36k Original Miles: 1983 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds 15th Anniversary

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Some people find the concept of vehicle producers collaborating with outside manufacturers unusual, but it is far more common than is immediately apparent. No car company produces every nut and bolt required; some even source major components like engines from outside their factory walls. Therefore, the Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds was a natural progression of that thinking. The first of these classics appeared in 1968, and in 1983, Oldsmobile elected to produce a 15th Anniversary Edition. Buyer response exceeded expectations, and they remain as desirable today as they were in 1983. This one is a gem, with tidy presentation and a claimed 36,000 original miles on the clock. It needs a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Tonawanda, New York. Bidding sits at $15,400, although that figure falls short of the reserve.

Oldsmobile produced the 1983 Hurst/Olds in a single paint combination of Black over Silver. It reversed the two shades the following year, but I prefer this look. Black paint is excellent for revealing panel inconsistencies, but this car looks impressively straight. There are no discernable ripples or indications of prior accident repairs or other dramas, and the gaps look tight and consistent. It seems the Olds has never seen adverse weather and has been garage-kept, making its rust-free status unsurprising. The paint shines beautifully, while the distinctive stripes look crisp. The plastic hasn’t fallen victim to UV or other physical damage, and the glass is spotless. Observant readers will note that this car features an incorrect radiator grille, with this one from a 1985 model. Reversing that change wouldn’t be difficult, although I would like to know why it was swapped in the first place. It could indicate a minor bump or fender bender that damaged the original grille. It is a question worth asking if potential buyers wish to expose the car’s history. I’ve always liked Oldsmobile’s wheel choice for these classics because the chrome contrasts the predominantly Black paint, while their style adds a welcome touch of aggression.

The drivetrain combination under the Hurst/Old’s skin was a “one size fits all” proposition, with buyers receiving an upgraded version of the company’s 307ci V8 producing 180hp. That figure was about as good as buyers could expect from a vehicle of this type in 1983, with the power feeding to the road via a four-speed automatic transmission. Although a ¼-mile ET of 16.5 seconds is considered disappointing by modern standards, it looked pretty respectable in 1983. The seller plays their cards close to their chest on the subject of mechanical health. They say it rolls on newer tires and has a genuine 36,160 miles on the clock. There is no mention of verifying evidence, meaning it is another question for potential buyers to ask.

If this Olds has a weak point, that honor could rest with its interior. It isn’t horrendous but it doesn’t present at the same level as the exterior. The original owner ordered it trimmed in Gray cloth, and most of it looks pretty respectable. The driver’s seat has a tear, the carpet is marked, and some plastic pieces show deterioration. The wheel’s leather section has started rotting, but the interior is serviceable if considered purely as a survivor. New door seals need to go onto the shopping list, with the listing indicating the original items are dry and rotted. The flaws and defects mean this Olds won’t hit the top end of the market because the winning bidder needs to spend money to return it to a pristine state. An aftermarket CD player occupies the spot formally reserved for the factory stereo, and it might require some online searching for the correct item if the buyer focuses on authenticity. The original owner ordered the car with a T-Top, and the covers for the glass panels are sitting in the trunk. The defining feature of this car’s interior is the Hurst “Lightning Rod” shifter. These proved a popular target for thieves, so finding an original one intact is a welcome sight. Creature comforts include air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, and a tilt wheel.

Oldsmobile planned to produce 2,500 examples of its 15th Anniversary Hurst/Olds, but so great was buyer demand that 3,001 eventually rolled off the line. That represented a sales record only eclipsed during the final production year. Although they emerged during The Malaise Era, they remain as popular today as they were when new. Spotless examples consistently sell for around $30,000, although significantly higher figures are common for pristine cars. This one probably won’t reach that level, although it should comfortably pass $22,000. Values are climbing at an extraordinary rate, meaning this car could represent an excellent long-term investment. Hmm, a classic car that is an appreciating asset. I can’t think of a downside to that scenario. Can you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Gord

    thought original rims had a red stripe … might be wrong.
    BUT.. .it IS missing the wing “tips”… the h/o wing, thouch looking like the ONE piece firebird/trans am wing, actually was THREE pieces… very common to loose one (or both in this case) tips. There should be a downturn “tip” at each end. Otherwise, looks complete. Not sure why dash looks brown in the one pic on ebay though?

    Like 1
    • ted

      You’re right on as to the red wheel stripe and spoiler tips, for 36K miles, this car has a lot of detail issues….

      Like 0
      • Mike

        If you go on the eBay page and look up the vehicle history report, it has 83,000 miles on it.

        Like 0
  2. Vin_in_NJ

    Original buyer was wise to opt for the grey interior. The alternate red interior would have faded away from the sun shining though the glass roof

    Like 0
  3. Stan

    Cool cars. 😎 Such a great front end. I always wish that Dr Olds, went to the well in the 80s for one last go-around. A 5sp.Hurst shifted, 350ci powered Cutlass. Something that could really move out. 🏁

    Like 3
  4. Lance Hockin

    That interior looks pretty rough for only 36k on it.

    Like 4
    • Mike

      If you go on the eBay page and look up the vehicle history report, it has 83,000 miles on it.

      Like 0

    Lots of these still around in low mileage condition. Most who bought these put them away and counted it as their 401K. Shame. It is simply a flashy painted Cutlass.

    Had a close friend bought one and did what it was designed for, Commute to work and take care of the family. Was a nice car for that but needed a lot more lightning besides that shifter set up. He would easily get smoked by stock Mustang GT’s he would always complain. Too funny.

    Like 1
  6. Claudio

    Although a ¼-mile ET of 16.5 seconds is considered disappointing by modern standards, it looked pretty respectable in 1983.

    NO , IT WAS NOT !
    There was no choice and no one liked it …

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds