Friday, May 1, 2015

10k: Lightning Rocket: 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds 442

 The original Hurst/Olds 442 was released in 1968 with Rocket 455 V8 power and a Hurst shifted gearbox, but by the time the 1984 version was released, the engine had been downsized to a 307 LG8 V8 and it now used a 4-speed auto.  Before the purists break out the sharpened clutchforks, the 83-84 Hurst/Olds is still fun to drive because it used a thing called the Hurst Lightning Rod shifter, which looks like something you'd use to arm/fire a giant planet destroying laser beam from your fully operational intergalactic battle station.  Find this 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds 442 with Rocket 455 power here on eBay currently bidding for $9,200 with 3 days to go, located in Cleveland, OH.


The Hurst edition of the Oldsmobile 442 are colloquially called Hurst/Olds and there is even a club and website to celebrate this obscure beast.  The Hurst/Olds collaboration started in 1968 with the Cutlass and 442 editions getting the Hurst makeover and sporadically continued through 1988 with a total of 16,000 cars for all years.  1983 was one of the better selling of the Hurst/Olds editions with buyers picking up 3000 of the black over silver with red pin striping coupes.


Gone is the original 307 Olds LG8 and in its place is a 455 Rocket V8 from a 1968 Olds 442 which was rated at 390 horsepower.  This could alarm the local smog police depending on your state's emissions requirements, but performance should be significantly improved. 


You might be confused at first glance and think someone swapped a 4WD transmission with transfer case into the inside of this Hurlds, but you are just looking at the death star cockpit inspired Hurst Lightning Rod shifter.  The first shifter operates as you would expect, but the 2nd and 3rd allow the driver to select 1st or 2nd gear and 'bang' it into the next gear.  See this youtube video for a thorough explanation of the Lightning Rod in action.


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8 comments:

  1. Are those shifter what you engage Ludicrous Speed with? Methinks Rick Moraines would want a look.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another one of those little form-before-function kinds of things, you want your car to look like it's got a big old Lenco band-clutch drag transmission in it?

    [img]http://www.lencoracing.com/index_files/P3.jpg[/img]

    Then the Lightning Rod shifter is just what you need.

    These old G-Bodies seemed to me at the time to be some of the worst-built cars GM was producing in that era, and the average was pretty bad, it took some pretty serious effort to climb to the top of that dung heap. I'm a little surprised how many have survived.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. This is one of my favorite youtube vids. Skip to 2:20.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zx54zjDU4s

      Delete
    2. Dang! Is that SMOKE in the cabin? Way too much fun!

      Delete
  3. Since the original engine is already gone, drive and enjoy. I would want to change that interior, or at least put in a fresh one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Stan the Death Star Weapons Officer is deeply offended by your comparison of his workstation to a 3-rod trans.

    [img]http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080915164631/starwars/images/0/0e/Deathstar_gunner.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Separated at birth?

      [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d0/Black_stig.jpg[/img]

      Delete
  5. I wonder if they at least upgraded the trans to a 700 r4. IIRC these came with the 200 and it was weak with a mildly upgraded 307, that 455 put out 390 hp and more than 550 ft/lbs of torque. I had a built one in a T/A and it was super hairy to drive.

    ReplyDelete

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