Few things recall the carefree yet rebellious spirit of the 1960s than the convertible muscle car. It wouldn’t take much to see yourself cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway in one.
If this sounds appealing, consider the car that barn finder Ryan Brutt of the YouTube channel Auto Archaeology has discovered. The candidate for driving the California dream is a very clean 1969 Oldsmobile 442 convertible. The only drawback is that this particular example laid dormant in a cold garage in Chicago since 1979.
A Perfect 1969 Olds 442 Hidden Away For Years
Despite having spent over four decades in a garage and clocking 100,000 miles on the odometer prior to that, this 1969 Oldsmobile 442 convertible looks as good as some more pampered cars. Once an eye-popping Saffron Yellow, someone has given it a coat of dark green lacquer paint and added red pinstriping on the hood. But it still has the large “4-4-2” stamped on the nose between the dual grilles that was part of the slight refresh of the 1969 model.
On the outside, there’s virtually no rust. The black convertible top, while somewhat faded, looks viable. Inside, the black vinyl interior is mostly intact, with only a few rips on the seats. There’s also the very cool three-spoke steering wheel. Lots of chrome, inside and out, characterizes this year’s model.
This Olds 442 Begs For A Resurrection
Under the hood is the Oldsmobile 442’s standard engine, a 400 cu in V8 rated at 290 hp. All the original engine components are there, except for any maintenance-related changes. Mated to the V8 is General Motors’ 3-speed THM400 automatic transmission.
This convertible is also an A/C car and has power steering and drum brakes. Brutt has verified the information on this car through its original cowl and VIN tags.
For the model year 1969, Oldsmobile produced only 4,295 of these convertibles, so they are somewhat rare. At the time of filming, the owner was considering selling the 442 in order to help fund the restoration of his other car, a 1975 Corvette equipped for autocross racing.
Hagerty values a car like this in good condition at $31,800. While this car isn’t a bargain, take heart that it would take relatively little elbow grease to restore. After that, you really could drive this convertible top-down out of its dark garage and onto a straight, sunny highway heading West.