PROJECT 442: Getting Started
Finding a good starter vehicle
Probably one of the hardest things to do is to be patient enough to wait until that perfect base vehicle comes along. How many times have we
bought the first car we saw because the "price was right" only to curse the day we did while adding up the cost of panel and floor pan
replacements because there was more rust than car.
The key to success, not to mention just finishing the project, is having a good start.
Well, good or bad, I found my car. A bone stock 1987 Olds 442 I found on e-bay. It was a 12 hour drive from where I live, but worth the effort. After
looking it over, and a quick test drive I plopped down a cashiers check for $5845.00 and drove her home. She is not perfect by any means (there's
a little mud in the right quarter panel, interior needs a little work, they even put the "442" sticker on the wrong side of the front bumper) but she's
all original (except for paint) with no signs of rust (even in the bottom of the doors), and only 76K on the odometer.
I have always liked the G-Body cars (Cutlass, Monte SS, GN, Grand Prix), but I always thought that putting the 442 name on a 15 sec car with a 307
engine was an insult to the history of the 442. This engine was rated at 170 hp @ 4000 rpm, with 250lbs-ft of torque @ 2600 rpm. You'd have
trouble driving around a ricer with those numbers.
My intention is to do something about that. I intend to tear this car down to the frame and build it up the way GM should have built it; mean and
fast. I will keep the exterior stock for the most part, but under the hood will be straight out of 1970 (455, TH400, with a F##D 9" rear).
All this will be done with hand and air tools using one side of a 2 car garage, and laying on a creeper to do it just like 90% of the people in this
hobby have to do. No lift! No exotic parts! And most importantly......... No Millionaire budget! Ever watch those car shows on tv? Ever see what
that hot engine build cost? Ever see what that disc brake kit cost? No? You will with mine. Every cent will be tracked, so you can see what your
project may cost you. I'll even show you how I plan my build costs, and trim the fat off to make my budget.
87 Olds 442 Price : $5845.00