Greetings from Columbus, Mississippi. This is my pride-n-joy, a 1987 442. I bought in in July of 1993 from a used car lot in Vernon, Alabama. The car had been well maintained internally and mechanically; it just needed some external work. When I saw the ad in the paper I had to have it. (I’d wanted one when they were new in ‘87, but I was still in college at the time and only working part-time and couldn’t afford one…) The part of the ad that really floored me was that it only had 28,200 original miles on it and it’d never been smoked in. It’s burgundy metallic or “black cherry” (GM Paint Code WA8529) with maroon interior.
It has the High Output Olds 307 “9” code engine, TH 200-4R 4 speed automatic overdrive transmission with the 3.73 open rear end, Rallye Gauge package and (original) rear air shocks. It also has T-Tops and all the power options except for the power trunk release. After I looked at it and test drove it I “fell in love” very much bad. The salesman told me the original owner worked at the barber shop around the corner, so I went to ask him why he sold it. Get this: his wife said the car was “too big” and made him trade it in for a HONDA ACCORD! (Let the record show that there are no tan lines on MY ring finger… ;-) I told him it was going to a good home and promptly went into debt for the next three years.
As stated earlier, I had a lot of external work done to it. First, the silver lower body accent was repainted on both sides and the front bumper. (The original owner lived on a gravel road.) The burgundy had been repainted, so I had it wet sanded and buffed. The following is a list of everything that was replaced, back when you could still get parts from GM:
Chrome molding around the front and rear windshields, plus the chrome strip on each T-top.
All the side impact molding.
Two of the gold fender stripes. (You'd think they have real gold dust IN them for what the dealer charges...)
Hood ornament and rocket emblem on front cap.
Center caps on SS III wheels.
Right front bumper turn signal lamp. (Original was water-damaged.)
Tag holder with a custom made Oldsmobile tag.
(The only thing replaced inside was the rubber pad for the brake pedal.)
The only mechanical modification it has is a B&M shift kit that I had installed in August of '96. The transmission seemed a little "mushy", a comment I've received from other mid '80's G body owners. The B&M kit has given it a noticeable improvement in acceleration. It also has a K&N air filter.
When the tag was due in July, 2012, I stopped paying the yearly renewal for my “87 OLDS” personalized plate and got an antique tag for it since it turned 25 years old. I paid a one-time fee and won’t ever have to renew it.
The appearance package is completely stock except for the trunk. The factory trunk was killing me in car shows. (1/4" black mat on the floor, primer in the fender wells, donut spare tire showing, etc.) The trunk was customized at Long's Glass and Kustom Interiors in Vernon, Alabama.
As of July 14, 2012, the odometer showed 42,898 miles. It’s won numerous First Place awards at car shows and I’ve received many offers on it. I always decline to sell it, though - I love my Olds!
On Saturday, April 28, 2001, I attended a small car show in Vernon, Alabama. (Where I bought the car back in '93.) My main purpose in going was to see if I could run into Bill Pennington, the original owner. I hadn't been there twenty minutes that Saturday morning when a couple of guys walked up and started complimenting me on the car. I told them whom it used to belong to, and that he'd worked at the barber shop down the road when I'd bought it. "Oh, he's still there. He's working right now, too..." They said they'd run by there and tell him to go see his "old car" at the show. I saw them a little later in the morning, and they told me he'd said he'd try to get by. A little after Noon, he walked up and shook my hand. I hadn't seen this guy in nearly eight years, but I recognized him right away. He stood there and shot the breeze with me for nearly an hour, telling me stories about that car, while I pointed out to him all the "little things" I'd had done to it since I took ownership. He kept saying how it looked just like it did the day he drove it home from the dealer back in '87. Everybody who walked by that knew him was greeted with, "Look at the car my folks got me for high school graduation... Hasn't he kept it up?" I took a picture of him standing by the passenger's side - see below. One of his friends said, "I've seen this car on the Internet". Before he left, Bill asked me what I'd take for it. I asked him, "Would you sell one of your kids?" He just laughed and told me he was glad he'd known I was there with it. He also said at one point that back in '93 he knew it was going to a good home, but he didn't know I'd take care of it THAT good. That made my whole day. A couple walked by at the end of the day when I was loading up, and the guy turned to his wife and said, "This looks just like Bill Pennington's old car". I said, "It IS! He was here a while ago..." ;-)
For much more technical info. on the Oldsmobile G-body cars,
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