1983 Hurst/Olds With Only 391 Miles!

The classic car scene is littered with cars that someone has bought and squirreled away for years. Sometimes this is done in the hope that they will strike automotive gold when values skyrocket. At other times, it is just the thrill of ownership that will motivate someone to do this. It isn’t clear which category the owner of this 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds falls into, but what they have is probably the most beautifully preserved 1983 model in existence today. During the past 37-years, this classic has managed to accumulate a mere 391 documented miles on its odometer. That equates to little more than 10 miles per year. Its condition is all that you might expect from a car with that sort of history, and the owner has decided that the time has come to part with it. The Hurst is located in Decatur, Illinois, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. A classic of this type is always bound to command a premium price, and in this case, that price is $45,000. I have to say a huge thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring this incredible Olds to us.

The first Hurst/Olds appeared in Oldsmobile’s product range in 1968, and after an on-again/off-again life, it looked as though it was consigned to history at the end of 1979. However, the company took a calculated risk to reintroduce the badge as a 15th Anniversary edition in 1983, with the intention of offering 2,500 cars to the market. Demand far outstripped supply, and Oldsmobile eventually produced 3,001 vehicles. This also made it the most successful model by a considerable margin to that point. The company followed up with another run of 3,500 cars in 1984, and then the badge was retired permanently. The 1983 model was offered in the single color combination of Black, with the lower body finished in Silver. Red and Silver stripes and decals provided a striking contrast, while the muscular appearance was enhanced by a rear spoiler, chrome 15″ wheels, and a hood with a power bulge. This car is spotlessly clean, which is no surprise. There isn’t a mark in the paint, the stripes and decals are perfect, and the wheels are free from corrosion. The person who originally ordered this car didn’t mess around. One look at the supplied Window Sticker reveals that this is a Hurst/Olds that comes fully loaded. Amongst the extras that they specified is the factory T-Top. This is in excellent condition, and the original storage pouches for the glass panels are sitting in the trunk. They also chose Soft Ray tinted glass, and this looks to be perfect.

The 1968 Hurst/Olds had been a barnstorming car, but it hadn’t been heavily constrained by insurance and emission requirements. The 1983 offering was far more compromised, but it was still a respectable performer at that time. What hid under the hood was a 307ci V8, producing 180hp. Hooked to the back of this V8 was a THM200-4R automatic transmission. Power then found its way to the road via a 3.73 rear end. That is the configuration that we find in this car, although it was ordered with the limited-slip differential option. Power steering and power front disc brakes are standard fitments, as are upgrades to the suspension to improve both the ride and the handling. A ¼ mile ET of 16.5 seconds might not seem that impressive, but a top speed of 122mph and the ability to better 20mpg shows the real benefit of a transmission with overdrive. This Olds hasn’t been left to languish while it has been in storage. The owner says that it gets started every two weeks. The transmission is placed into reverse and then into drive to keep the fluids circulating. The originality of the vehicle is without peer. It still rolls on its original tires, and while the battery has been replaced, the original is included in the sale.

The interior of the Oldsmobile could best be described as factory fresh. The car has spent its life in climate-controlled storage, which means that heat and UV rays haven’t had an opportunity to take their toll on the trim and plastic. I must admit that I was quite surprised to find that the seats are upholstered in Burgundy vinyl because cloth was a far more common choice amongst buyers. Still, it does provide this interior with a point of difference. The car is fitted with factory air conditioning, and thanks to the fact that it is operated when the car receives its fortnightly kick into life, this is said to function as it should. Reading through the Window Sticker reveals that this is a classic that wants for nothing. As well as A/C, it is equipped with power windows, a 6-way power driver’s seat, power locks, cruise, a tilt wheel, factory mats, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player with rear speakers.

Looking down at the console reveals what the “Hurst” stands for in the Hurst/Olds designation. This is the legendary Hurst “Lightning Rods” shifter system, which is nowhere near as complicated as it looks at first glance. It allows those that feel so inclined to flick the car through its gear changes manually. However, sticking the shifter in “D” will enable it to function like any standard automatic transmission. This is a popular system, and car theft figures would seem to back this fact. The Hurst/Olds is not a particular target of car thieves and doesn’t represent a greater risk than most other classics. However, if someone made off with an ’83 Hurst/Olds, the chance was pretty good that if it were recovered, it would be without the shifter system. Don’t let that put you off with this car because the ownership experience should well-and-truly outweigh the potential risk.

This 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds 15th Anniversary is quite a car. I believe that you would have to search long and hard to find one with this sort of mileage showing on its odometer. The owner claims that this is the lowest mileage example known to exist today, and I believe that this claim is feasible. Classics like this are an interesting proposition. If this were a well-preserved survivor with average mileage, I would expect the price to be hovering somewhere around the $25,000 mark. However, this is a classic that breaks all of the rules, which means that its future remains unclear. The owner floats the idea of the Olds finding its way into a museum or a special collection, and its condition would justify that move. I think that this would be a shame because cars like this deserve to be driven. The problem with that is that a significant part of its inherent value is tied to the odometer, and every mile accumulated will impact the value. That makes me believe that the next stop for this vehicle will be a museum unless you decide that you really need to be its next owner. Do we have any takers?

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    Unfortunately, it seems that when cars like this are bought and kept to ultra low mileage, their fate is almost guaranteed to that of a trailer queen/static display. Any accumulation of extra miles destroys the “value”, thereby damaging the potential resale value. So Adam and I are in total agreement! GLWTS!! :-)

    Like 6
  2. Arby

    The problem isn’t how it is, but what it is.
    It’s in excellent condition, but $45K for an ’83 Cutlass is crazy.

    Like 21
  3. Superdessucke

    For better or worse, somebody chose to be the caretaker of a 185-horsepower 1983 Oldsmobile for 37 years. You’ve got to admire the passion and love for the car but yeah, I don’t know what you do with it. It’s woefully dated as a performance car now and really doesn’t have huge value. I’d say probably just go ahead and use it at this point.

    Like 13
    • Skorzeny

      Not for that price. If it was 25K I would say drop an inexpensive LS in it with a 5 speed. GLWTS.

      Like 5
    • Steve R

      More than a few people bought these cars because they thought they would appreciate in price, not necessarily because they really lived the car. The late-70’s Pace Car and anniversary edition Corvettes got the ball rolling. It then seemed like every manufacturer came with with some sort of “limited edition” performance model to drive sales. Many buyers thought they would become valuable, the problem was, too many often thought the same way. Besides, there really isn’t anything special about most of these cars, they tend not to stand out on their own merits, many were just stripes, emblems and paint packages with only a slight uptick in performance.

      Steve R

      Like 9
      • Superdessucke

        Yes, true, this guy isn’t the only offender, meaning you can find these 1983-84 H/Os all day long with low miles. But hey, at least he’s not one of the guys who stored a 1985 Calais Indy Pace Car!

        Like 7
      • SteveTheD

        Actually the “stripes, emblems and paint packages with only a slight uptick in performance” as well as the lightning rods did make these stand out, especially from the stock Cutlass.

        Like 4
      • Chris M.

        Yes they stood out in appearance only. Designed to be marketed to toward a buyer who felt as though they were buying something special. When in fact, as Steve R mentioned they were nothing more than a visual appearance package. These cars were dogs and cheaply constructed from day one. I always get a little chuckle when the O.C.D schlep who bought it new and never drive it thinking about those ‘legit’ ’68 Hurst/Olds he rode in with very specific parts and a real performance v8. These like those tacky Monte Carlo SS of the same era will never realize the desirability of the coveted earlier models. Yet another celebration of mediocrity.

  4. irocrobb

    There was one in my hometown of 1000 people. I can not remember many of them on the streets. I like the colour scheme but the lack of performance kills it.Plus that honky looking,confusing shifter .Its not a 1000 hp racecar
    I doubt there is half a dozen with lower mileage worldwide. Pass

    Like 2
  5. Timothy Phaff Member

    Yes it is very nice and the shifter is awesome but shifting a 307…well I just lost my mind. Pull that engine and put in a?

    • Chris M.

