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1 of 1097: 1973 Olds Cutlass S Hurst Olds


Reader Michael K. sent us this interesting find on Copart for sale in Detroit. If you are fond of Oldsmobiles, as I am, this one might make you kind of sad. What happened to this rare old muscle car, and why did its owner elect not to try to save it?


The VIN decodes to an Olds Cutlass S, which lines up, since all of the 1097 Hurst Olds built in 1973 were Cutlass S cars, and it sure does look like all the Hurst specific pieces are there.


That includes the special small quarter windows, gold colored hood louvers, and the various gold painted panels on the side, hood and deck, along with correct color-coordinated striping.


Even though 1973 was the year that emissions standards hit performance hard across most American car lines, the Hurst Olds kept the muscle car flame alive.


All 1973 Hurst Olds cars came equipped with the Olds 455 CID V-8 with W30 features. Hurst also changed the camshaft to make it a W45 or for non-air conditioned cars, a W46. The non A/C equipped cars also got 3.23 axle ratios instead of the W45s, which featured 3.08 gears.


All these limited run Hursts were equipped with the robust Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 and of course the Hurst Dual-Gate shifter. All also came with power front disc brakes and Oldsmobile’s effective Rally suspension, which included front and rear anti-roll bars, heavy-duty shocks and stiffer coil springs.


Hurst claimed these cars would go 0-to-60 mph in only 6.5 seconds, which for 1973 was pretty spectacular. All Hurst Oldsmobiles are desirable these days, even this one with front end damage and needing complete refurbishment, so it’s a good guess that this car will see some active bidding. It seems plausible this Olds has only 103,000 miles on it, and amazingly, the overall condition, at least from pictures, does not seem all that terrible.


I would definitely lose those aftermarket wheels and tires.


You’ll expect some previous rust repair to be present, and maybe some rust in floors and trunk, but this car does seem worth saving. That aftermarket moonroof is not original.


Copart says it only needs $3,239 of repairs, but I’m guessing there will be a lot more money spent on this car to get it back on the road. Still, since this is a true muscle car, a great looking beast, and a pretty rare one at that, I think it’s worth the investment, and guess someone who feels the same way will be putting up the cash pretty soon.

Might one of our Detroit area readers take a look at this rare Oldsmobile and let us know what you think of it in person?


  1. GTOJeff

    I had one just like this. I hope that the grille is ok because they only used those one year.

    Like 1
    • Gnrdude

      No you’d Definitely Need a PARTS Car for this one.

      Like 0
    • john z

      I have a whole front clip for this car I actually have a whole car for parts

      Like 1
      • Ken Anderson

        How much ? how far away / and what sort of condition is the parts car in? thank you for time, Ken Anderson.

        Like 1
      • ARMIN

        hey i need some part please

        Like 0
  2. Blindmarc

    Hope it gets saved, and someone doesn’t overpay for it.

    Like 0
  3. DrinkinGasoline

    I like this generation of Cutlass having owned two 75’s at the same time. One S and one Supreme, both being emission restrained 350 cars. The only things that I do not like about this example are the padded Landau vinyl and the louvered hood treatment. I would certainly put it back together as stock built for purity reasons, but….
    If I were to keep it for personal pleasure, I would tweak it a bit to my liking. Like others, I do hope this one can be brought back to live another day. The white with gold, never gets old…..

    Like 2
  4. Scotty Staff

    I also really like this generation of Cutlass. The $3,239-in-repairs-needed part sounds a little low, like 2-3-4-5 times low, but what a great car it’ll be when it’s restored! Nice find.

    Like 0
    • DrinkinGasoline

      Agreed Scotty.
      I would have to figure at minimum, a 15k “post purchase” investment in order to bring this H/O in-line to be, at best, a respectable contender, given the current market’s point system requirements.
      Given the future collect-ability of this vehicle, that’s not too far fetched. Many enthusiasts/hobbyists may not like it but….vehicles such as this are coming into their own as time goes by and will be the future of the hobby. Time marches on, and it’s our choice to either lead, march in the middle of the parade or bring up the rear. depending on our abilities. Regardless, we are all a part of the end result. :)

      Like 1
  5. Chad-O

    Awesome find. Pretty freaking amazing that it survived Detroit winters as well as it has. I used to live in Detroit and cars from this era would make it 6 years or so before cancer took over. Someone took care of it for a while.

