1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Hurst Olds W-30 (The W-30)
Last updated Aug 23, 2008
I first saw this vehicle sitting in a farmers field in 2006... driving to Edwardsville Illinois with a friend of mine I caught out of the corner of my eye the familiar black and gold of the trunk lid... Begged him to stop (since we were 114 miles from my home) and left a note on the front door of the farmers house...
heard nothing for the next 3 months
I went back, knocked on the door repeatedly, when finally the owner of the cars wife came to the door... I told her I was interested in the car and she said she'd pass the information along, but her husband was planning on giving the car to his nephew...
fast forward to sept '07
stopped by once agian... this time talked to "Bob"
the car was purchased orignally in 1978 driven until the brakes went bad in 1991 at which point it was parked next to their barn in a field... gas prices had risen too much (God, what a joke) and they deicded not to fix it...
The car has 52,000 original miles on it.
After sitting in the field for 16 years, I purchased the car, it didn't run, they couldnt find the title, and various animals had made it their home, but it was complete (save for the missing factory carburator,owners manual, and air cleaner housing)
I loaded it onto a flat-bed and took it to my shop where it spent the better part of 3 months being repaired to get into safe runnning condition....
moving on to getting body work done now.. and trying to find someone to put new floor boards and 1/4 panels on it. Found out this weekend the drivers side 1/4 has been replaced at one point in time, but whomever did it did a miserable job. I've put about 100 miles on it since i got it and it has perfect road manners... took it on a 50 mile run last week to pick up a " new" decklid for it....
Its a keeper,
I wish i could get it on "Overhaulin'" so Chip foose could work his magic on it... As quickly as these cars are being ripped apart, I know the value will do NOTHING but go up!!!!
Mr. Foose, if you are out there and happen across my ride, please think of doing a complete resto-mod on it for me!!!!
In 1979, during the second gas crisis, when prices shot up to about $1.25 a gallon from around 70 cents, Oldsmobile brought back the famed Hurst/Olds name in the new Cutlass body and based it on the Calais model.
In the January 1980 issue of Super Stock & Drag Illustrated, an article by Mike Rowell almost apologized for featuring a 1979 car in a 1980 magazine, but he had good reason. In 1979, the G-body GM cars all had small, anemic engines, ranging from a V-6, a 260 V-8, or the 305 Chevrolet V-8. But the Hurst/Olds used the 350 engine from the larger cars to add performance.
In fact, the 1979 Hurst/Olds was the only A-body GM car to use this engine. Rowell went onto say that the Hurst/Olds was the kind of car that some racers like as a daily driver. "While some drag racers drive hot, semi-race cars on the street, and some rattle around in pickups, a sizable number want a sharp-looking, comfortable luxury car with above-average performance and perhaps a little extra something to set it off from the crowd. The Hurst/Olds fills these specs."
While the '79 Hurst/Olds was the first of its breed not to offer an engine of more than 400 cubic inches, it was a performance car, when, in 1979, even the top Corvette engine wheezed out 225hp. That year, the 170hp Hurst/Olds held its own against similar performance cars of the day like the Turbo Buick and R/T Dodges. The 350 Olds that year featured a 700cfm Rochester Quadrajet and offered decent response and fuel mileage. The Hurst/Olds also featured a dual exhaust system consisting of a single pipe leading from the Y-pipe through a single-inlet catalytic converter and into a dual-outlet muffler with twin tailpipes. Nevertheless, Olds engineers insisted that the system offered reduced back pressure, even if it had a single catalytic converter.
The engine was hooked to a Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 transmission (because the stronger Turbo 400 was discontinued) that was stirred by the already legendary Hurst Dual Gate shifter, which was last available on the '79 cars and came with a lifetime warranty. The rear axle had 2.73 gears (2.56 in California) and the Hurst/Olds rode on 14 x 6-inch special aluminum gold-painted wheels shod with Goodyear 205/70R14 tires, very small by today's standards. In a drag test back in the day, the '79 Hurst/Olds covered the quarter mile in 16.63 seconds at almost 82 mph. Pitiful by today's standards, but for a '79 production car, that was moving.
Thanks to Jeremy Blakeney For the info!!!
