Though little is known of its early history, once Fred Bennett of Newton, Massachusetts, acquired it, this 1971 Oldsmobile is believed to be one of the finest 442s in existence. Having previously owned a similar 442 Convertible as a young man, he had always yearned for another—ideally a showroom-fresh car. Out of the love for his long-lost Olds, this car received a restoration that would put many of the top concours trailer queens to shame. In 2006, work began on this genuine 442 Convertible, one of GM’s most beloved muscle cars.
American Classic Restorations in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, was surely up for the task of performing an exacting restoration. Since 1992, this small shop has restored some of the finest examples of American muscle cars and has built a solid reputation for their high-quality, accurate restorations. From start to finish, all the work was documented in meticulous weekly updates describing in intricate detail the work that was done daily. The restoration ensured that every mechanical part was rebuilt or replaced with NOS or OEM parts. The massive 455 engine was rebuilt with the best components available and, in an effort to extract all of the potential power, the engine was balanced and fitted with hardened valve seats.
Options include the original outside air induction setup under the highly desirable fiberglass W-25 hood, a 3:42 rear end with W-27 cover, Rocket Rallye Pack with Center Sports Console, a sport wheel, bucket seats, AM/FM Solid State radio and SSII wheels wrapped in B.F. Goodrich T/A® tires. The car is finished in striking Viking Blue paint with Arctic White stripes over a correct Pear interior and a white top. The car also includes an original owner’s manual, spare keys, tank sticker and folder of restoration documentation.
The two-year restoration cost Mr. Bennett a staggering sum of nearly $130,000; however, to look at this car today, it appears to have been money well spent. Rarely are these exciting muscle cars treated to such a generous, no-expense-spared restoration that when you come across one that has, you realize how impressive these cars were when they sat in the showroom almost 40 years ago. Every clamp, tag, sticker and inspection mark has been carefully placed in its factory location, and for all intents and purposes, this could be a brand-new 1971 Oldsmobile.
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