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Cruiser Or Bruiser? 1983 Hurst/Olds

When you think of a GM G-body muscle car, you should be thinking about the Buick Grand National. But Oldsmobile took a stab at making a performance G-body out of the Cutlass Supreme. There is a lot of show here but is there much go?  You can find out by taking a trip to warm Tampa, Florida to find this Hurst/Olds here on craigslist for $13,000 or best offer.

We will likely never see cars again with angles like these.  Doesn’t it look incredibly muscular compared to the pedestrian-impact safe cars of today? Obviously this was a hold-out from the muscle cars of the late 60s and 70s and I think it looks great.  How many people want white letter tires on their cars today?  This 1983 Hurst/Olds is one of 3001 made. In 1984 the gray and black paint scheme switched but the car was still basically the same.  It has the 307 cubic inch V8 and an automatic transmission with Lightning Rod shifters!

If you think a manual transmission will deter today’s thieves from stealing your classic car, imagine their expression when they see the three shifters in this car!  The Lightning Rod shift system allowed for manual control of upshifts but it was still connected to an automatic transmission. And other than the driver’s seat showing a little dirt or wear, the interior looks great.

This Hurst/Olds looks really sharp in this paint scheme and should sound great with that 307 and dual exhaust. You’ll be toasted by a V6 Camry should you decide who can get to 60 mph first, but you’ll look great losing! There is some minor damage to this car in front of the driver’s front tire and the rear bumper filler has warped.  You’ll also get the benefits of a stiffer body since this one doesn’t have the nearly ubiquitous t-tops. The seller says that even the AC still blows cold! So is it a cruiser or a bruiser?


  1. Steve R

    Cruiser. As you said, any late model V6 Camry will kill it in acceleration, many contemporary 4 cylinder should also. It’s a case of style with no substance.

    Steve R

    • Mark-A

      Along with a 1.0 ltr 3cyl Fiesta quite probably? Especially when it’s out of warranty & the Boost is raised, even if it struggled on the Strip it’d leave this for dead in the Twisties!

  2. Rock On Member

    Yeah, yeah we all know how fast V6 Camrys are and don’t forget V6 RAV4s that are built on the same chassis. This 442 has potential to be much faster if that’s what you want. If you prefer Toyotas you are probably reading the wrong website.

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      Who said anything about preferring a Camry to the Hurst Olds. The performance numbers speak for themselves. Newer performance cars will run circles around the classics, but for the most part, they lack character and aren’t as appealing.

      As the car is presented in this ad it isn’t anything more than a pretty face.

      Steve R

  3. Jim

    I like cars that are a little different. Somehow Barn Finds does too, as there are many vehicles on these pages that are not all out performance. Fast cars are great, but it stopped being the only thing that mattered about the time I graduated high school. Oh, BTW – Street Outlaws is on Sunday nights now.

  4. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Having bought a 84 Brougham, they are nice riding cars. Funny thing though, you could get a 350 in the Brougham yet a 307 in the HO. Other than the plastic issue on it, looks exceptional overall.

    • Andre

      In ‘84 I don’t think you could get a factory 350 – they discontinued the Rocket 350 in ‘80, but it was available in G-Bodies until then. Unless you’re talking about the diesel, which admittedly I know nothing (or care to know anything) about.

      In ‘84 I believe the only gas V8 options were the Olds 307 (which this car has), or the SBC 305.

      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        Funny, my dealer got one which was what I ordered. Yes that was a diesel, but IIRC a gas was available also.

      • Greg

        The Diesel is the block you WANT! The Diesel in its’ stock form is Junk; BUT you can slap a crank from a 425 in it and there’s a lot of material between the cylinder bores so you can bore it out for even more cubes! With the 425 crank, an a little machine work you can build an 442ci (yes 442 ci) monster with 500+ hp.

    • Mick

      No 350 gas engine available after 1980.

      • Superdessucke

        Yes. Last Olds A-body with the gas 350 was the 1980 442, a little known edition which was essentially identical to the 1979 Hurst/Olds. The 1983-84 Hurst/Olds and 1985-87 442 all used the 307 “HO”.

  5. rmward194 Member

    Nice looking Hurst Olds. Personally I wouldn’t care if a newer car could hit 60 before me if I was cruising around in this. I would be getting a lot more thumbs up, questions and stares in this Hurst Olds than a boring beige Camry or Accord would ever get!

  6. irocrobb

    I always liked the outside of them but that shifter just just did not do it for me. Rather have a Monte SS any day. He states fair condition in the ad and I wonder what is all wrong with it.

  7. Vegas Vic

    Always adored the GN, Monte SS and the Hurst’s, great styling, nice riding, and you have a head turner for a reasonable price…. plus a monster sized trunk!

  8. Cmarv

    I bought one of these around 91 for $1700 from the original owner it had 155k miles on it . The transmission had been rebuilt twice and was fresh when I got it , the motor was tired . I put a 455 out of a 72 Olds 98 in it and drove it for a few months (hell of a lot of fun). I decided to hang a “ForSale” sign in it and see what I could get . I was approached by a guy that had to have it . When the 455 was unveiled he was not impressed and was all about “where is the 307” . I explained that I had it on my scrap pile , the deal was struck . It was fun with a 455 ,with a 307 it was sorry . I got $3750 for it .

  9. JimmyinTEXAS

    As is this is a very nice cruiser. If the desire hits it might not break the bank to turn it into a bruiser.

  10. Rube Goldberg Member

    GM had to up the ante with 3 shift levers, ( more is better) even though Jeep beat them all in the 40’s. I saw one of these at a car show once, and when I asked the owner about the “Lightning Rods”, he said, it was a PITA and just keeps it in drive.

  11. Poptheclutch

    ROCK ON and RMWARD194 you two
    Said it right! And I couldn’t agree with you more! And the Camry thing out running this
    Olds…i could care less!

  12. sluggo

    incredible time machine, would turn heads as is, but of course the performance would be easy to address.

  13. Superdessucke

    It’s a cruiser by today’s standards. A V-6 Camry? Hell, my 4-cylinder 2015 Accord Sport would put 2 full seconds between itself and this up to 60. And I do not consider that vehicle to be much of a hot rod. It’s a commuter.

    Back in the day though, these were comparable to the Monte Carlo SS with the L69 305. They had about the same horsepower and performance – 0-60 in the mid-8s and the quarter in the mid-16s. Sounds slow now but was decent back then. And they had style, and that’s what their owners cared most about.

    • LucilleCaddy69

      Your 4 cylinder Honda wouldn’t hit 60 mph in 6 1/2 secs falling off a cliff, lol. The V6, however, is quite powerful.

  14. RicK

    Needs an LS transplant. Then go hunting for Camrys . . .

  15. Jonny A

    I think the warped bumper is because of the material used to mold them. My friend’s Monte SS did the same thing. This one appears to have some damage under the bumper rub strip, on the lower rear portion of the drivers door, and all along the front valence. Overall, it’s a cool car but I prefer the Monte SS or the later version of this car in blue. The GN goes without saying.

  16. Greg W

    The 307 in the Hurst Olds is a H.O. version and has 180 hp . The 307 used in the Cutlass, 88, 98 and Toro is 140 hp.

  17. Jay

    I owned one of these (#461) for 20+ years. It was indeed a no go showboat. My 2009 Mazda 6i could leave it in the dust. But, it looked cool, sounded cool, and the Lightning Rods were entertaining, although gimmicky. I would love to own another one.

  18. David A Stewart

    This engine is fast for the regular Joe on the street

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