A Real 32123 Code 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible

1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible

When you are talking about a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible how do you define rare? And why are some of them worth $400,000 while others are worth less than $100,000? Let’s examine this 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible which was listed on the Cars On Line.com website for sale this week to see if we can explain. Two things you should know from the gitgo. It is triple black and it is a rare 4-speed W30 convertible. (This is where true Oldsmobile muscle car collectors begin to salivate. Yeah, we just can’t help it.)

Oldsmobile collectors believe that there were 264 W30 convertibles built in 1970. Of those, only 96 were thought to have been 4-speeds. Okay, now how many were triple black (black exterior, black top and black interior)? Tom Lembeck, an Illinois muscle car collector, thinks there may be less than a handful. “This is one of the rarest muscle cars in existence, ” he told us. “It’s like what a 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible is to a Mopar guy, or a Ram Air IV GTO convertible is to a Pontiac collector.”

Lembeck says he has the original order sheet, invoice and Certi-Card for this car. What makes it very special is that it was a featured car in the Buddy Holt Collection. Buddy Holt was an Oldsmobile dealer who was well known for his Oldsmobile muscle car collection. When Holt sold the car  it was purchased by a New York buyer who did a restoration on it.

Then Lembeck, who was an original Mopar muscle car collector, needed to find a triple black Oldsmobile W30 Convertible so he could trade it for a 1971 Challenger Convertible which he was hot after. His Oldsmobile collector friends found the former Holt car in New York. When Lembeck made the deal he went out to New York to pick the car up. Keep in mind, he was buying it just to trade it at this point.  “When I finally saw the car in New York and drove it, I was stunned. Forget the Challenger, this beauty wasn’t going anywhere but my garage,” he said. “I became an Olds fanatic right there and then.”

1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible

Another story about how this car got into the Holt Collection. When Buddy Holt was just a teenager he asked his father, who was then the owner of the family business Holt Oldsmobile in Greenville, North Carolina, for a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible. The idea of his teenage son running around with a 455 big block Oldsmobile engine with W30 -aluminum intake, hot cam and a 4-speed (which meant no power brakes) didn’t sit well with him. Later, when Buddy took over the helm of the family Oldsmobile business he amassed a collection of Oldsmobile muscle cars. This triple black 442 W30 car was the rarest car in his legendary collection.

When Lembeck purchased the car in the late 1990’s he took it down to the frame and performed a nut and bolt restoration. He did a pretty good job. His 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible scored 990 points out of 1,000 when he entered it in the Oldsmobile Nationals in 2006.

Why does he value it at $395,000? “I’ve seen a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible in Agean Aqua sell for $400,000 to a collector in Wisconsin. It was a GM of Canada car with documentation,” Lembeck told us. “But it wasn’t triple black.” Good answer.

Since Lembeck has owned the W30 4-speed convertible this is the first time it has ever been offered for sale. It has never been at an auction and never been publicly advertised. These top level cars are often tucked away inside collections where the general public never gets chance to see them. He says the miles are under 40,000 and are original.

The more you get involved with muscle cars the more you recognize that there are two echelons of collector cars. There are those that are perfect originals with documentation and pedigree … and then there are all the rest. This one is the former.






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3 Responses to A Real 32123 Code 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible

  1. Buddy Holt July 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

    This is the ONE car I wish I had never gotten rid of!!!!

    • Doug Houghton March 22, 2021 at 1:52 pm #

      Do you remember when I drove down from Canada and I drove this car

  2. Doug Houghton March 22, 2021 at 1:55 pm #

    Do you remember when I drove down from Ontario Canada to see your collection and you let me drive this car.

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