    I had a Grand Prix that looked pretty good on the outside but the floor pans had holes so bad the seats were in jeopardy of falling through. Nothing a local wouldn’t expect anyway.

    Like 1
  6. ebayalias

    If anyone here buys this car, I will sell you the fender, header panel, bumper supports, bumper and lower fiberglass valences for $2K. I don’t know how bad the grilles are, but I have done a repair on a set previously. That should cover all the parts needed, now just add labor.

    As to the sunroof. The proposal car Hurst made for Olds had a manual sunroof on it, which was an option on the Cutlass S and Hurst/Olds for 1973. It is exceedingly rare! I have a factory sunroof I pulled about a decade ago, and it looks just like this! Lastly, look at the stainless around the vinyl top. There is a double welt vinyl trim around it, (One welt inside, one welt outside). This was the way the factory did it, so the vinyl top is either original, or someone went through the hassle and expense of duplicating it.

    Like 0
  7. Brian Joseph

    The problem with this car is it will forever have a salvage title. .kills it for me

    Like 0

    When the insurance company is ready to settle a claim they have to offer the vehicle back to the owner for a percentage of the insured value minus any deductible.

    The car appears to be lightly hit and with a headlight and bungee cord to hold the hood down looks drive able. If it were mine no way would I let the insurance company take it away. Unless I might know something about it they don’t. It being in Detroit doesn’t look like it lived there very long. There has to be more to the story.

    As far as value if it could be bought for $1200. is one thing. It won’t. Copart is representing the insurance co. who will write off the loss. So Copart will get every dollar they can. They have nothing in it and nothing to loose.

    I wouldn’t look at with stars in my eyes. Regardless it will still have a branded title with Copart history. No way to shake that even if Chip Foose were to restore it. There will always be an issue and will always end up being the crux in any negotiation when it comes to money.

    As far as this style of car coming into its own collectability wise? It should have in the 1990’s but hasn’t yet. How many more years do you want to wait.

    Lets break it down. 1097 made. The survival rate for a 1970’s After Death muscle car? Maybe 200 examples left. Of those maybe 75 or less do not require a restoration. Now does that equate to value? If you want one the answer is yes. To speculate and buy a car with the intent that it may increase in value the answer is NO.

    I like this car too. Yes the person in me who stops to get turtles out of the road would like to save too. It just won’t be feasible. I would be curious to hear of someone bidding on it. My guess close to the end it will disappear but show back up a month later. What I normally see with a Copart sale. I dunno.

    Like 0
  9. davew833

    In my experience, Copart doesn’t really represent the insurance companies as much as they just facilitate the logistics of disposing of their vehicles. Terms of the sale (sale price) are totally up to the insurance company and they have direct control over them until the car is sold and leaves the yard. Copart really doesn’t care how much a car sells for, or how quickly it sells, but the various insurance companies that use them have widely varying policies. The sale price will be a direct reflection on which insurance company is selling the car. I’ve seen certain insurance companies nearly give cars away through the Copart auctions, and I’ve seen cars run multiple times and never sell. It’s really rather frustrating because in buying a Copart car, you never see or deal with the seller/owner directly.

    Like 1
  10. Prowler

    As far as these not. Having value in the future….it’s an oldsmobile…it’s a big block….it says hurst on it
    It’s not that long ago that everyone said bandit trans Ams. We’re never going to be worth anything….AMC …AMX’s were skipped over for years
    Check the prices of these cars now
    These colonnade cars will have there day

    Like 1
  11. texxas

    That is a FACTORY Vista Vent sunroof, not aftermarket. This car was for sale in Denton, Texas back in March 2016 for around $9k. It’s not a Detroit car. Easy fixer that’s in the Hurst Olds registry. It’s a real H/O.

    Like 2
  12. AMCFAN

    Prowler, Your point is? It is an Oldsmobile. It does have a big block…… just like the 73 GTO. The Chevelle SS had an available Big block as did the El Camino and the Buick Skylark. They also share another feature and that is being a big and heavy car.

    GM never intended it nor any of the other variations of the Colonade to be anything else other then an every persons car. GM wanted.to sell cars and that they did. You want a performance car? They built them. Camaro/Trans Am and the flagship Corvette.

    The Hurst association in this time frame was not to rework the car for the strip. It was to play off of their heritage and again to sell cars. Make it look fast and maybe tweak it. It is considered a gentleman car. It is classy and unique for sure. Is it any faster then a stock Supreme? I would bet it would come down to the driver.

