(Note: An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that the car had been restored. The Olds is actually a completely original survivor that has never required restoration.)
A highly original, preserved example of a sought-after muscle car, a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 4-speed convertible, will hit the auction ring in January during Russo and Steele’s 16th annual Scottsdale sale.
In Roman Red with black accents, the Olds 442 is a well-optioned droptop powered by the massive 455 cid V8 with twin-scoop outside-air induction, which was underrated at 370 horsepower by General Motors (insurance companies were taking notice) and 500 pound-feet of torque.
Russo and Steele labels the Oldsmobile a “Holy Grail” muscle car because of its combination of documentation, originality, quality and rarity, as well as the car’s upscale design and impressive performance. The W-30 442s were capable right out of the showroom of roaring through the quarter mile with ETs in the high 13s at more than 100 mph.
“Capable of taking on and beating the quickest and fastest cars of the day, the W-30 442 did it with braking, comfort, handling and style to match its formidable performance,” the Scottsdale auction house said in a news release.
This Olds boasts a history of preservation, with nearly three decades of careful storage until 2004, when it was brought to 442 specialist Steve Minore, who confirmed the car’s originality and correctness, and provided a detailed “Rocket Report” and certificate of authenticity.
“The factory broadcast card with the all-important ‘W-30’ designation found on it, was found under one of the seats,” the news release states. “Further proof of the car’s status was provided by an assembly-line sheet used by an assembly-line worker and/or inspector with both ‘W-30’ and ‘4-speed’ notations on it. The current owner of the car, a noted expert and collector himself, states that he has never seen a similar handwritten sheet listing both key options in another 1970 W-30 car.”
The 442 was a featured subject on the cover of the November 2015 edition of Muscle Car Review with a story entitled “Holy Grail in Hibernation,” referring to its long-term storage and originality.
The Russo and Steele auction takes place January 27 to 31 during Arizona Classic Car Week, with its tents set up at Scottsdale Road and Loop 101 in north Scottsdale. Some 750 collector cars are expected for the sale.
For more information about the Russo and Steele auction, see the auction website.