Bargain 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds W30!

After a 3-year hiatus, Oldsmobile decided that 1979 seemed like a good time to release a completely new Hurst/Olds. These were a distinctive car that was available in either black and gold or as with our feature car, white and gold. This particular car looks to be a clean and largely original survivor, and after receiving some restoration work on the interior, the owner has decided to part with it. Located in Schenectady, New York, it is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has decided to drop the price and has set the BIN at $8,000. There is also the option to make an offer, and I suspect that someone will give that a try.

The condition of this Olds doesn’t look to be too bad. Personally, I prefer the black and gold combination, but the white and gold finish does make a nice change. The owner says that the car is rust-free, and there certainly doesn’t seem to be any in evidence in the supplied photos. Those distinctive 14 x 6 alloy wheels also look good, and they are a clear reminder of times long gone. Today, if a manufacturer said that they were going to release a premium large car with 14″ wheels, people would laugh. Back in the 1970s, this was pretty normal.

The interior of this Hurst/Olds really shines, but there are a couple of obvious flaws. Some of the plastic, such as the lid to the console, has some noticeable deterioration. There is also a crack in the dash pad right in front of the driver’s seat. Otherwise, it is fairly clean and unmolested. The original upholstery on the seats was apparently quite sun-faded, so the owner has recently had new covers fitted. This has really brought the interior up a treat. The rest of the interior presents well, and it is very nice to see the original radio/cassette player still fitted to the car. It’s a nice bonus that the car is fitted with factory air conditioning. In addition, you also get cruise control, power windows, and power locks. I have to say that I am a great fan of the Hurst dual-gate shifter, which was a long way ahead of its time when you look at the shifters that are now a common sight in modern automatic cars.

When you look at the 500hp+ that is available from many performance cars today, the 170 that was produced by the ’79 Hurst/Olds does sound quite asthmatic. These were the days when manufacturers were just beginning to get their heads around the tougher emission laws, and it also predates niceties like electronic fuel injection and engine management systems. This is a numbers-matching car, meaning that you get a 350ci V8 engine, a TH350 transmission, a Posi rear end, power steering, and power front disc brakes. The owner says that the car runs well, and the presentation under the hood is definitely nice and clean.

This 1979 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds is a nice car that appears to be in very good condition. Values for these peaked about 3-years-ago, but they have held well at that peak. A good one will commonly sell for around the $13,000 mark, while an immaculate example, especially one with a T-Top, can easily top $25,000. This one doesn’t have a T-Top, but if it is as solid and clean as the owner indicates, then it would be a really good buy at the asking price.

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Comments

  1. JAYP

    And…the rear bumper hasn’t came off….YET!

    1
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Rear frame rust was a big issue in this series of Curlas. Had 2 and never had an issue but I bought them new and had them rustproofed on purchase.

      1
    • don

      Here in New England ,the rotted frame ends were usually still attached to it when it fell off ! The 78 and up mid size GM cars were notorious for rusted out rear frame rails . The 74 -77 mid size cars had sturdier frames and bumpers with the exception of the slab sided 76- 77 Cutlass and Regal coupes like the brown one in the background ; the rear reinforcements and bumpers on those disintegrated fast – it was very common to see them with boards bolted onto the frame mounts for bumpers

  2. TimS Member

    We’re supposed to hate them, what with them being “smogged out” and all. Nevertheless I wanted one as a younger man and still wouldn’t mind one today.

    1
  3. Ralph

    Photo shows a cruise unit under the hood, but the turn signal lever doesn’t look like it has cruise, odd.

    These are kinda neat, they were pretty much the only way to get a 350 in any of the downsized A-body cars with the exception of a few ElCaminos and CA wagons.

    The option continued into 1980 but it became a 442 instead of a H/O that year for some reason.

    • Boatman Member

      Ralph, back then GM cruise was nothing more than a “set” button on the turn signal stalk.

      • Ralph

        Yes, I have 7 GM cars from that era, I know what the cruise looks like.

