442 PSA: 2,700 mile 85 442 - evidence it has had work done


Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
Piddling around the internet today, I ran across this old 85 442 advertisement again from Midwest Car Exchange. I know it's been brought up here before, but I started perusing the pics again and then I saw yet another "issue" with the car.

This GORGEOUS ONE ORIGINAL OWNER, Is Well Documented With Every Piece Of Original Paperwork, Fantastic ALL STOCK ORIGINAL SURVIVOR, Always Stored In Temperature Controlled Environment, Never Taken Out In Adverse Weather.
Always Babied.
Air Conditioning Blows Cold, Rolls On Original Factory Tires, Never Painted On Or Abused, Still Smells BRAND NEW Inside...

I'm not trying to detract from this car because it's a super-fine example of a mostly original car, but SOMEONE, somewhere, wasn't exactly 100% honest when they said this 2,700 mile 85 442 was 100% original when put up for consignment. Car has long been sold, to an estranged member here, no less, who seemed to vanish into thin air after claiming to have purchased it and is in his garage.

The first issue was one we've already discussed. It has the WRONG emissions label on it. It has the Y roller engine "SBF" coded emissions decal on it, when it should have the "SBJ" emission label specific to the VIN 9. No big deal, as mistakes at the factory sometimes happen. Weirder stuff has been documented. There's no documentation with this to prove when/where it was installed, but for the sake of saying, I'll just assume it was a factory error. Lord knows quality wasn't the utmost priority on these cars when assembled.

Here's the wrong emission decal:


But then, I noticed this:


Look at the picture above. Everything looks factory original. All the part numbers, hoses, etc., etc. However, because I finally figured out a little while back (derp) that the compressor "code" was simply a date/shift stamping instead of an actual tracking number or serial number or something else, we can see that while the correct 198 label is on the compressor, the "code" gives it away. NO factory fugg up here. The compressor date code is 040962, which translates to April 9, 1986, 2nd shift. Which means no friggin' way it was original to the car. It wouldn't be 1976 because they didn't have 198s back then as R4s weren't around just yet and if they were, they were just getting started. And they surely wouldn't wait 9 years to install it. It COULD be 1996, but again, by then it was R4's with 134a capabilities meaning the hose connection wasn't level. This one has a level connection point, thus it has to be 1986. And decals weren't available separately. They came pre-installed on the units.

My own 85 still wears it's original 198 and it doesn't even HAVE a code number stamped on it. WTF?

No real problem, the original compressor could have gave out, owner got a new 198 compressor, installed it, fixed it and it was on its way. But this means SOMEONE knew the car was no longer 100% original. In subsequent pictures you can see where the case O-rings are leaking on this one so it won't be long for this world anyway as it is and will need to be repaired again. The thing that is disappointing is that the "originality factor" was a big driver in the asking price, which at the time was in the 30s. A bit high for a regular 442, but the low low miles and "originality" pushed that price. The replacement parts, although correct, should have deducted some of that.

At least it was the same model compressor, and close to the car's date, but still, it's not the original.
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