywhere near its limits, t feels pretty buttoned-down when the road starts to twist and turn. Correct 14-inch SSII wheels are painted charcoal gray and fitted with 245/60/14 BFGoodrich T/A radials, ut the car practically begs for a set of reproduction Goodyear Polyglas GTs like the one living in the trunk.
Documentation? You bet! We have the aforementioned broadcast cards, anuals, hop manuals, nd a stack of restoration receipts as thick as the Oxford English Dictionary. There are restoration photos, orrespondence with experts and historical centers, atalogs, nd other pieces of the puzzle that were used to put the car together as accurately as possible. It also includes four-and-a-half decades of paperwork, rticles, hotos, nd other memorabilia that was lovingly collected by the previous owners, ll attaching some history to this very significant car.
There's a notable cache of spare parts, ncluding a second set of spiral shocks, new 442 grille and trim surround pieces, new-in-the-box OEM clutch, Z-bar setup for the 4-speed, he aforementioned AM radio, lus a bunch of little stuff like filters and hardware. It also comes with a brand new car cover. An expensive one.
This is a lot of words, ut I can't remember a time when I have been so delighted with a car after I started digging into its history. This incredible 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 is the rare machine that simply gets better and better the more you look at it. It's the kind of under-promising and over-delivering that makes it an exceptional find, nd if you're a numbers junkie, ell, t's going to be very, ery exciting when this car rolls off the trailer and into your garage. I spent a lot of time researching all the details because I know the pedigree on a car like this is critical, nd I'm confident that it will measure up. It's rare, eautiful, ast, omfortable, nd highly accurate, ll backed by a bulletproof pedigree. If there were a different set of numbers stamped on that engine block, set that matched the VIN instead of that of a long-dead 442 W-30, his would easily be a six-figure car. Yes, t really is that nice. It's going to be very hard to say goodbye to this one, ut the new owner is going to be delighted in every possible way. Is that you?