Today’s AutoTrader find is by far the coolest variant of an Oldsmobile Cutlass from the 1980s. It’s a 1983 15th Anniversary Hurst/Olds, which pays homage to the classic muscle car originally based on the Oldsmobile 442. Since we’d understand if someone saw this car and thought it was a Chevy Monte Carlo, it requires some explanation.
What does Hurst/Olds mean?
Hurst Performance was an automotive performance brand that was defunct in 1970. The story of Hurst is a little complicated. It started out as an independent manufacturer of aftermarket performance parts in 1958. It was acquired by Sunbeam, the brand that’s best known for making small kitchen appliances like toasters and coffee makers, which failed to follow through on a deal it made with the founders of Hurst. The name has been passed around since then and it’s currently owned by Holley Performance Products. Hurst Performance isn’t its own brand anymore, but you can still buy new Hurst performance parts like shifters and suspension systems.
So, what does Hurst have to do with Oldsmobile? Back in the 1960s when the Oldsmobile 442 first came out, Hurst performance parts for the 442 were so popular that the brands teamed up. The result was a special car called the Hurst/Olds. It had a unique two-tone paint scheme of Peruvian Silver and black, walnut interior trim, special badging, and a dual gate shifter. For the 1969 model year, the paint scheme changed to Firefrost Gold and white, which became the color combo that the Hurst/Olds is most famous for.
There was some trickery going on with the Hurst/Olds that allowed the 442 to get around a corporate rule. At GM in the 60s, you weren’t allowed to put an engine bigger than 400 cubic inches in an intermediate-sized car like the 442. However, the Hurst/Olds was powered by a 455 ci “Rocket” V8. Oldsmobile figured out a loophole. The engine wasn’t actually installed by General Motors. The cars were sent across town to a shop where Hurst would turn a 442 into a Hurst/Olds, which included the engine installation. Oldsmobile got away with the loophole and the car became an icon.
15 years later
Hurst Performance was a company that didn’t really exist anymore by the time 1983 came around. However, the Hurst/Olds was revived that year as a tribute to the original 15 years earlier. It was based on the G-Body Cutlass Supreme of its day which means it was still rear-wheel drive. This car was powered by a 307 ci V8 engine, which produced 180 horsepower and 245 lb-ft of torque. It also had special exhaust to give the car a more muscular sound than your average Cutlass.
Exterior improvements include a special two-tone black and silver paint job with red stripes, chrome wheels, a rear spoiler, and a distinct hood. There was a new Hurst/Olds logo that was applied to the body as well. Demand was so strong for the 1983 Hurst/Olds that they ended up producing more than they expected. It even came back for the 1984 model year.
The example you see here has a little over 10,000 miles on the clock. It’s being offered for sale in Villa Park, IL with an asking price of $26,000. There are similar GM cars from the same era you could get for less money, but this is a unique homage to muscle car greatness that you don’t see every day. For better or worse, this 15th anniversary Hurst/Olds is a good snapshot of how much the American car industry changed in 15 years from the height of the muscle car era to the malaise era. Find an Oldsmobile Cutlass for sale