Lighting Rod Survivor: 1984 Hurst/Olds

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If you were automotive enthusiasts during the early ’80s, there’s a good chance you will fondly remember this type of car, even if you aren’t a GM fan. After a few years of neglect, manufacturers started trying to introduce more performance orientated models again. This limited edition Hurst/Olds is located in Hollywood, Florida and listed for auction here on eBay. At the time of writing bidding is fairly active with a high bid of $7,600, reserve not met and five days remaining in the auction.

The auction lists it as 442, but I believe this to be incorrect, the proper designation is Limited Edition Hurst/Olds. At the time that this car was built, I was a regular subscriber to Hot Rod magazine and remember seeing print ads for the car. I flipped through my magazine collection and after a little digging found an ad for this car on page 3 December 1983. It verified the designation and also provided some interesting specifications. It was capable of a 0-60 time of 9.8 seconds, was equipped with a 5-liter (Oldsmobile 307) 4-barrel with 180 horsepower. Although these numbers aren’t that impressive compared to modern cars, at the time they were quite respectable and showed considerable improvement to similar cars produced just a few years previously. The ad lists the package as including a hood scoop, special striping, rear deck spoiler, and of course the special “lightning rod” triple-shifter. That special triple-shifter is what makes the car. At the time I can remember the automotive press mocking it for being too complex and not practical. It is basically a tribute to a Hurst manual shift in a car which was only available with an automatic. Looking at it now, it may not be practical, but it is downright cool and sure to be a conversation starter at any car gathering.

I was somewhat disappointed when I read the mileage on the odometer at 61,000. The car is listed as low mileage in the title description. My expectation was super low mileage, something that might have been stored since new. In the early ’80s, the collector car scene was starting to gain momentum and some of these cars might have been purchased with the future market in mind. There were only 6,500 1983-1984 Hurst/Olds produced, but the survival rate does seem high, having personally seen a few over the years.

61,000 is not high mileage, and this example presents itself well. The interior is very good shape, with the GM plastics not showing any of the typical degradation from the Florida sun. The bottoms of the doors look very good, this likely has been a southern car its entire life. The seller indicates paint flaws but they are t minor. The engine is buried under a maze of factory hoses but is still original Olds as evident by the oil filler spout. Overall this is an excellent example of a well documented unmolested original.

The real fun in this one would be driving it. It could reliably interact with modern traffic. However, that requires meeting the reserve requirements. In the description the seller references Hagerty. Perhaps he used their price guide as a reference to formulate the reserve?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Howard A. Howard AMember

    Nice car, and the “Lightning Rods”, what a gimmick. I saw a car like this at a show, and asked the owner about the shifters. He said it was a PITA and just leaves it in drive.

    Like 4
  2. Jon

    The speedometer goes all the way to 85!!!

    Like 4
    • GPMember

      Lightning Fast, Flash, Flash-Gone.

      Like 0
    • Martin Vogel

      As was Federal law at the time……

      Like 1
    • Dustin Lisner

      All g-body cars had a 85mph spedo

      Like 0
  3. Pat LMember

    Actually 61,000 miles on a 35 year old car is very low. Less than 2,000 miles per year.

    Like 11
  4. CanuckCarGuy

    GM sure knew how to build boulevard cruisers in that era…this and the Monte SS are both ideal cars for looking cool at low speeds. Now that my own odometer has hit 50, these cars have a greater appeal to me…versus the sports cars of my youth.

    Like 1
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    What’s not to like: never cared for the Lightning Rod Shifter, never cared for the hood ‘scoop’, never cared for T-Tops from the era due to leakage. IMO the paint and striping were overstated, it was as if GM was attempting to offset the lack of performance with visual flash, which really wasn’t up to it.
    Don’t take it wrong, I had a ‘new’ 84 Cutlass Supreme Brougham, it was a wonderful driving car. Very luxurious driving car. Not a performance candidate but one that you could drive all day and enjoy every moment of it.

    Like 0
  6. Darryl

    That is not true. In 1987 all Olds Cutlass Supreme 442’s came with a 120 mph speedometer. The regular Cutlass Supreme’s has the run of the mill 85 mph speedometer.

    Like 0
    • Robert S

      85 MPH speedometer was federally mandated.

      Like 1
  7. Kevin Heidrich

    The Lightning Rods were a sales gimmick. They were meant to mimmick the Lenco shifters used in Warren Johnson’s NHRA Pro Stock race car.

    Like 1
  8. JoeMac Joe Mac

    At $10,200, the buyer got a very fair deal. Clean, original car. Very nice. Good job by the bidder.

    Like 0
  9. JoeNYWF64

    At least it has hidden wipers,non fogging/yellowing headlites, & full door glass styling, & had nice color interiors you could choose from. & comfortable seats, unlike the rock hard ones in some of today’s “cars”. & looks handsome on the front, instead of stupid like too many of today’s cars. & can fit 4 comfortably, unlike any 2 door today.

    Like 0

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