Paul L 1965 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible

The Perfect 10

In September of 1965 I was 15 and a sophomore at Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco. Fast production cars were becoming the latest craze. The high school was 2 blocks from (at the time) the famed Auto Row on Van Ness Avenue. HUGE showrooms for blocks showing all the cars of the year. Buildings that had the Manufacturer emblazoned on the facades on the outside from the 1920's and later, Cadillac, Buick, Chevy, Ford, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. I wish I had pictures because I cannot begin to give it the proper elegance that it displayed. One Monday I went after school to look at the new cars. I walked by all the dealerships ogling from outside these huge showrooms full of beautiful automobiles. Then I came up to Van Ness Oldsmobile at California and Van Ness. The Cable Car's bell ringing right outside their door. I looked in and saw her. She was Blue with a Black interior. She had these scoops in front of the rear fender wells with an ornament of 3 numbers on it, 442. I had heard of this car but never saw one. I was dumbstruck. She was gorgeous. I had to look closer but I knew I didn't belong in there. No chance of ever getting anything like this. I walked around the block to get the fortitude to go inside. I went in, walked over to the brochures and looked at them. As I was drooling over the literature a younger salesman came over and asked what I was interested in. I stated I couldn't possibly afford one of these but that Blue one had me in her clutches. He brought me over and said, "Look her over, we can option her with anything you want". He was treating me like a real customer, not a 15 year old with school books in his hands. "Put that stuff on my desk and lets look at her". My face must have been purple with excitement. We walked over and popped the hood, he explained about the engine and what 442 meant for this year. 400 cubic inches, 4 barrel carburetor and dual exhausts. He showed me the front and rear Sway bars and explained this was only production car that came stock with them. He then asked if I wanted to get in. I looked inside, saw that white ball at the top of the shifter and slid into that seat. "Fire it up he says!!" I made sure she was in neutral and turned the key. Instantaneous heaven!!!! She sat there rumbling like no other car I have ever heard (Chambered exhaust - No sound like it). He asked if I wanted to take her out -- Oh dear god I melted right there. I told him I knew how to drive fairly well because every summer I was on my Grandfathers farm driving a tractor and other farm equipment since I was 8 years old but I didn't have a license. He said okay, I will drive. He brought another 442 out from upstairs and we went for a 40 minute ride. He was not completely polite with this car. We cruised down to the Great Highway. One stretch was about 3 miles of straight rode with no stop signs or lights. He stopped her and said "Are you ready?" SURE!!! He revved her up and dropped the clutch, tire smoke everywhere, tires chirping through the gears and I swear we were gonna fly. We made a return run and drove back to the dealership. I was done. I will have one someday.

I finally found one for sale.In 1978 a co worker told me a friend of his had a 65 Olds for sale but didnt know much about it. I rode with him to the guys house and he raised the garage door. There was a Light Blue 65 Olds 442 CONVERIBLE. I thought I was gonna die. She didn't have a 4speed (probably good for me haha)!! We went for a drive and he told to get on it on the onramp.. -- well I did.... and instantly blew a water hose hahaha. We walked back to his house and started repairs, took her out again and I was DONE! I bought her that night and she was my Coach for my wife when we got married in Sept of 82! Next year I threw a rod and things being what they were I parked her thinking I will work on her asap. Well, 2 beautiful daughters later, jobs lost and regained, money evaporating faster than we can earn it. She sat in my garage waiting for me. My Mom passed and left me a small inheritance. If I dont do it now I will never get another chance. So it began. Rebuilt the engine, redid the upholstery and had her painted. I replaced what was bad on the car, drums, brake lines etc. She had absolutely no rust anywhere. I wanted her original. Just like the day she came out of the showroom but that didnt exactly happen. I replaced the Jetaway (a shop had replaced the switch-pitch torque convertor years ago so it wasnt even a PowerGlide) with a 200R4 5 speed. I must say it iis a great deal more fun doing 70 @ 2000 RPM than it was doing 3400 RPM. That's how she is today. I've been married for 34 years now and my wife and I still have the same car we honeymooned in. I could not be a happier man.

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