Perfectly Restored 1971 Oldsmobile 442 Shines Bright in Lime Green, Rare Too

Even though I’m mostly a Mopar guy when it comes to golden-era muscle cars, I’m also a big fan of Oldsmobile products. There are too many reasons to list here, but the Oldsmobile 442 is one of them.

I am talking about the first- and second-generation models, which were built from 1964 through 1972. These cars have it all. They’re stylish yet aggressive, feature high-compression V8 engines and some are rarer than their Ford and Plymouth rivals.

Granted, the Hurst/Olds is arguably the scarcest and most desirable 442 out there, but you don’t necessarily need gold accents to own a rare version. The 1971 version you see here, albeit not equipped with a rare package (like the W-30), is still a hard-to-find piece of Oldsmobile history.

1971 was a relatively good year for Oldsmobile: the company moved nearly 560,000 vehicles regardless of the nameplate. But only 7,589 of them were 442s. Insurance rates for muscle cars were already through the roof, so drivers were steering away from this type of vehicle. Now, 7,589 is a relatively low figure, but it doesn’t make the 1971 442 rare overall, doesn’t it?

Well, this 442 is also a convertible, sporting a body style that was much less popular than the coupe at the time. Specifically, Oldsmobile delivered only 1,304 drop-tops in 1971. But I’m not here talking about this Olds just because it’s a rare sight. This 442 is also a superb rig.

The result of a frame-off restoration performed in 2012, this convertible is flawless from just about every angle. Even though the refresh was completed 12 years ago as of 2024, the Lime Green paint still shines like new, and the chrome trim is spotless. The well-equipped interior is definitely a nice place to spend time in, featuring squeaky-clean white seats, a perfect dashboard with wood veneer, and fancy two-tone door panels.

But it’s the color combo that made me fall in love with this 442. The exterior color is called Lime Green, a name you’ll find on 1970s color palettes from other Detroit carmakers. However, this hue is pretty unique because it changes color in certain lighting conditions. Sometimes, it’s gold with a bit of green; other times, it’s light green with a touch of yellow. Needless to say, the white top and upholstery are a great match if you’re into high-contrast combos.

The engine bay is just as clean as the rest of the car. As you might have already guessed, this 442 packs a 455-cubic-inch (7.4-liter) V8, the only option available in 1971. The mill delivered 340 horsepower in the standard setup or 350 horses if you went with the W-30 package. This 442 is obviously a 340-horsepower rig.

And while it may not have fancy options to brag about, this Olds has won a few awards since the restoration, including Concours Gold at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) in 2013.

If it’s the kind of GM you’d park in your garage, this Lime Green beauty is scheduled to go under the hammer at Mecum’s Houston 2024 events on April 4-6. There’s no pricing estimate, but I’m pretty sure it will fetch more than $100,000.

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