455 Rocket Powered: 1974 Hurst/Olds Pace Car!

I am not sure the seller knows what they have here because the listing here on eBay states that this is a 1974 Oldsmobile 442 Indy Pace Car. There is no mention that this is a Hurst/Olds. The bidding has reached $11,211 with three days remaining in the auction. The car is said to be an original W30 car with 38,000 miles. While the seller states that this was the pace car for the Indianapolis 500, actually, the Delta 88 was chosen to make the parade laps because it was a convertible. There were a total of 92 actual Hurst/Olds parade cars used at the race.

As stated in the magazine ad above, the Hurst/Olds was used as the pace car in the Indianapolis 500 in 1972 and in 1974. The Hurst/Olds was equipped with a 455 cubic inch V8 engine with dual exhaust. The automatic transmission was operated using Hurst’s Dual Gate shifter mounted in the console between the bucket seats. There were several options that could be added including a security alarm, digital tachometer, and locking lug nuts. I believe that only 1,851 Hurst/Olds were built in 1974.

The Hurst/Olds was offered sporadically from the 1960s through the 1990s and included 1968, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1984. Only 230 of the Hurst/Olds (W30) produced in 1974 were equipped with the 455 cubic inch V8 engine. The motor was rated at 230 horsepower from the factory. The base engine was the 350 cubic inch V8 engine (W25) was rated at 180 horsepower and was installed in the other 1,420 cars.

The interior of this car is black and looks original. The bucket seats appear to be worn and are splitting at the seams. The car is fitted with tilt steering and air conditioning but does not have power windows or locks. I have never sat in a car with swivel bucket seats put I always wondered whether they locked in place well enough so that they did not have any play or feel loose while driving. Maybe one of you who have owned one of these beautiful cars can share the answer with us.

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Comments

  1. Christopher Gentry

    As a rule , I like small cars , the smaller the better , but there are exceptions. And Olds Cutlass and Tornados top that list (right next to a God Gallaxie and pretty much any wagon ) not sure why , but I love this thing.

    Like 7
    • Patrick Farmer

      It’s the lines Dude! The lines. There are damn few fastback Colonnade Coupes.

      Like 1
  2. K

    Why didn’t they ever sell a Hurst/Oldsmobile Toronado?

    Like 5
    • Patrick Farmer

      Because the old guys at the time, that bought those cars, thought that Hurst/Olds was kiddie stuff. Why do think the Crown Vic hung around so long.
      I think it would be great if Cadillac, Olds, Buick had an F-body from the beginning. Seeing a 2nd. Gen. Olds Camaro would be awesome! Oh well. Maybe in a parallel universe. Great question.

      Like 1
  3. Sam61

    The seats would be awesome in black leather with gold fabric inserts with embroidered H/O on the headrests.

    Like 6
  4. Rick Beaver

    Yes. I had a 73 Olds 442 with swivel buckets and they locked into place great!

  5. Pat L Member

    I had swivel bucket seats in my 1975 Chevrolet Malibu Classic. I probably weighed 150 lbs. back then, so didn’t use the feature too often. The seats stay rock solid, they have nowhere to swivel to with the doors closed.

    Like 12
    • Richard

      Had them in my 73 Hurst/Olds, they were cool and locked solid

      Like 1
  6. AW

    There were two different 455’s in Cutlasses back in 73 & 74. The “U” code engine was the 455 from the Nighty-Eight. It put out 225 horses in 73 & 230 horses in 74. This particular car has the “V” code engine, which carried over from 72. It had a higher-lift, longer duration cam & heads with bigger valves. In 74, it put out 275 horsepower, and was only available on the Hurst as the W-30. This engine put out 270 horses in 73, and was also available in the Hurst. You could also get the V code 455 in any Cutlass coupe in 73 (including the Supreme) if you got the 455 & the optional 4-speed instead of the TH400.

    Like 20
    • john holmes

      wrong info bud.

    • Patrick Farmer

      You know you bump the compression up and install a great set of headers and you whould have a Torque Monster.

  7. Bamos3

    I had a 1975 Cutlass Supreme with swivel bucket seats back when I was a teenager and those bucket seats are awesome with your best girl at a road party! They move when you open the door and have some very good memories indeed.

  8. CharlesSawka

    A friend had a 73 that had “substantialy” more than 270 hp.

  9. CCFisher

    Not sure about the parade cars, but in 1974, a Hurst/Olds chopped into a targa served as the actual pace car. There’s even a photo of it in the ad pictured in this article

    Like 9
    • K

      the article reference to the Delta 88 should call it a “festival car,” as Delta 88 convertibles were used in the festival parade and the pre-race parade of celebrities. You’re correct about the Cutlass targa top pacing the race.

