Hello from Columbus, Mississippi. I found this beauty shown here when I read the 442.com classifieds on Friday, May 21, 1999:
Date Posted 5/20/1999 - 1965 Olds 442 Holiday Coupe. This is a beautiful car! Equipped with 400, auto, Factory A/C, buckets, console with tach, PS, PB, PWindows, PSeat, Original AM radio with rear seat speaker, Dark red with tan interior, redlines with American Racing wheels. Aluminized duals with Flowmasters. You can drive this car anywhere! Everything works except the temperamental clock! It is documented with owners manual, protecto plate and receipts for the last 25 years. Three previous owners. All numbers correct. I can e-mail pictures on request. Now for the best part, other interests, (Olds related) are forcing me to sell this car. I will take the best offer over $XXXX. Shop and compare anywhere! email@example.com 800-XXX-XXXX Memphis, TN.
It turns out that I had met this guy at a show in Tupelo, Mississippi the previous summer. He was trying to buy another Olds, and had to make room for it. My friend Eric and I made the three-hour drive to look at it late that Saturday evening, (May 22nd) and I didn't get home until after Midnight. Test drove it, and I was already in love with it. (I was really happy to see that the original AM radio had a hidden FM converter in the glove box, too.) I paid a deposit down on the car to "get it off the market", and went back for it two weeks later.
This car had been painstakingly restored by a gentleman in Conroe, TX, so it didn't need much. (It had originally been painted tan, and he told me the exterior color he put on it is a 1992 Cadillac Burgundy. I don't know what the paint code is, but I like it! ;-) The first thing I did was get the radiator flushed and get a 160 thermostat installed. (It liked to run a little hot.) Next, I got the heads redone to correct an oil-burning problem it had. (140,000+ miles, and the mechanic told me it was the cleanest engine he'd ever worked on.
Then I got a hot-rod building friend to pull the engine and repaint it Bronze. The seller kept the American Racing wheels and put some original-style 14" wheels on it at my request, along with some stock hubcaps. In the meantime, I bought some correct wire wheel covers with the two-bar spinner caps from a gentleman in New Mexico, and had the backs repainted before getting the spokes re-laced. The repro polyglass redline tires had to go, because they felt like they were going to "roll off" the rims whenever I took a slight curve. (It now has some MultiMile 225/70R14 white-letter radials.)
The lower A-frame bushings were also replaced, and I got the front end re-aligned after the engine went back in. The original steering wheel may someday be restored, but right now it has a three-spoke Grant wheel, complete with an Olds Rocket emblem on the horn cap. Bought a set of repro floor mats from Year One. (Not shown in the photo below.) I got a new console shift indicator lens, and bought the reproduction decals for the breather cover. Also got a pair of plastic covers for the seat belt pulleys - the originals were cracked. (Hey, if you're going to restore a classic, go ALL out. ;-) Got another turn-signal lever to replace the original that was pitted, plus a turn-signal canceling cam. Also got a new pair of sun visor supports, and a pair of chrome door-lock knobs and the little ferrules that go with them. Got the factory clock rebuilt, too. Even got a new wiper switch
I talked to the man who restored it, and he said if the car had been a 4-speed, I never would've seen it. (I LIKE the two-speed Jetaway, myself.) After the engine was out, my friend who was painting it detailed the engine compartment, plus he had a small crack in the radiator repaired. He even used tie-down straps on the wiring that runs across the driver's-side fender-well. Once everything was painted correctly and put back in, I got another A/C control unit and had the compressor recharged. (A must-have here in the sunny Southeast.) The car now has a Mallory Unilite conversion kit in the distributor. Stock looks, but improved ignition. I got sick of grinding my starter.
One of the last things I did was get a sign maker to create a tri-colored "442" plate for the front. (I'm hoping to cut down on the number of "What year is this Impala?" questions at car shows. ;-)
The trunk is stock, unlike the '87. (The spare tire cover came from Year One.)
I've dreamed of owning a '65 or '66 442 since I got my FIRST 442, (the '87) back in 1993. I have had more fun driving this beast, even though it gets plenty thirsty with the 400. I show it during the summer, sitting right next to my '87. Bookends! One of the first, and one of the last. (I know 1964 was the first year for the 442 package, but '65 was the first year it was offered with a 400 engine. 1987 was the last year a 442 was produced on a RWD platform.) Now all I need to do is get a bigger garage...
The Good Stuff:
- High Compression Olds 400 cid V8
- 2-speed Jetaway Transmission
- 3.23 Rear End (Posi)
- Factory Power Windows and Driver's Seat
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