How to pick a "Collector Car"
To start looking for a collector car first think about what it is you like about the hobby. Is it driving an older car? Does the car remind you of earlier good times? High School? Dating your wife? Brought your kids home from the hospital in that car? Parents had one just like it? We hear all the reasons, and all are valid for choosing the car that is right for you.
Know before you go to far along that the most valuable cars to buy and restore are Convertibles. Next most desirable is the 2 door hardtop or as Oldsmobile calls them "Holiday Coupes". Generally speaking the more options on the car the more desirable it is. Be aware that low production number cars like the 1953 Fiesta, 1966 W30 442, 1970 Toronado GT are especially hard to find that rare part for. We try to give referrals but there are some parts you will have to make, find good used, or refurbish.
After you narrow your search to a particular year or body style search the internet through Auto Trader Old Car Trader web site, Hemmings Motor News both web site and magazine, and other collector car magazines. There is no substitute for knowledge so read and learn all you can about the particular model you are interested in. I recommend you join a national car club that specializes in your particular brand or model. For Oldsmobile we are fortunate we have two very active clubs. The Oldsmobile Club of America is home to enthusiasts from all years Oldsmobile was produced, 1897 through 2002. The OCA (Oldsmobile Club of America) has chapters located around the country including some special interest chapters devoted to certain years or models. The OCA has a web site you can browse at WWW.Oldsclub.org.
For enthusiasts who are more interested in 1897 through 1966 only, the National Antique Olds Club or NAOC is also very active. The NAOC web site is available at WWW.AntiqueOlds.org.
Both clubs hold national meets at different sites yearly. Each respective web site has up to date information on the coming shows.
Buy the best body and paint on the car you can. Body and paint restoration are more expensive than mechanical. In the 442 era, especially the rare high performance W30 cars, having the original engine is important. Follow this link to our 442FAQ page for more information on the Cutlass 442.
Just because you can't find that 442 you want at a price you like does not mean you can't find a Cutlass that will bring you just as much enjoyment. The old car hobby is filled with nice people who will happily share their knowledge and enthusiasm with you.
If your Grandfather had a 1955 Oldsmobile S88 4 door sedan and you have fond memories of that car those can be found to fit any budget. The 4 doors will drive just like the 2 doors and you will have an easier time finding parts and parts cars. These may not be good candidates for a total body off restoration because of the expense involved and the return, but are just as much fun.