Kimberly V. Althage – February 4, 2022
Gateway Classic Cars is very excited to feature this gorgeous collector’s dream in our Houston showroom. A 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 is not for the faint of heart. It is the first year for aluminum intakes, plus having a larger engine and less weight, the 1970 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 W-30 is considered the best 4-4-2 of all time.
This distinguished gentleman’s muscle car example represents the finest performance package Oldsmobile ever offered. 1970 brought a little restyling of the Olds A-body exterior with revised sculpting down the sides, plus a revamped grille and rear bumper and taillamp design. Also, this “W-Machine” beauty ups the ante by sporting a rare Burgundy Mist 4-4-2 color.
Its current owner has been collecting and restoring Oldsmobiles for over 30 years and says he has seen only a few others in color code 78 during this time. This is not to imply only a handful of 4-4-2s were built in this color, still you might find it nearly impossible to find another one like it. He found it in Seattle over a decade ago and decided to bring it back to its original glory with a few enhancements.
He sent the car to Impatient Creations, Inc. for its rebirth where every part was removed. The body was taken to bare metal and any rust was removed and replaced with metal. Absolutely no Bondo Body Filler touched it. Then these parts were restored or replaced with NOS (“new old stock”) parts. Any non-OE parts used are better than the originals and an improvement. Upon completion, in accompaniment the vehicle had a folder full of receipts along with work descriptions and details, as well as a USB drive with hundreds of photos documenting each painstaking detail of the process.
Based on the restoration photos it is easy to see the thorough and painstaking effort that went into making this car better than it left the line in Lansing, Michigan in December 1969. It sports its original hue, but it’s miles deep and has a better finish than that produced by the factory. Legendary Auto Interiors, Ltd® handled the interior from an earlier restoration in 1991 and is in superb condition still looking like new. The gauges were redone, the clock was replaced with an OE‑look quartz unit, and the original stainless steel trim gleams like new after being professionally polished.
Under the hood is an original 455 CID V8, with its F-code high compression heads and aluminum intake, but with the benefit of an improved roller valvetrain, the giant radiator, a date-code correct 4BBL carb, and a hidden MSD ignition enhancement. The engine is a full roller engine – built, balanced, blueprinted, and dynoed by renowned Oldsmobile engine wizard and Rocket Man, Dick Miller.
The engine and transmission were substantially upgraded to support the extra power that the numbers-matching drivetrain was targeted to deliver. According to the dyno report, this 455 is putting out 514 peak HP and 578 lb-ft peak torque, which is a noticeable improvement over the factory rating of 370HP/500lb-ft torque. A custom-fit fabricated aluminum radiator was added to keep the giant 455 cool. You’ll also see the telltale red inner fenders and the “Force Air” induction. Behind the 455 is the beefed up TH400 automatic, which spins the 3.42 gears (and limited slip differential) out back. The transmission is controlled by the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter, which works like a charm.
As Dr. Oldsmobile pondered then, “is the world ready?” for this enhanced big block that feels like a Boeing 747 at takeoff. It had enough horsepower and torque to frighten most drivers even before its engine upgrade. Since W-30 was Oldsmobile’s secret weapon when it won the 1966 National Hot Rod Association drag racing C/Stock category, packing enough power to jettison it to the front of the line.
More importantly, are YOU ready? The current owner has won numerous awards, including a Best of Class at Oldsmobile Zone show, and other top awards at many regional shows across Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. A with a giant framed display along with the 1970 owner’s manual, factory paint chip sample card, “W-Machine” sales literature, and what appears to be the original sales invoice are all included with this sporty yet classy must have muscle car.
4-4-2 fans rejoice, because this long-hidden gem is out in the wild and is ready for its new home!
Gateway Classic Cars sells and consigns hundreds of vehicles each month. Do you have a classic car for sale with a story to tell? We’d love to hear about it, please email us at email@example.com to share it.