Few collections of three numbers elicit the emotion and the passion of the 442, Oldsmobile’s greatest contribution to the first muscle car renaissance. But only a small fraction of production for the lauded 1971 model year sported a convertible top. Safe to say, any surviving example that does is worth its weight in nostalgia points.But that’s the configuration this 1971 Olds 442 W30 V8’s had since it left the factory.
We live in an era where a convertible variant of a muscle isn’t always a guarantee (we’re looking at you, Dodge Challenger). So this 442 Convertible, one of only 78 made with an automatic transmission in 1971, has just as much appeal as the Convertible Chally Dodge finally got around to making recently. It’s for sale via a private Classic Autotrader seller out of Whitesboro in Central New York.
Granted, 1971 was as much a turning point year for the muscle car as it was the pinnacle of its brilliance. Starting in 1971, new federal regulations began prepping the American auto industry to embrace catalytic converters as a means of limiting their greenhouse emissions.
But 360 horsepower jetting out of a 455 cubic inch (7.45-liter) Oldsmobile W30 V8 was still nothing to sneeze at. A recent respray from a Sienna Brown body color to this stunning Viking Blue with white exterior trim pieces turns what may have blended into traffic into a must-see wherever it goes.
Carried along with a numbers-matching Turbo 400 automatic transmission and the original aluminum intake manifold are just a couple of indicators as to how special this survivor of a muscle car is. Oh, and the convertible top is power folding. It’s about as complete of a laid-back, classic convertible grand touring car as ever did come out of the US 50 years ago.