My Classic Car: Buddy’s 1967 Olds 442 Holiday coupe

The 1967 Oldsmobile 442 Holiday coupe | Buddy Holt photos
The 1967 Oldsmobile 442 Holiday coupe | Buddy Holt photos

Three decades ago, my collection of Oldsmobile performance cars graced the cover of several editions of Muscle Car Review magazine. That collection, numbering 16 at one point, included some of the country’s finest and rarest W-machines and 442s, including a like-new 16,000-mile F85 W-31 4-speed post coupe and the now highly sought after 4-speed W-30 442 convertible purchased from the original owner with only 34,000 miles on the clock.

That was then. The 1987 sale of the family Oldsmobile dealership in Greenville, North Carolina and a subsequent divorce three years later took its toll. Today, out of all of the best that Oldsmobile had to offer in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the only Rocket remaining in that once proud collection is the example you see here, though I have several other high-performance American muscle cars.

This is my 1967 Spanish Red, low-optioned, 4-speed 442 Holiday coupe. I obtained the car in 1983 when I was a 30-year-old, second-generation Oldsmobile dealer.

Pickings were slim back then when it came to anything high-performance coming off the assembly lines in the U.S.A.

Not content with a 200-horsepower Hurst Old, I was buying every ’65-’72 high-performance A-bodied vehicle I could find, and all over the country. There was no Internet then, so I spent countless hours reading Hemmings Motor News and other automotive publications searching, searching and searching.

I actually stumbled across VIN xxxG134319 in my hometown, in the possession of the brother of the original owner, who used to drag race it in the Richmond, Virginia, area. The car showed 56,000 miles. Its original 400-cid engine was long gone. It carried a 350 out of a ’74 Cutlass, incorrect Super Stock wheels, rust in the lower front fenders and a $200 enamel paint job.

I bought it for $2,500 and planned to turn it back into a drag racer. I bought a ’67 400 power plant and spent $5,000 to up its output, a decision I now regret because I immediately realized that burnouts and reaction time were not my gifts. The car’s racing career ended after about a half-dozen passes.

The car spent some 22 years in various stages of disassembly and attempted restoration. Finally, in the spring of 2012, I decided it was time to restore some dignity to the car. In my fourth attempt at restoration, I found Pitt County, North Carolina, journeyman Ronnie Edmundson, who had restored a number of show cars in his one-car shop.

Between New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, he had the car running, assembled painted and ready for pickup.

The interior
The interior

While many of the parts replaced on this 442 were reproductions, it still proudly wears all of its original sheet metal and glass as well as original re-chromed bumper cores, stainless trim, console and dash assembly. We left some of the interior alone so I could retain some of the patina that I enjoyed.

The only other variances from original are the ’68 three-spoke Rosewood steering wheel and 15-inch Super Stock I wheels on Firestone Wide Oval Redlines from Coker Tire.

Since its completion in February, 2013, I’ve located the original owner and his brother and sent them photos of their former possession. The now 73-year-old former drag racer’s daughter sent an email about how she remembered, as a little girl, many memorable joy rides in her Dad’s red “fast car” and the trophies he brought home from the drag strip.

She especially remembered the windows in the house shaking as he drove into the driveway coming home from work. That was the icing on the cake for this project!

15 thoughts on “My Classic Car: Buddy’s 1967 Olds 442 Holiday coupe”

  1. i rode in this car in1985 or 86 as a college student at ECU. i too was an oldsmobile enthusiast and when i stumbled upon Buddy’s cars i thought i had gone to heaven. he took me for a ride and let me drive this car once, all that i remember was the wheel hop.

  2. I bought new from Buddy at Holt Oldsmobile a 1979 Hurst Olds. I guess that is the 200 HP Hurst he was speaking about in this story, LOL. I bought this car new and I believe it was a demo as it had 2400 miles on it when I bought it and I still own it today! Buddy if you read this I wanted you to know I still have it after 35 years. I take it to car shows every now and then.

  3. I had very very very same car when graduating from high school in 1966. I’ve been looking everywhere to find a 65 or 66 442 with Hurst 4 speed. Black bucket seats and the “holiday” coupe body type. Please help me find one. I live in Dallas Ft Worth metroplex.

    At 66 now is my time to regress!!! LOL.

    Respectfully,

    Larry Adair

  4. 1966 Cutless British racing green, spoke wheels, automatic in floor console, black vinyl roof and black bucket seats…..anyone know of one for sale?

  5. At the AGE OF 20,(1967) I bought a new 67 OLDS 442 w-30 Coupe, bench seats for around $3100. Sold it a few years latter when I was still in the Navy for $1800. I still miss it!

  6. Ahh, yes, Gene we all have one of those stories! The 1970 W30 convertible that I sold for an astounding $12,500 in 1987 is now for sale at CARSONLINE.COM for (gulp) $375,000! Thanks for your comment! Buddy

  7. I also have many in different conditions (Cutlasses & 442’s) from 1964 thru 1969). I really need to sell some if anyone is interested. I also have a lot of body & mechanical parts but have not tried to sell anything, but soon will be 70 & now see I will probably never get everything I have started done. I have a lot of good stories to, as my first new car was a 1966 tri-pwr. 4-speed, that I ordered just as I wanted it. I could go 9 miles from one town to another on concrete pavement , hills, and curves in 4″ 20seconds. I came back from Vietnam & felt I was infallible, but in reality very stupid. I feel I am very fortunate that I didn’t take someone’s or my life or both. You, like I, Have had a very good time enjoying your cars it seems. If anyone is interested call 573-587-2295. I like to talk cars but not very good on a I-Pad.

  8. In 1966 as a senior dental student, I bought a new Olds 442 400 cc 350 hp white htp red buckets for $2500 from a dealer in Defiance Ohio. Hurst 3.90, posi traction, heavy duty antisway bar, am radio, oversize radiator red bucket seats, no other accessories, set up for the drags, but the kid who ordered it fell through on the deal. I was assigned to Fortuna Radar site in ND. Volunteered for Viet Nam and sold it. On return bought a 66 beetle as I started a Residency. Think of it often with regret.

  9. HELP got a 66 442 convertible, all codes correct orig 4 speed,, hood has a cutless type hood and fendrers with no indention for 442 emblems,Have seen other cars same way,or some combination of this.813-909-8900

  10. Love your 67. I’ve had several 67 and 66 442’s hardtops and convertibles including a 67 w30 that was used for the prototype in the Linberg model kit. I love them all. Mine was a red and red hardtop, red, red- white conv , red- white painted top w30 and one triple black 66 tri-pwr conv.

  11. i had a 67 bought new only options were 4 speed radio PS PAntena paid $2975 a lot of street racing in NY area mostly raced from low roll one and only time at drag strip in total showroom stock it ran a wheel spinning 14.20 @ 103.55 mph with 30k miles on it sold it 4 years later for $1250 have owned over 55 new cars since than everything from vettes porches SLs and the 442 is the only one I would like to own again.

  12. Of all the Oldsmobiles I’ve owned over the years, the ’67 4-4-2 is my favorite. My favorite color combo on that car was Code V/Antique Pewter with a Black painted top & Black interior with a Red Stripe. Never see them anymore. Thanks for your comment Dennis and Happy New Year! Buddy

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