Copart Find: 1969 Hurst/Olds 455?!!

When I think of a place like Copart, I think that’s a place where cars go to become parts. I have one family member who piled up a 2012 Impala and to Copart, it went.  I have another family member who is challenged in the check oil/change oil department and that didn’t go well for a Jeep 3.7 liter V6 which grenaded itself in the middle of nowhere. Hey Copart, here’s another for ya’. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that you can actually find some pretty interesting and complete, as in not ready for the parts bin, cars at Copart. And shut my mouth, did we find a 1969 Hurst/Oldsmobile 455 at where? Copart? Not exactly. Located in Denver, Colorado and available here on Copart with a current bid of $10,800 and no reserve. Thanks to Mike S. for the tip!

Before we get too frothy over what we thought was one of 906 Hurst Oldsmobiles produced in ’69 it is important to realize that research on the VIN verified that this Olds is a clone or a tribute or a fake or whatever you want to call it as long as you don’t call it genuine. Does the listing claim this? No! But, as mentioned, the VIN does. This example is listed as an Oldsmobile model 3687 but Hurst/Oldsmobiles were built only as a 442 Holiday Coupe (OK, there were two convertibles built for a special purpose) which is model 4487. This wanna-be was built in “E” which is Linden, New Jersey whereas all true Hurst prepared cars came from “M” or Lansing, Michigan.* This car is just a gussied up Cutlass model. So I’m disappointed and I think the listing is disingenuous. But maybe it’s naive to think you could find a true car of this nature at Copart. Perhaps displaying the VIN is a way for the seller to signal to a potential buyer that you better do your homework – an absolution of sort for the seller?

So what do we know? Nothing really, only what we can glean from the accompanying images as there is no written description. This Cutlass is dirty and dusty but looks like a reasonably accurate copy of the real thing. I would ask our Hurst/Oldsmobile aficionados to render an opinion on this example’s accuracy based on what they can observe. The listing references minor dents and scratches (it also references an estimated retail value of $85K so take what you read with a grain of salt). Oh, and another thing, the mileage is listed as 25K; believe that or not.

The interior looks quite nice actually. It has the Hurst identification on the headrests and the proper badging along with the requisite Hurst Dual-gate shifter installed in the center console. The upholstery material is in nice shape and there is an aftermarket steering wheel in place. There is also an open-element air cleaner perched on the driver’s seat so I’m not sure what that signals.

Speaking of that air cleaner, I guess it should be under the hood in place over the carburetor but it’s not and there are no references or images of the engine. Hmmm. A ’69 Hurst/Oldsmobile should have a 455 CI V8 cranking out 380 gross HP but there’s no telling what’s in this Cutlass’ engine room. Actually, there’s no telling if there is anything in the engine room and whether this Olds moves under its own power. All 906 Hurst/Oldsmobile 442s came equipped with a Turbo-Hydramatic 400, three-speed automatic transmission. This automobile may have that gearbox and may not, there is no way to know for sure without a visual inspection.

So yes, a let down from the initial discovery and not really promoted fairly, caveat emptor! I have no issue with clones as long as they are promoted as such, they have their place in the collector car landscape. How about you, now that you know the truth, would you be game?

*Thanks to Mike Rothe, Joe Padavano, Jeff Stanish, Greg Rollin from “Olds Junction” for this information

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Comments

  1. jerry z

    How a car like this ends up on Coparts is a mystery! I do like the Hurst style rims.

    5
    • davew833

      Copart sells more than just insurance totals these days. They handle a lot of the charitable car donation for tax-write off business as well as private consignment sales. This one is listed as having a clean Colorado title, so it may be one that someone just decided to consign to Copart. Many private sellers put some ridiculous number in the est. retail value column, in this case it’s $85,000, but most come away disappointed.

      3
  2. ccrvtt

    I owned a ’69 Cutlass and I loved that car. It is my enduring personal preference of all the GM intermediates from the Golden Age of motoring. The ’69 H/O is the best Hurst car of all and I have no problem with a fairly accurate clone. A car is made up of many parts and if you put the same Hurst parts onto a garden variety Cutlass so what? Just don’t misrepresent the car because authenticity is important to some people.

    That being said, this seems a bit pricey for a car that landed on the Island of Misfit Toys. If it’s in good shape and has the right parts installed it could be a good deal.

    10
  3. dave

    Looks like a ton of fun. And BTW, it don’t take much for a Chrysler 3.7 to poop the bed.

    6
  4. Troy s

    344879, not here…but man it sure looks like one. Actually it would be less worrisome to blast around in being an exact replica. Of course, it’ll need an engine first. I get the feeling from the sellers ad it is empty between the fenders. One of my favorites, the ’69 Hurst Olds. Great ride!

    1
  5. JOHN Member

    Aside from the incorrect steering wheel, missing Talbot style side mirrors, incorrect wheels (should be chromed 15″Super Stock ll’s) this looks to be a pretty decent replica. If it runs and drives, this could be an excellent deal. I’m not sure the shifter is correct… it certainly appears to be a Dual Gate, but I thought the Olds version had the stick slightly bent back to the driver. I know the 70-72 design did, but maybe the H/O wasn’t. This one is straight, almost identical to the 67 GTO Dual Gate. I’m sure someone here knows!

