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Old July 20th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #1
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Is this 442 for real???

I recently checked out BLACKTIE on the web and came across a 1971 Oldsmobile 442 convertible(Vehicle #265). Iam not an expert about these cars, but I wanted to know if this is a genuine 442 or a clone.
The car is white with the dual snorkel hood and rear spoiler. It has gold Hurst-style stripes. The interior is Sienna red. They claim that it has a numbers-matching 455, but the shifter is on the steering column rather than between the seats. Every 442 that I have seen has had the shifter in a console between the seats. I requested the VIN for this car from BLACKTIE CLASSICS but they never responded. They also are asking almost $49,000 for it. I own a 1979 Corvette and a 1997 30th Anniversary Camaro convertible so I know very little about the authenticity of these Oldsmobiles. Are there any experts out there who can advise me whether this is real or not? I was told by a few Olds guys at a recent car show that the car is way over-priced, the gold stripes were only on the Hurst models, and a steering column shifter is not as desirable as a console-mounted one. Help!!!
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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #2
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OK, I do believe gold was an available stripe color in 1971. The stripes are not correct, however. If the car was an original W25 car it would have the wide hood stripes but the narrow 442 side stripes. The trunk stripes were only used on the 1970 pace car and the 72 H/O. No other 442s got wide trunk stripes. No convertibles came from the factory with the wing either, but may dealers installed them.

Bench seat with a column shifter WAS a factory-available configuration. The 442 emblem on the glovebox door looks aged, not new, so that's a good sign. On the other hand, the air cleaner top looks too new. If it's a repro, that's an indication that the hood was added during the repaint.

I'm always nervous with a car like this. It's obviously been gone through with the goal of flipping it, so 1) is it real? and 2) where did they cut corners? Have the quarter panels been replaced with the full panels or the cheesy patch panels? Back bumper looks like a repro.

Ultimately, the VIN will tell if the car is a real 442 or not. As for value, I wouldn't pay that much, but the car is worth what someone will pay. Just don't confuse asking price with selling price.
Joe Padavano

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Old July 20th, 2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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'71 Olds 442 convertible

Thankyou for the "heads-up" concerning the 1971 Olds 442 convertible. My biggest gripe concerns BLACKTIE CLASSICS not even giving me the courtesy of a response concerning my request for the VIN. I tried twice to obtain it through their website. Perhaps this is a clue that the car isn't authentic in the way it has been restored. You have confirmed that by the helpful comments you made. Better yet, if I was to consider purchasing any classic car from them just imagine if I had a problem that needed a prompt response. Let the buyer beware.
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