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Home/News and Feature Articles/*Featured Cars and Trucks/ Oldsmobile Featured Cars/


Having the same car in one family has one great advantage - you know its pedegree.

You know where it has been what was done to it and - you get the satifaction of retunring it to its original glory.

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Awesome picture of an awesome car. 1971 W-30s captured the essence of a muscle car perfectly.

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1971 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 - Paul Tortorici's Gold Nugget is a family affair!
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By Society Staff – reprint with permission only

Take a look at a car that has stayed in the family for 40 years since it rolled out of Lansing. It's a labor of love that has withstood the effects of time–and it's so dang lovely to look at! We'll let the owner tell much of the story, but I have an interesting twist to throw in at the end.

Paul Tortoricci, the current owner, has kept this baby in pristine condition for 34 years, but it has always been in the family. He says, "This 1971 W-30 was purchased new by my uncle Paul in late June 1971 at Manor Oldsmobile in Massapequa, NY. Of course I was there the day he picked it up."

Acquiring a W-30 by this late in the 1971 year was no mean feat because, as we know, by that time, all W-30 production had ceased for that year and the factory had only made 810 of these puppies. So when you went hunting "back in the day," you had to take what was available. The car had been consigned to a Chicago, Illinois dealer and was shipped back to NY to be sold.

Typical of muscle cars and W-30s in general, it was sparsely equipped, but it had the right pieces: power steering, bucket seats, console with Dual Gate, the rear wing, and 4.10 gears. Paul's uncle added the usual aftermarket wheels, some decals, but basically left it pretty much stock.

Paul's uncle, who was also named Paul, drove the car, raced it, but generally took good care of it. He was fond of decorating it with decals and slogans, one of which was 'Paul's Olds'. He also used the Pontiac '455 HO' decals on the hood scoops. At one point '442' ended up on the rear quarters.

Paul T was only 13 when the car was purchased, but he always loved his uncle's car and dreamed that he would own it, or one like it, when he got older. He enjoyed sitting in the 442, fantasizing that he owned it and was racing all the hot cars in the neighborhood. In 1975, that chance suddenly materialize. Uncle Paul decided it was time to buy a more practical car and was about to trade it in on a Chevy Monte Carlo.

In Paul's words; "In April 1975 my uncle was going to trade the car for a new Monte Carlo. The Chevy dealer was only going to give him $1700. I was very upset that he was selling the car, so I asked my parents if I could purchase the car. My father looked at my mother and they both smiled. Shortly thereafter they told my uncle that they had a check for $1700. Bring the car to our house next week. They looked at me and said, 'Happy 17th Birthday.' You can imagine how excited I was."

Initially, Paul did very little to the car, removing some of the lettering and just keeping it bright and shiny. The car only had 36,800 miles on it when Paul purchased it in 1975. Today it only has less than 43,000. Paul says, "That shows you how much I have driven the car."

In 1984 Paul could see that the paint was tired and decided that it needed to be redone. He was very meticulous about the paint and it shows it to this day. When it returned, and over the years, Paul has spiffed up the engine compartment and the underbody, but it remains pretty much as it was when he acquired it.

As we mentioned earlier, the car was pretty much a plain Jane W-car, so over the years, Paul has added some options: A90 power trunk release; G66 GM air shocks; NO5 locking gas cap; N33 tilt column; U57 stereo /8-track player; and W-27 aluminum rear end cover. The car did have the Rally Pack and Sport wheel, so now it is pretty dolled up.

Paul says, "It's now the way I would have ordered it, had I been old enough back in 1971." It has won many 1st place trophies and in 1988 it won 1st at the Oldsmobile Nationals. The car is real photogenic and has been featured in seven different magazines. In has also been featured on a Power Graphics poster.

But now Paul just drives and enjoys it. He has taken it to the drags (see picture), so don't think he just washes and waxes it. Nowadays, though, it is quietly retired to stepping out to car shows and cruises.

What makes this car special to me is that it was the car that brought Paul and I together back in 1984, and we have remained friends for these last 29 years–through two moves on my part and all the other things that distance, raising families. Things that can quietly end even the best of relationships. When I see pictures of this car, they just don't move me as a awesome muscle car–they make me feel the warmth of a wonderful friendship.

Paul told me many years ago: "This car will never leave my family–at least not while I'm alive." That's a sentiment that many of us have about our own iron. But I know Paul, and I know that's not just a statement, it is 100% true.

Good luck buddy, keep that 442 'cause when I think of it–I think of you.

Paul's uncle with the car early in its life.

Back in 1972, Paul and his brother Joe sit in the 442,
with Paul doing his fantasy thing.

An example of how Paul's uncle decorated the car.
This was not uncommon back in the day - where personalizing the car was common.

It's finally his! The picture of Paul and the W-30 the day he got it - May 1975.

In 1978. it was sporting that "hot 70's" look.

By 1984, just before the new paint, it was starting to move back toward stock.

Between 1985 and 1988, Paul worked to return the car to as original as possible. This culminated with th a 1st place trophy and a visit from Linda Vaughn at the 1988 Oldsmobile Club of America Nationals.

The car has been to the drags -
here it is at Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ.

Your classic W-30 in a wonderful pose.

From any angle, this car is stunning.