    2
  6. Poncho

    Cleaned up and put back on the road, could be a really cool driver instead of another museum piece. We gotta get those old cars out and drive them on the road once in a while again. I know there has to be a lot of muscle cars just sitting in the garage all over the country. If they sit too long, odds are they won’t be coming out on their own without some money spent on them again. Driving them will bring awareness to the kids today of how cool that car is and become a kid’s dream car to aspire to own tomorrow. That’s how I got started. (3-1969 Pontiacs, 1-1951 GMC, 1-1987 Pontiac, 1-1987 Chevy Truck, 1-1995 Corvette, 1-1997 GMC-daily driver. Then there is the list of motorcycles…). Still dreamin of my mid 60’s Vette. Keepin the hobby alive!

    7
  7. Dave

    There was a Goodwill auto auction next to where I used to work, and if we were slow I’d go there and help them get the older cars running. Lots of grandpa cars for little money. 65 Merc Monterey, 67 Plymouth Fury, cars like that. Be warned that most of them have been smoked in.

    5
  8. alphasud Member

    Whenever I see Copart I look the other way. Unless you are a dealer you are paying a ridiculous amount of add on fees. I got totally hosed on a Copart car. Never again!

    4
    • davew833

      Even the dealers get hosed on Copart fees. I have a business license so I can buy from them even though I’m not a dealer, but a car has to be REALLY cheap to make it worth the add-on fees.

      1
  9. Ron

    Apparently in the year 2102, Chevrolet resumes production of the Impala, wonder if they offer it in an SS trim level? ;-)

    3
    • bone

      Geez thats more than 80 years from now – will any of us still be around to find out ??

      1
      • Mark_K Member

        But they may re-introduce it BEFORE 2102 so we may get to drive it after all!

      • Jim ODonnell

        Fat fingered it, thx – fixed now.

        2
  10. Jamie

    My fathers friend had one new. Drove it for a year or two, then primarily raced it. They took out the original 455, bought a race engine straight from Hurst (apparently they built/had someone else build special order engines back then) and went drag racing. Was quite successful with it too. Raced it until about 1975 and parked it in his lean-to/carport covered with tarps,etc. Thought it would be a good idea to use carpet, face down, as the first line of defence in protecting the car and added tarps on top of it. He didn’t even lift a corner on the tarp for around 25 years. Decided in the early 2000’s “I’m gonna restore that car”….nope. Being on the east coast, moisture and salt air completed killed it. Frame was completely gone from behind front wheels back. Body… nothing left. It was completely Swiss cheese. Door hinge posts were gone A pillars were sinking through the upper cowl, floors- rockers- sheet metal…nonexistent. Rear end cover was even half rotted away causing it to completely seize up and become heavily pitted=junk. Hurst crate motor- boat anchor. Looked like it came from the sea, block & heads cracked from freezing and inside was heavily pitted and rusted. Original motor- toast as well, it was sitting on the ground beside it. Interior suffered the same rate. The amount of corrosion was unbelievable. Absolutely nothing was salvaged that could be used as parts. The hood scoop was the only thing that he kept, and it was only as a memento, as it was split all to hell.
    Sad end to a very desirable car. Had to have a backhoe dig it out of the carport because the wrecker had nothing to tow, kept pulling apart/through it.
    Hint(s) for anyone “storing” a car- don’t use carpet & don’t leave it outside.
    Cheers

    2
    • Superdessucke

      That’s too bad. I can’t imagine the look on his face after the big “unveiling!”

      People just don’t know how to store cars. The key is to make sure moisture doesn’t get trapped anywhere. Always store in a dry place. The floor is particularly important.

  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Learned something today. I never heard of copart before. This may very well be a misrepresented car, yet, there’s always room to look for a car of interest, just know what to look for. VIN research was done here and revealed a not-so-accurate listing. Thanks for the information.
    God bless America

  12. CATHOUSE

    Perhaps Copart has added more photos as when I just looked at the listing I see a photo with the hood open clearly showing that there is an engine in this car. It is missing the air cleaner so that would explain why it is sitting inside the car instead of under the hood where it belongs.

    • Jim ODonnell

      Thx for the update Cathouse!

      Yes, that image was not there originally, good to know there is something going on there; now if we could just ascertain what it is…..

    • Troy s

      Yep, there was no picture of an engine when I first looked at it, next to the “engine type” was a big fat no. Edlebrock carb with the air cleaner removed for viewing, looks like chrome valve covers.
      Cleaned up this would make for a sharp ride. Got to be a clone, with fewer of these ’69’s being made than the two years of Boss 429 Mustangs. Never see those, maybe one in forty years.

  13. Mitchell Ross

    I have a Copart account and know how things work. Dealers can sell cars in Copart and many classic cars are sold there by dealers. The reason is the international clientele they have. If you are buying old American cars to resell and you are in Saudi Arabia or Russia, you can bid in Copart. Often, since American buyers only want a few highly collectable cars, Like this 442, dealers selling non muscle cars get more money overseas. You’re selling a 65 T-bird and no one wants it here but an Italian will bid against a Norwegian to more than an American would

    1
  14. V8roller

    Too right we need to get our cars out and drive them.
    Took my 63 Rambler out yesterday, no special event, just had somewhere to go. Only 60 miles. Didn’t see another car of interest.
    I also have a page of What Is This in the rear side window about the car and the manufacturer.
    If no one sees the cars, pretty soon no one will care. Including the politicos who make the rules that decide whether we can drive them, and allow the nasty polluting fuel to make them go.
    Classic cars, so much more than Cars n Coffee.
    Now, back to the Olds….

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