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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