Clean Project: 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds W30

While it might not be perfect, this 1979 Hurst/Olds W30 appears to be a solid vehicle that will need little more than some cosmetic work to really make it shine. Barn Finder Pat L spotted the Olds for us, so thank you so much for that Pat. It is located in San Diego, California, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $8,900 for this 1970s classic.

This is claimed to be a California car, and that fact should reap benefits when it comes to the structural integrity of the car. The owner makes no mention of rust issues, and there are certainly no obvious signs visible when I look over the car. The paint is showing its age a bit, but it would be interesting to see how it responded to a buff and polish. It might come up okay, but with some inconsistent fading visible across the car, a repaint is probably going to be on the cards. The most obvious inconsistency is with the gold paint on the car’s hood, but this is a pretty common occurrence with the Hurst/Olds. The gold paint for these was applied “off-line,” and the original quality was not great, so deterioration is no real surprise. Even if the car does require a repaint, it still appears that the next owner would be starting from a pretty solid base.

Looking around inside the Olds is quite a positive experience. Interior trim and plastic can have a tendency to deteriorate quite badly, but this is a car that seems to have escaped that fate. We have to take the owner’s word that the dash is in good shape, but what we can see of the rest of the interior looks really good. The secret to this may well lie in the sun-shade that you can see stretched across the inside of the windshield in this shot. If you can keep the UV rays away from the plastic, that’s half the battle won. I don’t see any aftermarket equipment fitted to the car, while the seat upholstery and door trims look really good. The owner also says that the radio works and that the factory air conditioning blows cold.

Powering the Hurst/Olds is the 350ci Oldsmobile V8 engine, which is backed by a TH-350 automatic transmission. The car also features power steering and power brakes. By 1979, the mighty 350 was only producing 170hp, which meant that the Hurst/Olds was not a muscle car. This also led to an interesting conundrum for potential new car buyers. The sticker price on a ’79 Hurst/Olds was around $7,800. An alternative at that time was to hand over your cash for a new Trans Am. You could order a ’79 Trans Am with a 220hp 400ci engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and WS-6 pack (including 4-wheel disc brakes), and provided you didn’t tick any more option boxes, that car could be yours for around $7,300. There were plenty of people who chose to follow that route, but there were still 2,499 people who considered the Hurst/Olds to be the better alternative. This particular car has recently received a new battery and alternator, along with a coolant flush. It is said to run well but would benefit from a tune-up. Even allowing for that, the car passed its Smog Test last month.

For the person on the lookout for a project car that could be tackled at their leisure, this ’79 Hurst/Olds looks like an interesting alternative. It appears to be straight, solid, and complete. It also appears that its needs are only minor, and it will take very little work to return it to its best. Values for the ’79 model have remained flat over the past 3-years or so, but a decent example can still fetch up to around the $19,000 mark. This one seems to have the potential to reach that sort of condition with very little work, so it could represent a pretty decent buy at the asking price.


  1. Mike

    If it has California emissons I’ll pass.

    Like 2
  2. Mike

    They want me to pay $9.00 a month to get on barn finds? Are you kidding me? For what? They certainly have lost me.

    Like 6
  3. CJinSD

    I knew so many people who had new Cutlasses in 1979. To a man, not a one of them would have believed you if you told them GM would still exist forty years later. This car may be a great novelty buy in 2019, but Oldsmobile Cutlasses didn’t go from being the best selling cars in the US to non-existent in 15 years by accident.

    Like 5
  4. G G

    neat cars, I have a T Top car if anyone is interested. Jake2670

    • Brent

      I’d be interested in that t top car if you still have it what year

  5. George mattar

    I worked on several of these when new. They were boring then and gaudy. After 1977, Olds imploded. From say 1973 to 1977, we could not get enough of these beautiful cars. The first load of 78s arrived in Sept 1977. I said the end was near. Olds gone 15 years. The managers running GM in the late 70s should be on death row. They all got huge pensions. That is why Americans drive Jap cars. Very sad.

    Like 2
  6. Chebby Staff

    Ironically, your Pontiac Trans Am was likely to have an Oldsmobile 403 engine in it.

    Like 1
    • Rock On

      The 320 ft lbs of torque from the 403 would make this cutlass more fun to drive.

      Like 2
  7. Randolph Dully

    Love the VIN (OICU812) An old spoof among my co-workers at Maserati Automobiles Inc.

  8. Frank Y

    I just bought a 79 white and gold needs a little work but she all there as mentioned interior needs a little help per the sun factor. We will see how it goes.
    There is a guy on eBay and cL in Chicago selling a parts car for 2k

  9. Anthony

    A small block 400 or a 396 with some high performance goodies will make this a fun car. But $8900? I dont know. I’d look for a SS Monte Carlo or something close to it before i spend that type of money on this

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