1968 Oldsmobile 442 Holiday Coupe

First off, I will tell you that I am not much for the “barn find” category of car condition. But I am a lover of Oldsmobiles, especially 68-72 Cutlass variants. When a previous customer called to propose trading me his barn find 68 442, I had to make the 60 mile trip to see his car.

While there are no documents to support the story, I am very confident that Jeff told me exactly what was told to him. This car was in Kentucky in 1974 when the owner’s son hurt the engine while showing off for his pals. At that time, the odometer read just over 40,000 miles. The car was pushed into their barn and it sat there until 2010. At that time, it was purchased and brought to Northern Illinois.

The first order of business was to remove the engine and transmission. The engine was overhauled and repainted. The transmission was serviced and a shift kit installed. The original distributor was converted to electronic. The original carburetor was cleaned and rebuilt. The braking system was overhauled. The fuel system was cleaned.

While the engine and transmission were out, the underbody and chassis were cleaned and refinished in satin black. If you were to see it, you would be impressed by the integrity of the floor pans and body mounts. Ever seem is clearly delineated. There is no rust and never has been.

When the powertrain was re-installed, a new exhaust system was also installed. The mufflers are free-flowing and provide a very pleasing and muscular tone.

All five of the original Super Stock II wheels were refurbished to factory standards. They were first finished in gloss black, then the front face was painted to cast gray (argent silver), then the rims of the holes were trimmed in silver. Just as they came from the factory. New BF Goodrich Radial TA white letter tires were mounted on all five wheels.

The entire powertrain is original. I have personally verified the partial VIN numbers that were stamped in the 400 V8 and the Turbo 400 Hydramatic transmission. The correct “C” heads are on the engine. The positraction tag is still attached to the rear axle. The heavy duty 10 bolt contains the limited slip differential and 3.08 gears.

Between the freshly rebuilt engine, a good cam, hotter ignition, free-flowing exhaust, great performing carburetor and some high octane fuel, this car has get up and go! It will lay down a pair of black marks until you lift your right foot.

You will find power steering, power brakes and air conditioning beneath the hood. There is still Freon in the system, but not enough to trip the switch. My hunch is that the addition of some R12 will allow the air conditioner to cool. Other than that, the only other nonfunctional feature is the stock AM radio. All lights, horn, wipers, etc. work fine. The doors locks work with the key. There is an original jack, wrench and spare in the trunk.

I refreshed the trunk. It had a layer of surface rust from condensation beneath the mat. After cleaning and removing the corrosion, it was spatter painted with the correct GM paint. A light coat of satin clear was applied. With the spare and jacking equipment properly stowed, it looks very nice.

The original blue vinyl interior is still very presentable. There may be a few flaws, a few stains and a few wrinkles, but it looks great. A light cleaning has it looking very nice. You will be proud to show it off and comfortable as you sit in the factory bench seat. There are both lap and shoulder seat belts in front and lap in rear. The transmission is column shifted.

This car is wearing most of its original factory applied Nocturne blue paint. It is showing signs of age and use. There are many scratches and scrapes, as well as dings and dents. We buffed it and it now has a nice shine. It was very dull and dirty when I picked it up. The original glass is all good. The bumpers and other chrome are decent, buy not perfect. You will find some pitting. The trim is straight and shiny. If you choose to repaint the car, plan to buy new bumpers to go along with the new look. If you appreciate the originality of this survivor, then you will enjoy showing it off just as it is.

This car looks very original, yet nice. It performs exceptionally well. It has been mechanically improved and is completely reliable. It is ready to be driven as it is. After so many years of languishing in a barn, it is ready for some fun.


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