I purchased my 442 in January of 2004. I found the car on eBay and after taking the 15
minute drive to look at it, I bid and won the auction. Yes, I found my Fremont CA built
442 a few minutes away from my home in Michigan. The car had sat in a towing yard in
Barstow CA for 22 years before it was shipped to Michigan by Dave Wertz, the previous
owner. He made annual trips out west to find old cars. Every year he would check in on
the 442 to see if the yard would sell it. For 22 years the owner said no. The last time he
checked on it he found out the owner had passed away. His brother sold it and it was
finally loaded up and shipped to Michigan. The floors and trunk were in perfect shape
and the frame was pit free. The latter being a huge plus when doing a frame-off resto.
All the pot metal side trim was pit free, including the grill, scoops and dented rear
panel. That piece just HAD to be dented.
The car was originally Target Red with black vinyl bucket seats. Options included a 3.55
posi-traction rear differential, manual transmission, glare-proof rear view mirror, back-up
lights, convenience lights/mirror group and AM radio. The brakes were manual, the
steering was manual, and the wipers were single speed with no washer sprayers. It
didnt even have an outside rearview mirror. There were holes in the door for add-on
mirrors on each side, but not for the factory mirror. I dont believe it had a 4 speed
console either because there were no floor brackets for one or weld marks from them
being there. To top off the less is more theme the wheels were painted red and
adorned with poverty caps. This car was built to haul ass, nothing more.
At some point in time, probably after 1971, the car was wrecked. It was hit behind the
passenger tire. The body was fixed by grafting on a used piece of quarterpanel from
another car. The car was then painted a dark gray, the seats were replaced with custom
buckets, the headliner was changed from white to black, and a 66 GTO engine was
placed under its hood. The manual trans was also yanked in favor of an automatic
which was topped off with a 65 Chevelle SS console. What a mix of GM A body parts
huh? The only good thing to happen was the addition of a 3 turn lock to lock steering
box from a 71 A body car.
The only way to find out what options came on a Fremont car is to find the build sheet.
Lansing cars had codes on the cowl tag indicating what was added to the car, Fremont
did not do that. Therefore I dont really know if it had other options besides the ones I
In the spring of 2004 I started the disassembly of the body. After doing some digging I
called the towing yard in Barstow, A-1 Towing and Garage. I talked to a man that wasnt
too long for this world. He said the reason he sold it was he was having heart problems
and never would have got around to fixing the car. In a later attempt to track down some
previous owners of my car, I looked A-1 towing up again. Sadly, the man I talked to,
Greg Parker, had died. I got that info from a website that featured him and his
creations. www.roadtripamerica.com has a blurb about his life.
I also got this Cutlass in the deal, along with 2 truck loads of parts
This photo was taken in 1970 at my grandparents house. My parents were married on
that day In the photo of my father you can see his 1965 442. He bought this car after
returning from Vietnam. He didnt set out to buy an Oldsmobile, he just wanted a car
with a 4 speed transmission. This car had one so he bought it off a woman for 800
bucks. The big Olds lived with its gas pedal flat to the floor from that point on. The
car was so fast and beat so many cars that it was stolen. He later recovered it, less its
engine, trans, and wheels. He then bought a red 65 442 and took all the stuff he
needed and rebuilt his white one. This car rusted out pretty quick and was sold. But
it was never forgotten. I still hear awesome stories from dad about his old car. I cant
explain why I like 65 442s as much as I do. I guess its something thats in my blood. I
like to think my dads old car has something to do with it.
Here is the 442 the day Dave Wertz bought it in Barstow. Notice its buried in the sand
and its wheels are missing. The road behind the fence is Old Route 66. Dave looked
thru that fence every time he was out there to make sure the car was still there.