      6.0 ls.

      Like 1
  6. Autoworker

    Beautiful car. Always liked the color scheme on this.

    Like 4
  7. Doc

    $45 k is what I like to call wishful thinking.
    There is a reason this seller didn’t list it on. BringATrailer.
    Knows for a fact it would be lucky to crack 30k and even that Hagerty lists a #1 Concours level .. at $31,900.
    Got a $13k swing at the very least to go.
    A beautiful museum piece of originality , but those who know , it was still the height of Mailase , gimmick shifter and a putrid 307.
    How do I know? Owned a few , loved the style, horrible performance. Lots of motor swaps back then. But, this should be kept original and will be as a testament to Olds.
    Seller needs to wake up if they want to honestly sell.

    Like 11
  8. Seth Barber

    My Uncle Tom had one of these. Lived in Ohio. It was stolen once, recovered and repaired by insurance, then stolen again from his work. It never returned the second time. Lol.

    Like 3
  9. Jack Hammer

    Can I buy a a rear spoiler, chrome 15″ wheels, and a hood with a power bulge for my Jeep JK? It makes 105 more HP than this.

    Like 2
    • SteveTheD

      Is your JK from 1983? Didn’t think so.

      Like 4
  10. Jcs

    Curious as to the story on the red Cutlass in front of it is.

    Adam is correct in his assessment of theft, the Cutlass was number one in theft at the time. My 84 Hurst/Olds was stolen three times in South Florida between 84 and 89, the third time she never came home. Luckily, the two times that I did get it back she was unmolested, and the Lightning Rods were still in place.

    Oddly enough I ordered mine with the vinyl over the velour as well. In looking for the one that I lost, I have yet to see another 84 slicktop with vinyl come up for sale anywhere.

    It was a great car, very comfortable and fun to drive. Faster than the Monte Carlo SS and better handling than the Grand National. The Cutlass was the best selling nameplate in history and these were the nicest and best equipped iteration of this generation by far.

    While I have always missed mine, $45K is indeed well beyond all of the money on this car, as cool as it is.

    Like 10
    • Superdessucke

      Sorry you lost her. Historic data doesn’t bear out that these were faster than the Monte Carlo SS though. These ran high 16s in the quarter. The SS ran mid 16s. Both are slow by today’s standards but the SS was a few tenths quicker.

      Like 2
  11. Larry

    Car theft figures have nothing to do with desirability and everything to do with the sales volume. Today, it’s Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys as top sellers. In the early-mid 80’s, it was the Olds Cutlass. Hurst and Lightning Rod shifter were irrelevant to car thieves. It’s just business, feeding the supply chain of used auto parts for the best selling models.

    Like 2
  12. Comet

    Nice car, but 45K is a seems at least 15K optimistic. Here’s a rule of thumb that has served me well: When anything is labeled “Limited or Collectors Edition” lots of folks make purchases and squirrel them away looking to cash in down the road. They rarely get rich using this strategy. Even if this seller gets anything close to his (ridiculous) asking price, after storage, (27 years in this case), upkeep, insurance, and the original purchase price is factored in he’ll probably break even at best having never enjoyed driving this car.

    Like 7
    • Bill McCoskey

      Since the early 1970s American marketing trends began labeling various products with the “Limited Edition” or “Collectable” moniker. From cars to toys, seems like every company wanted to offer their own version of “Investment grade” crap!

      As most of us here on BF know, if it’s marked with either of those labels, chances are really good it will never be worth much more than the regular versions. And when it came to the “Limited Edition” claims, that usually meant they were limited only to the number quantity, the manufacturer could sell!

      2 years ago I had a lady contact me concerning a large collection of “1980s & 1990s Limited Edition Hess Trucks” her late husband had amassed. She asked me to give her a price for the trucks, all in their original boxes. I told her $5 per truck. She said that was too cheap, she wanted at least $50 per truck. I then explained that Hess trucks were so plentiful I was turning them down for as little as $10 PER DOZEN at local auctions. My price of $5 was what I would charge her to come take them off her hands [the value of my time and fuel].

