This particular Hurst Olds is one of the lowest mileage examples available and is a one-owner example that was originally purchased directly from the factory line by an employee of Oldsmobile. This vehicle sports the very rare gray interior that is in absolutely immaculate condition. To support the extremely low mileage, this Hurst drives and performs like it was just taken off of the factory floor! The mid-Eighties were strange times for performance car fans. The glory days of the muscle car era were only about 15 years earlier, but when they ended, an entirely new mentality overtook the public consciousness. A little more than a decade later, the good old days might well have been ancient history, as cars changed profoundly and fundamentally.Front-wheel drive, fuel injection, and ads that touted miles per gallon rather than miles per hour were the norm in the 1980s. The few models that had performance intents were next-generation cars with McPherson strut suspensions, turbochargers, and dashboards that looked like circuit boards. Then there was the 1983 Hurst/Olds.A model designed to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the original, 1968 model, the “new” Hurst/Olds was really a 15-year-later example of classic Sixties architecture: body-on-frame construction (GM’s venerable G-body), control-arm front suspension, and a V-8 engine driving a live rear axle. There was no space-age styling or monochromatic trim. The Cutlass-based Hurst/Olds was boxy and ringed with chrome.Only 3,001 examples were built (201 sold in Canada), all of them black with a silver lower body and red dividing stripe. Special badges, door graphics, a rear spoiler, and styled steel wheels were part of the striking exterior package. All of the cars came off Olds’ assembly line in Lansing, MI, and then shipped about 45 miles away to secondary manufacturer Cars and Concepts, which changed each Cutlass into a Hurst model. Each carried the order code W-40. T-tops were an $825 option, and a power moonroof was offered, too.Performance-wise, every Hurst/Olds packed a four-barrel-fed, 307-cube engine with 180 horsepower, a Hydra-Matic 200-4R overdrive transmission, and a 3.73 rear axle. Along with its 180 horses was a solid 245 lb-ft of torque. It was a combination good for 16-second quarter-miles and 0-60 sprints of about nine seconds.The performance may not have set the drag strip on fire, but the Hurst Lightning Rod shifter system gave the car a unique, signature feature that looked wild and worked quite well. Essentially a mechanical version of the electronically controlled, manual-shift automatics used in many cars today, the Lightning Rod shifter enabled the driver to use a separate shifter for each upshift. The shifter has proven very robust over the years, with most owners reporting problems related to the basic 200-4R transmission to which it is connected. However, replacement shifters and parts for them basically don’t exist, so if one breaks, the owner is stuck–figuratively and perhaps, literally.
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