      Like 6
    • Patrick Farmer

      And if you box the full perimeter frame in a few places it could definitely take the road stresses. Hell it might do it without any modification to the frame.

  10. Lynn Member

    My 2014 Chevy SS had swivel seats. They were not supposed too though.

    Like 5
  11. Troy s

    It’s the looks of this car, outside and definitely the interior, that seems to really grab my attention not the 455 so much. That interior is spot on for a performance car like this I dont even care if those seats swivel or not. So its definitely got image in spades, washing it, driving it, showing it, whatever, the pleasure is not lost. I’m sure that 455 has enough pop left to make passing slow traffic a lot of fun.

    Like 4
    • Patrick Farmer

      I agree. The only drawback is that it does not have a lot of space for the gauges. This drove me batty when I was hopping up my mothers 77 Cutlass 30 years ago.

      Like 1
  12. Tommy

    I remember this car well. In 1974 I had just got a Monte Carlo with a 454 in it. I saw the Hurst/Olds with a 455 at a dealership in another town and I loved it. They let me take a test drive and as soon as I got on the highway, I floored it and I found it wasn’t anything like that Monte Carlo. That thing would move. Unfortunately I could not make a deal because they were not giving me anything for the Monte Carlo in trade so I walked away. About 30 years later a friend of mine who was in the car business bought a wrecked 1974 at an action, with the intention of restoring it, unfortunately he had it parked behind his shop in a field and there was a grass fire that burned it up completely along with a lot of other cars.

  13. Shawn M.Kelly

    I installed the vinyl tops on these cars at Cars & Concepts in Brighton, Michigan; we worked from January thru May of 1974 on this project; first job right after high school; graduated on Friday and started work there on a Monday! I believe there were two options that year; either white or black with coordinating vinyl tops.

    Like 3
  14. Anthony M.

    I had a 1974 Monte Carlo with swivel buckets. Loved’em. Never had an issue with “play” when locked in place or anything like that.

    Like 3
    • Tommy

      I love those swivel bucket seats. I actually Ha a 1973 Monte Carlo that got rear ended by a semi and I didn’t even have the seat belts on, but those swivel bucket seats saved my life. I went over a bridge and the car went into a creek, I twisted the steering wheel but along with the seats I stayed in the car

  15. Marty & Renae Tompkins

    Does the actual car that paced the track with the Targa roof still exist somewhere? I have never seen a photo of it before. Was that the only one they made with that roof? Don’t know much about that era of H/Os. I had a buddy back in high school that had a 74 Malibu with the swivel seats, and they always felt tight. I thought that was a pretty cool option!

  16. Phillip Crawford

    So I love the hurst Olds definitely digging this one in particular I owened a 1974 chevelle Laguna S/3. The Olds was the coolest A body that GM produced in 74 in my opinion the 74 Laguna I had came factory with the same swivel bucket seats and I loved them never had any issues with play or anything else just didn’t like that they do not recline but are super comfortable so that made up for it in the end in my opion.

  17. MB

    In 1976 my brother in law bought a 1974 Chevelle Laguna with those seats. Typical GM great idea but horrible execution as the seats would wiggle back and forth as you drove. I think in later years they fixed that. Not a fan of the body style of mid 70’s GM intermediate cars either.

    Like 1
    • Patrick Farmer

      They have a tendency to grow on you. The nanny state bumpers from a well meaning but goofy crash law saw to that.

      • MB

        Been looking at them for almost 50 years, still not a fan, or likely to be one.

  18. Patrick Farmer

    It’s up to $18,400. Low miles is driving the money up. 38.000 miles means it’s is near new while being older than the hills.

    Like 2
  19. Duggr

    The swivel seats are definitely different from the run-of-the-mill bucket seats. I have a set from a Monte Carlo installed in my 55 Chevy Pro Street. They are rigid and secure.

  20. Troy D

    We had a 75 Cutlass with the swivel bucket seats when I was a kid. I eventually got the car. It was the only car I’ve ever seen with swivel buckets. From what I remember, they were very comfortable and no issues with movement.

  21. Pierre M

    Although not an early 70’s GM model our 1977 Monte Carlo had swivel seats and always locked up tight in 90° and straight forward right up to and over 100000 kms no prob.

  22. Tom Hansen

    is this car for sale?
    Have a black H/O W-30. Wanted what I see, could not find one?
    Would look great as a pair!

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