What to do with my Dad's 1970 442 W-30 Convertable... - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old May 15th, 2018, 08:39 AM   #1  
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What to do with my Dad's 1970 442 W-30 Convertable...

Hello all, new to the forum. My dad passed away last year and I'm trying to decide what to do with his 1970 442 W-30. It is in need of a complete restoration. He bought it new in 1970, I have the original window sticker and order sheet, along with a bunch of other documentation. He used it as a daily driver for many years as I was growing up. It hasn't seen the road in at least 25 years or so.

I'm still trying to decide what to do with this car. It's not drive-able as is, but I hate to just get rid of it. I also would hate to pay to have it fully restored and not want to drive it. So my thinking now is that I would like to have it restored to 'good' condition and drive it for a few years, then maybe have it really restored nice and keep it as a show car.

My father started to restore it years ago, but never finished, so it is kind of in pieces now. Not terrible, but the tail lights are in the trunk, carpet is removed, etc. It doesn't have any big dents or damage like that, but there is rust in many places like the quarter panels and edge of trunk lid. Bumpers would need to be re-chromed. It's covered in my garage now, but here's a few pics.







The car is Burnished Gold / Black with a black interior
No A/C, the options are:
W30 W MACHINE PACKAGE
M40 TURBO HYDRA-MATIC TRANSMISSION
G80 ANTI-SPIN REAR AXLE
V02 HEAVY DUTY RADIATOR
A02 SOFT-RAY TINTED WINDSHIELD
N47 VARI-RATIO POWER STEERING
JL2 POWER WITH FRONT DISC BRAKES
PK5 WIDE OVAL TIRES W/RAISED LETTERS
N66 SUPER STOCK ??
B93 CHROME DOOR EDGE MOULDINGS
T44 INTERIOR HOOD LOCK
U63 ????? PUSHBUTTON
U57 STEREO TAPE PLAYER
D35 SPORTS STYLED REARVIEW MIRRORS
A31 POWER SIDE WINDOWS
W26 SPORTS CONSOLE GATE SHIFTER
Y60 VISOR VANITY MIRROR UNDERHOOD LAMP, ...

I would appreciate any thoughts or comments on that plan, as well as recommendations on where I could have it restored. I am in Northern NJ.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 08:50 AM   #2  
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Condolences and welcome to the site. I would go with the direction you can afford.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 09:21 AM   #3  
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I would start with taking a lot of pictures to document its current, original shape,make copies of all the original paper work,and put it all together in a book so you have it handy as a reference.

Even a low end restoration can be expensive, and you want someone familiar with Oldsmobile to do the work, so look around for the right person, and get every estimate in writing.

You probably want to check into collector insurance even now in its unrestored condition. Documented W30's are very hard to come by, so protect all you paper work and pictures.

Welcome to thesight and good luck.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 09:50 AM   #4  
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Sorry about your Dad. The fact you dad bought it new makes it a special car. The first thing I would do is take care of the mechanicals. Get it running and the brakes working so you can drive it. Be very careful to retain the original parts. Don't go to AutoZone and exchange the alternator if you need one or any other parts like that. Have the original rebuilt or pay a core charge and keep your originals. If it is running and driving and you decide to sell it, the money will be well spent. Good luck with this car.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 10:27 AM   #5  
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FWIW I'm in the get it operable & then evaluate where you stand camp. As noted above don't return any core parts if you have to replace a starter, alternator, etc.

Find someone in your area (an Olds guy?!?) that you can consult with about carefully getting it running if it has no major mechanical issues. Assemble what you can handle first & you or "consultant" check structural integrity, engine integrity, brake mechanicals & hydraulics, driveline fluids should be changed, gas tank removed & inspected, probably cleaned (radiator shop) or replaced, carb rebuilt, ignition inspected, suspension/steering parts lubed or replaced, make sure exhaust isn't full of varmint nests or acorn stashes, etc.

Hopefully your Dad was commencing a cosmetic resto & not dealing with a big mechanical failure. If looks mean anything it may clean up enough to proudly drive in survivor condition without plunging down the money pit & then being afraid to use it. The pics look like car would be pretty presentable if the top surfaces aren't too bad.

You have a special car & special memory - you likely don't need to break the bank to enjoy it.

Last edited by bccan; May 15th, 2018 at 10:33 AM.
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Old May 15th, 2018, 05:00 PM   #6  
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I am sorry for your loss... Your dad clearly had a knowledge and appreciation for these cars. If you have paper documentation, it would be one of 264.. A rare and desirable bird indeed. Enjoy it as you can, if it has documentation,....carefully enjoy it... If you decide to, or need to sell your heritage, do not do so in haste. If proven, these vehicles are few and far between. F casting heads? Block casting? Trans tag code? Rear differential code? These among many other details can help decipher its originality...... A beautiful car..
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Old May 15th, 2018, 06:07 PM   #7  
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Insure it, get it running, and evaluate everything from the frame up, if the car is truly original, please restore it, very few are left.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 01:48 AM   #8  
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Regrets for your loss. Be patient, research as much as possible about your father's car. As the others mentioned it is very rare and desirable, but will loose value if the original parts are missing. Best of luck and I'm glad your father kept the car since new.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 08:34 AM   #9  
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I have some time so here I go...Step one. Assess what you have....Take a ton of pictures documenting all paint marks, paint overspray areas, assembly stripes, paint daubs, chalk marks and body stripe locations(measure them as well). Shim locations and quantity, factory stickers under the hood and trunk et al... and any other anomalies unique to the car and unique to a W30. Specific and detailed measured/marked locations of the window regulator adjustment/mounting locations was a big help when I did mine. This will greatly assist the resto process. Basically, its only original once so its important to know how it was assembled from the factory so you can recreate all of it, even if you don't go down the concourse path its good info for the W30 owner community.

