Lightning Rods: 1983 Hurst/Olds 15th Anniversary

I’ve always thought that GM’s G-bodies from the late 1970s and 1980s were cool, especially in coupe form. When you throw in a couple of special features and some muscle car magic, these cars become more appealing. Though this Hurst/Olds relies more on show than go, it is still a cool-looking ride. This particular one is a 15th Anniversary Model and is claimed to have only covered 41k miles since new! Find it here on craigslist in Niles, Michigan, with an asking price of $14,400. Special thanks goes to Rocco B. for the tip!

After the Cutlass line was split between the front-wheel drive A-body Cutlass Ciera and the rear-wheel drive G-body Cutlass Supreme in 1982, GM again offered a limited-edition Hurst/Olds. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first Hurst/Olds (introduced in 1968), the 1983 Hurst/Olds came only in black with silver rocker panels and featured chrome 15″ wheels fitted Goodyear Eagle GT tires, a power bulge hood, and a rear spoiler – giving the car a purposeful and aggressive look. For 1983, 3,001 Hurst/Olds were built, the highest of all Hurst/Olds production up to that point. This particular car is one of 2,800 cars built for the United States market (the remaining 201 went to Canada), and appears to be in nice original condition. I’ve always preferred the 1983 car over the 1984 model, as the 1984 model reversed the paint scheme, making the 1983 model look more aggressive. Visually, everything exterior-wise appears to be in tip-top shape, and underneath, the car was Ziebart-coated. I would leave this car as-is visually and take all the necessary steps to make sure it stays in good condition.

Unfortunately, there is no pictures of the engine (this is what a 1983 Hurst/Olds engine looks like) and only a few pictures of the interior (here’s a picture of a 1983 Hurst/Olds interior). The Hurst/Olds was only available with a 307 four-barrel V8. Rated at 180 horsepower and 245 lb-ft of torque, the 307 V8 is no barn-burner, but the emphasis for muscle cars in 1983 was on appearance and handling. The instrument cluster is a sporty addition and the woodgrain nicely surrounds the gauges and the clock. From what I can see, the interior, much like the rest of the car, appears to be in nice condition. Easily the coolest feature of the car is the Hurst Lightning Rod shifter, which only came in the Hurst/Olds. Essentially a mechanical version of the electronically controlled, manual-shift automatics used in many cars today, the Lightning Rod shifter enables drivers to use a separate shifter for each upshift. The shifter has proven very robust over the years, with most owners only reporting problems related to the basic 200-4R transmission to which it is connected. Unfortunately, replacement shifters and parts for them basically don’t exist, so be careful shifting, as you don’t want to break it. Overall, this is one of the nicest Hurst/Olds that I’ve seen recently and though the price may seem a bit high, I’m sure it can be negotiated. What are your thoughts on this clean 15th-anniversary Hurst/Olds?

Fast Finds


  1. SanityFactor


  2. Mr. TKD

    For a kid in high school in the 80s, this was one of the dream cars you wanted. While not much on performance, this was still one tasty bit of kit.

    In my dreams, this would have t-tops. That said, I would love to have one of these now. Saw one on Mecum recently that went for $10k.

    Like 1
  3. Wayne

    I’ll go the extra mile and have myself a real Hurst/Olds from ’68-’75, not one of those boxy, shovel-nosed G bodies.

    • Steve

      Its all about the $$$. These are a lot cheaper, for the time being, at least…

      My cousin had one of these a few years back. Someone before him had tweaked the 307 a bit. Aftermarket aluminum intake painted engine color, cam, different heads, perhaps. It still looked stock under the hood and ran pretty good then. Personally I would have pulled the 307 and swapped in a 455.

      • Steve

        IIRC, a 403 will swap directly in place of a 307, due to similar deck height. a 455 has a taller deck, and therefor, specific brackets and pulleys. Not a problem if an engine was sourced from an intact donor, but those are drying up…

  4. Eric

    Love it! Those things are so gangster. I always wanted one. Now they are impossible to find.

  5. Rock On Member

    Would like to swap a real Lenco into one of these. Then watch people’s jaws drop!!!

  6. Sam

    Cutlasses, in general, were the bomb in the early 80’s when I graduated college.

    This 442, GNX, Pontiac Granprix aero and Monte Carlo aero which make a nice collection.

  7. Kenny

    Bought one of these in 1997 for 1000 bucks,had a blown engine,bought a 71 delta and swapped in the 455,fun car for the total of 1400 dollars i had in it.Sold it to buy an iroc z,wish i would kept the olds.

  8. Curtis

    Neighbor down road bought one new when they came out, still has it. A coworker of his bought a new 84 Vette when they came out and still has it also. At the time the Vette was possibly “the car” but today I’d take the Olds hands down.

  9. Howard A Member

    By 1983, performance was reduced to fancy gimmicks, like the “Lightning Rods”. I saw one of these at a show, and the owner, while he said they are the most attractive feature of the car,,,he said, he just leaves it in Drive.

    • Keith

      That’s accurate Howard. I had an 84 H/O with the lightening rods. Fun for awhile, then I got bored and just left it in drive. Visually impressive though.


    14k is very ambitious NO SALE

  11. DG

    I myself preferred the reverse color scheme 84 model, I liked that year’s grille better too, less busy looking. But my favorite was the visually more restrained but handsome 442 model that sold from 85-87. Unless of course you just gotta have the Lightning Rod shifter.

    Like 1
  12. z28th1s

    I always liked these cars! I also prefer the ’83 paint scheme over the ’84.

  13. Jim

    I was selling Oldsmobiles when these came out and I remember when the first one of these arrived at the dealership. The sales force was elated that we finally had a performance car again even though by 1970 standards it was no where close to a 455 442. The 307 high output performed pretty well and we sold everyone we could get our hands on.

  14. William Sean Woolley

    These are nice,I’m about to buy my second one. I had one in 2014, but it was sold.

  15. James Marshall

    I remember when one of these was delivered to the Olds dealership was selling at. We were thrilled to see a Hurst reborn again. Even though it only had a tweaked 307 it ran good for that era. We sold it fast with a 2000 dollar markup over sticker.

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