      About a year ago she called back and asked me if I was interested in them at all. She wanted them gone. I said no, can’t get rid of the ones I have. Wasn’t worth the 2 hour round trip.

      Like 3
  13. Comet

    Please disregard the bad math in my previous post.. I meant 37! years of storage.

    Like 2
  14. Frank

    Really?! Your Gutless handled better than a Grand National, Get Real. They are the same chassis, The Buick is a bit stiffer suspension, and a ton more power.
    I have owned both brands and They don’t compare in all around performance or gas mileage
    The olds would have been a nice package with a 350 but as is are a joke.
    I do agree that the owner is smoking something if he wants $45,000
    People like that are the ones destroying the hobby.

    Like 4
  15. Dan. G

    This car is like a fine wine!! I figured you boys would appreciate that commit with all that wining on the price! You sound like a bunch of old lady’s in the yarn isle complaining about a ten cent increase! The car is mint with 391 miles! Find another one. I bet you guys are the same ones on ebay selling your baseball cards for double what they are worth. To the seller of this gem……I tip a bud light too you my friend” True American Hero Sound in the back” for holding your price with pride knowing the Boy Scouts are bickering in the back but the mullet is blowing in the wind strong!

    Like 7
    • Charles Sawka

      Valid point if this was a real car. No amount of vinyl and trim goodies can change it. Low mileage or not.

      Like 2
    • Jack Hammer

      Yep. You either like it or you don’t. Not a matter of right or wrong.

      Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      If the seller can find a buyer that appreciates it as much as they do, then 45K might be a deal.
      Therein lies the problem…..

    • Anthony MacNeil

      Good point, don’t pay attention to all the negative comments because I don’t. This is a classic and worth ever penny. This is a beautiful car and it’s in the eye of the beholder.

      Like 1
  16. Dennis Froelich

    The red Olds has the body kit that was offered for those G bodies.
    It also is a Hurst Olds.

    Like to see more of it!!

    Like 1
  17. JoeMac Joe Mac Member

    They did chirp second gear if that’s any consolation….

    Like 3
  18. Johnjon

    Would rather have a Mustang SVO.

  19. StickyWizard

    Drive it…otherwise what’s the point?

  20. TA

    Engine rebuilders would not take a 307 block for a core exchange last I was in the market for a motor swap. Any eight cylinder for an eight cylinder they would say, then add, except a 307. LOL That has to tell you something.

    • Dan

      Hahaha

  21. Roger h

    The bodystyle has gotten better with age IMO they are a cruiser I don’t know if I consider it like a muscle car but it’s a nice car though I grew up in the 80 I have an 82 Cutlass Supreme I’ve had it for 8 years I love the way it drives I don’t need no 8 900 horsepower in it anyways

    Like 4
  22. Austin

    I have an 83 hurst olds with 188.9 miles still in the wrapper. Has more options than this one too, mine has power antenna, trunk carpet kit and digital clock with cloth interior, have all the papers from cars and concepts, its the car featured in muscle machines buyers guide March 2020.

    Like 3
    • Dan

      This one has power antenna 🙄

  23. BG

    It’s official – we are in a bubble

    Like 1
  24. Erik Gutierrez

    For that price I Rather buy a 86-87 buick t type or Grand national or gmc typhoon syclone
    True Horsepower sleeper’s

    Like 1
  25. theGasHole

    I had an 84 H/O a few years back. Like others have said, not a lot in the power category, but what was in 1983/1984? At least give some credit to Olds for doing SOMETHING different during those terrible car times.
    The Lightening Rod shifters got many of looks when I had my H/O, but the novelty of using them quickly wore off for me. I ended up selling mine with 52k miles on it and very clean condition for $8500 (just to bench mark prices).

    Like 1
  26. Anthony

    Honestly, some of these comments, are Gino in nature. This is a classic ride, make no mistake. I applaud the owner to the care he took with keeping it this in showroom condition, it says alot about the person. As for price it’s very fair considering what your getting, basically a new car. Personally, I’d ignore all the negative comments. The car is still for sale and I will be buying it shortly. It will be getting a new home in Nova Scotia. Cheers

    Like 1

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