That documentation you have proving providence of a W30 should be preserved and put into a fireproof safe. It's your definitive proof of W status and will add considerable value to your car.

Step 2: Pull all of the numbers off all of the major and minor components Engine, Trans rear, distributor, water pump, alternator, statrer...you get my point. Document whats correct and what you don't have. Look around the garage for stashed parts. W30 cores are gold. Never trade in a W30 core for a reman. Have all W30 specific cores rebuilt. Same goes for original date coded general cores.

Step 3: Now its time to get down to business. How is the frame and floors to including the trunk floors? If the car needs a lot of metal work have that assessed by a couple of known competent metal guys. Body sheet metal is one thing. Structural metal under it is another for sure. I'd recommend having it put up on a lift for a full chassis inspection for your and the cars safety. Source a reputable restoration shop even if you need to ship it there. You have a pinnacle piece of muscle car history. Especially a documented one owner car.

Step 4: If it's deemed solid, great, your WAY ahead of the game. Now get it cleaned up (power washed as needed) and moving/stopping under its own power. Drop the gas tank and inspect. Change all of the fluids...ALL fluids... from the diff to the trans, steering pump to brake fluid. Change the soft brake lines inspect wheel cylinders and hard lines too. Repack front wheel bearings. Flush the fuel and cooling systems, replace all soft lines and fuel pump, have the carb rebuilt etc...Cliff Ruggle is the carb guy.

As for the engine: Fog the cylinders down and pre-prime the oil system until you see it coming out of the pushrods(rotating engine by hand). Clean the positive and negitive cables on both ends.

Now that its cleaned up and mechanically safe drive (new tires!), assess where you want to go with it. Do your homework and chip away at what you can afford. Mechanics before aesthetics is a good rule. Make sure its insured for its full value now, even if its sitting in a garage and not drivable, and when it's fully restored. Use one of several classic car insurers (I suggest JC Taylor). I don't recommend using your daily driver car insurance company.

We're here as a vested interest in you and your rare car. We can help with all facets so ask away...

Last edited by droldsmorland; May 16th, 2018 at 08:45 AM.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 11:08 AM   #10  
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What a cool car with a great story to match. I would keep it, document everything, and get it running and driving like everyone already mentioned above. You have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips right here on this site. Good luck with that car! Keep the pics and progress stories coming!
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Old May 16th, 2018, 11:28 AM   #11  
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The flippers must be loading up your PM box.......we know who they are.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 12:03 PM   #12  
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Thanks everyone for all the info and advise. I will start documenting everything. I've been reading up as much as I can on these cars and am beginning to see why it meant so much to my father. This is one awesome car. I assume you guys have seen this video.


I popped the hood and took off the air cleaner assembly to look at the carb. I see the 'F' on the head. I see a number on the carb 7040258 RK 1240. Is that the correct carb for the car? I read where the engine block number is, where would I find the transmission number? I'll try to look at those tonight.

I called JC Taylor to see about getting it insured, but they said it has to be 85% restored.

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Old May 16th, 2018, 12:10 PM   #13  
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Hagerty will insure it.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 12:41 PM   #14  
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X2 on Hagerty. Document it and get it running in the financial shoe size you are comfortable with. If - if and when - never comes, you'll at least had the enjoyment of ownership, piddling, and the 'good to drive' enjoyment your dad had planned when he bought it. And welcome to CO.
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Old May 16th, 2018, 07:35 PM   #15  
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yes, that is the correct carb.

Trans will have a tag rivited to the passenger side with OWbeing the correct code. The VIN derivitive will be stamped on the drivers side of the transmission, above the pan, near the shift linkage
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Old June 24th, 2018, 12:23 PM   #16  
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As mentioned above - contact Hagerty. They just insured my new non- running disassembled project car. The guy on the phone said they get pictures of project cars and boxes of parts all the eime. Determine what you think it's worth and give them a call. You need Comprehensive coverage only and it's very inexpensive. Good luck with a great car!
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Old June 24th, 2018, 06:19 PM   #17  
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Do your best to get the value of the car, and then have it insured for the "agreed value". That is what I have on my Olds with Hagerty. If a tree falls on your garage and wipes out the car, they will pay you the agreed value in your policy.
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Old June 25th, 2018, 05:53 AM   #18  
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That is a correct 70 W-30 carburetor for automatic transmission application. The 1240 is the date code. I breaks down to the 124th day of 1970 which was May 4, 1970. This is the latest known to me 7040258 build date. If the carburetor is original to the car, it would be a late build W-30.

If you get the chance, please take a photo of your trim tag and I will add the build data to this thread: https://classicoldsmobile.com/forums...uild-date.html
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