        And I don’t see a set button on the stalk for this car.

        These actually would have an on switch on the dash to the right of the steering column and the turn signal “set” button.

      • Rosco

        Without being able to see the dash to the right of the steering column can’t say that it doesn’t have cruise. Pretty sure it does as the stalk looks just mine with cruise.

  4. Dave Mika

    Ya, I had a ’79 some 25 years ago in KCMO, guess what happened to that rear bumper?

  5. CJinSD

    170 horsepower was pretty strong in 1979. I wish I could say good things about these Cutlasses in general, but that was a potent engine for 1979.

    1
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      If nothing else it gives us a “milepost” for mechanical progression, I.e., a 2007 BMW K1200GT motorcycle with a 73 ci (1200 cc) 4 cylinder naturally aspirated engine makes 5 more horsepower (175)..
      It’s amazing how far we’ve come again.

      1
  6. irocrobb

    Yes,they were dog years for power. My 1979 Z28 with a 350 4 speed manual was like 175 hp. Mind you it felt like 300 hp back then.
    I do like these Olds models and had a couple as winter cars back in the late 1980s

    1
  7. Joe Mac

    Can’t believe this hasn’t sold yet at this price.

    2
  8. Superdessucke

    It must be Oldsmobile Gutless week on BF!

    This is probably the most desirable of the 1978-88 Gutlesses though. It was smog-strangled but at least still had the 350. I always thought it was odd they didn’t go with the 403 on these given it’s the same external size as the 350 and they were using the 403 in the Trans Am back in ’79, but you could still get good power out of the Olds 350 with mods. The subsequent 307 much less so.

    • Ralph

      I read Oldsmobile cobbled up a few 403 engine 79 Cutlass H/O’s but management didn’t want to spend the money to re-certify the A-body 403 combo for emissions.

      1
      • Superdessucke

        Thanks! But the 350 was only offered in the H/O version of the A-body in ’79. So I I would think they would have had specially certify for that. So why not just do the 403 instead?

      • Ralph

        It will just have to remain an Unsolved Mystery……..

    • Mountainwoodie

      Insert comment..(blah blah blah ,,,slushbox).. and having worked for a very short time at an Olds dealer ( who wanted to groom me for management….lol….) at the time these came out, I can say that every time I got in one to move it around all I could think was,,,,,how pathetic these were when compared to the W-30’s of my youth.

    • Rosco

      1983-’84 Hurst Olds are far more desirable even with the 307.

  9. Maestro1 Member

    If i had the room i would buy this, do what it needs, and use it as a driver. I’d also paint the car because I think white cars look like refrigerators going down the road. Something that compliments the Gold. I know. Barn Finders will be upset.

  10. Motrbob

    There were 2499 79 Hurst Olds built with the 350 motor. EPA 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.

    1
  11. Troy s

    I suppose someone could drop a W/31 350 in there and make a sleeper hot rod out of it, or something absolutely worthy of any W moniquer. Quiet pipes, just a hint that maybe it’s souped, and a big hint as one leave the sow bug looking late model in a cloud of dust. Ha!
    These are pretty cool and all, and we really can’t blame any of the manufacturers for the smog hobbled engines hidden in an assortment of hoses and vacuum lines back then. We, or most of us, remember how it was in those days. Never would have figured you would be able to buy a hemi powered new Dodge Demon with 800 horsepower and actually drive it on the street forty plus years into the future…all smog legal….never never never. Crazy nowadays.

  12. Allen Fox

    The cruise control switch is located on the LEFT side of the dash. You could see it with the drivers door open. This one does not have that on\off toggle switch. I have a 79 Cutlass that has cruise control.

  13. Allen Fox

    The cruise control switch is located on the LEFT side of the dash just above the emergency brake release t-handle. You could see it with the drivers door open. This one does not have that on\off toggle switch. I have a 79 Cutlass that has cruise control.

    • Rosco

      Interesting that all the cruise control components are present under the hood.

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