You can check his car out @ http://hrst79...hrst/id2.html
This H/O was built by Oldsmobile at the Lansing plant and didn't get sent off for additional work at Hurst Performance Products or Cars and Concepts. For this reason, there would be no possible loophole around the then current EPA regulations. In part and summary, those regulations stated that as long as an engine/transmission combination had been certified in any production model for that year, the same combination could be used in any other model that the factory desired, so long as less than 2,500 were produced. If 2,500 or more were built, the engine/transmission combination had to be certified specifically in that particular model. The "R" code Olds 350 engine in combination with the TH-350 transmission had already been certified in the 88 models for 1979, so legally that same combination could also be used in the Cutlass body without specific certification as long as less than 2,500 were built. That's why 2,499 1979 Hurst/Oldsmobile's were produced. Now, there were no 350/4 speed combinations already certified by Oldsmobile in 1979, so certification would have been necessary.
Oldsmobile could have produced another 2,499 "Super" Hurst Olds with the 403 engine & with the TH-350 transmission had already been certified in both the 88 and the 98 models. So legally they could have produced 2,499 H/O.
Unfortunately, they did not...
After a 3 year hiatus, the H/O returned in '79 on GM's newly downsized Cutlass body. The first H/O to be built entirely by Oldsmobile Division, it was also the first H/O that did not offer a 455 engine. But it was the only GM A-body to offer a 350 V8 in '79. White and black again were the color choices, but with a wider choice of interior trims than ever before. Gold paint covered the hood, most of the top, and the very rear of the trunk. The aluminum wheels were also painted gold, along with the grille. At $2054 for the conversion, it was the most expensive H/O ever, but even so, sales held steady at 2499 units.
There were 10 years that H/Os were built out of 21, from 1968 thru 1988. During those 9 production runs, less than 16,000 total cars were built. Compare that to 30,000 442s built in a single model year, and you will see that the Hurst/Olds is a rare car indeed. Their unique history and combination of luxury and performance make them a topic of conversation wherever they go.
Original 350 Vin code "r" which is in fact the last year for the 350 rocket
Original 350 Turbo transmission
Yes, It's a #'s matching car!!!!!
Last year for Hurst Dual/Gate Shifter
The Hurst Dual/Gate Shifter other wise know as the "his and hers shifter". The dual shift patterns provied the ultimate in street/strip control. It was strictly automatic on the left side and as precise as a fuly sychronized manual control on the right side. Hurst postive latching mechanism and neutral lock-out takes the guess work out of chaning gears, up or down. There is no chance of overshifting into neutral and maybe blowing an engine. You could be as shiftless of as entergetic as one might like. You can rely on the brain below the foorboard or trust your own reflexes. The lady of you life could drive regularly, while you remain boss of the block with the manual control. The Hurst Dual/Gate shifter came with a lifetime guarantee.
Ebony Black w/gold trim (1334 H/Os) (Mine is one of those)
Cameo white w/gold trim (1165 H/Os)
Emblems on header panel are black, instead of the standard Cutlass red emblems
Ebony Black w/gold trim (1334 H/Os)
170 HP 275 lb/ft Torque Olds 350 "R" engine
M-38 T-350 automatic transmission
Aluminum wheels (gold)
Twin sport mirrors
P205/70R14 white lettered tires
Power Brakes and Steering
Hood and header panel rocket emblems were black not red
Hurst Dual/Gate shifter
Options from the K47 Calais Coupe included:
Reclining bucket seats
Rallye gauge package
Sport steering wheel
Bright rocket panel molding, wheel opening molding
Oddly, this car does not have power windows, power locks, no tilt column.... I wonder if that means anything???
The Cutlass was the best selling model in Automotive history, and now with Oldsmobile out of business.... there will never be another Hurst Olds Cutlass... Ever....
KYB Mono-Tube Shocks (all around)
Cooper Cobra Radial GT Tires
Completely new brake system including master cylinder, backing plates, hoses, calipers, wheel cylinders, shoes, rear brake hardware, front pads, rotors, wheel bearings and grease seals, brake drums and power booster (the only things that havent been replaced are the brake linesand e-brake cables!!)
New custom built 2 2/1 in dual exhaust with flowmaster mufflers and dumps.
Accell H.E.I. super coil
Accell 8 mm wires
Gates Belts and hoses
Valvoline Max-life 10W30 motor oil
New water pump, fuel pump, thermostat and gasket and radiator.
Permanent Link to this Car