71 Olds at Mecum

Rare GM Muscle

Larry Jewett - January 09, 2014 10:17 AM


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The original purchaser of this 1971 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 convertible chose well when he sat down to fill in the order form. He choose one of the fiercest performance engine and driveline packages available in 1971 and wrapped it up in one of the best-looking styling exercises ever to emerge from Dr. Oldsmobile’s studio.
This is an exceptionally rare example of the Force Air-equipped W-30, just one of only 110 convertible versions built that year. Perhaps of more significance to collectors, this is one of just 10 factory-fitted with air conditioning. The matching numbers 455 V-8 powering the W-30 is well known to Olds enthusiasts for its uniqueness among muscle car engines, a hand-built piece balanced and blueprinted at the factory and finished with an aluminum intake manifold with special Rochester four-barrel carburetor and special camshaft, cylinder heads and distributor. A revised rating system pegged the W-30 engine at 300 horsepower while still generating the high torque figures that further set it apart from the crowd. In addition to power steering and front disc brakes, power windows and power top, there is much more to recommend this Lansing-built Rocket, most obviously its sharp Viking Blue paint with White W-30 striping and matching White power soft top, full width rear deck spoiler, dual chromed exhaust tips and Red plastic front fender liners. Another optional extra: the rare W-27 aluminum differential housing cover. The typically well-appointed White-on-Black interior offers bucket seats and console, correct Rallye Pack gauges with tachometer, padded Sport four-spoke steering wheel, an AM/FM radio and the famed Hurst “His-n-Hers” Dual Gate shifter.
Lot S162 will be sold on Saturday, January 25, at the Mecum Kissimmee Auction. Details can be found at