    Ultra low mile unrestored or maybe Linda’s personal Hurst car should experience a rise in value. What do you expect that will that do to the average condition car?

    An example of another collectible 1970’s big bumper car is the Starsky and Hutch Gran Torino from 1976. Ford made 1100 or so replicas. The top example of the breed being an actual TV show car. Sold for around $40,000. A very nice SH Torino in original paint 80,000 miles one of 200 made for the Canadian market recently sold for $8500.

    I hope you are right about having their day. I believe it may have came and gone. If anything should have had a resurgence during the Nascar craze 10 years ago. The Colonnade was popular in it’s time in that respect.

    However your statement about AMX’s and Javelin’s being skipped over. Not entirely true. AMC enthusiasts have always been in to them. A very dedicated bunch. They just like the cars them selves are a different group in a good way. They never wanted a mainstream car. That is the whole appeal. Different is good. With the internet plus after many years of being void now has exposure in magazines and collector car rags. Their underdog status and story of survival proving they could outsmart Ford and GM and build a competitive car has an appeal and speaks out to many.

    Plus many collectors are tired of seeing the same A B C cars and figured out there is a another alternative and NO you really don’t have to drive what your dad, and his dads dad drove. It’s the American way.

    Like 0
  13. Randy

    well the person that got it didn’t take very good care of it that’s for sure because it was mine about 11 years ago and didn’t look like that heres a pic at the h/o nationals in 2004 Indianapolis in and the wheels made the car different
    from any one else and i see they never polished them either

    Like 1
    • Tom Member

      Randy, what can you tell us about the 3K miles on the OD? Texxas comment of it being for sale in Texas earlier this year? and the sun roof?

      I noticed that you had the chrome covers on the top of the headlights and I think it still shows on the remaining headlight. unbelievable that someone bought this beautiful ride from you and trashed it. When did you sell it and how much did you sell it for if you don’t mind me asking? Wild that you saw/see your old car on this site.

      Like 0
      • Randy

        Hi Tom, 103 thousand it was under when i sold it 11 years ago everything seems to be on the car and sold it for 9500 i don’t think this one was in texas have a video from gateway classics in st louis missouri and they lied about the car in the ad said the motor was rebuilt i could see in the video it wasn’t touched and they wanted 12.500 for it in 2008 maybe it was in texas last year and i did put those wheels on it

        Like 0
  14. MikeK

    Randy, I hope it looks that good again soon. Great car!!

    Like 0
  15. Donald Colwick

    Was mine, Got hard up and had to sell it, makes me sick to see these pics. Was a real decent car when I had her.

    Like 0
    • Donald Colwick

      Oh And I bought it from Gateway, $10 grand. Had everything but the stock tach. Wonder if the drivers sunvisor is still intact. Doc Watson signed it to Randy.

      Like 0
      • RANDY

        hi, don the guy i sold it to must have took the tach out and kept it, still have lots of pics of it

        Like 0
  16. Donnie Colwick

    Loved that car, made it my daily driver for about 6 months. Gas milage sucked, but I did not buy it for economy. It was my dream car, lived in the garage. Hated to sell but had to pay property taxes. The moron I sold her too said he was goin to finish her, he lied. Hurts to see these pics. She was a tuner car eating beast.

    Like 0
    • randy

      this is what i bought when i sold the H/O and this is a recent picture of my 1971 cutlass supreme ive had since 2006

      Like 2
  17. Claudio

    Merry Christmas
    The only thing that gets my attention on this malaise era boat is the rear
    The integrated bumper made for a good looking rear end
    The ONLY use for this ugly beast is to make a couch out of the rear and send the rest for scrap steel

    Like 0
  18. randy

    hi ken last i heard it was in detroit alot of people knew i used to own it and thought i might want to buy it back so they sent this ad to me.

    thanks randy

    Like 1
  19. Sean Hanrahan

    Hey Randy, I have the same sunroof on my 1975. What was it called? I need to get a new seal

    Like 0
    • randy

      hi im not sure what its called but i know its a factory sunroof on the 73 ho i had it checked out by doc watson when he sighed my visor in the car

      Like 0
      • Sean

        Do you know where I could find a replacement seal? Mine is starting to crack

        Like 0
  20. Randy

    i have no idea how or where to find the seal tried when i had the car to fix mine

    and couldn’t find nothing then.


    Like 0

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