Not A Hurst: 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass

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I love black with tasteful gold accents; it’s from growing up with the Lotus John Player Special Formula 1 cars. This 1973 Cutlass has been decorated with Hurst decorations, but it’s not a Hurst Olds (and to the seller’s credit, they don’t advertise it as one). This clean find was sent in by both Charles H. and Paul H., who said “Saw this while trolling through eBay. Bidding is pretty good, but reserve is still not met. Unusual to see these, but 2 in less than a week?? (Last week’s was triple black). This one looks to have been professionally kept and restored. Price tag seems a little high, but still very easy to look at.” It’s located in Phoenix, Arizona and is listed here on eBay, where bidding is at $13,750 and the buy-it-now is $14,900.

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As beautiful as this car is, it was disappointing to put the VIN into a decoder and find out that the 350 V8 was indeed original, and that it was just a Cutlass Supreme. If it had been a real Hurst Olds, it would have a 455 rather than the small block 350. I do like this body style, though, and I suppose I can’t blame either the first or second owner for adding some neat Hurst items. That beautiful black finish is the result of a single respray, and since the car has been in southern California since new, I suspect the sellers claims of no rust are true.

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The shifter is a genuine Hurst 4-speed that the seller maintains was factory fitted. The white seats and door panels are a bit glaring; I think I would prefer black as long as I wasn’t worried about outside heat. I know the steering wheel is original, but it sure doesn’t look as sporting as the rest of the car does. Since it’s too early for an airbag wheel and I’m guessing the outer rim must be damaged anyway, otherwise why cover it up, I think I’d look into fitting a more sporting steering wheel and saving the stock one.

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By this point, the 350 was somewhat hampered by emissions, so only expect 200 horsepower. But I have to admit, the engine compartment is gorgeous!

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I still think I’d “de-Hurstize” the car, or at least make it clear somehow that it wasn’t a real Hurst Olds. But I’d leave the black and gold. Would you?

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Comments

  1. Jason Houston

    There’s nothing wrong with the original steering wheel that a single-edge razor blade couldn’t fix by removing that stupid ‘grandma-wrap’ and dropping it in the trash. You only find rusty cars in Calif. when they’ve done time by the beach, and some can be dastardly, if neglected. As for leaving the non-production Hurst options, I’d leave that, too. Original owners, since time immemorial, have bought low-end cars and paid extra to have the dealer upgrade the exterior to what would have been factory specs. As for black, I can’t think of a more stunning combination that black out with white, red or black in. It’s enough to make you fall in love with ho-hum 1970’s cars.

    Like 1
  2. Charles H.

    Would definitely leave it black and gold and the Hurst badging?, while I wouldn’t want to mislead anyone as to what it truly is, I really like these Hurst badges and the way they look on the car!…..and I agree about the steering wheel, I believe I would replace it with a nice factory sports wheel and enjoy!

  3. Kincer Dave Member

    I grew up in an Olds family my parents had two 77 Cutlass Supremes and of all this body style I think the 73 was the best looking of the era especially the back, I would leave this car just the way it is and enjoy it, maybe put a four spoke Olds wheel in it but that’s it.

    Like 1
  4. Blindmarc

    That fact this is a 4 speed only makes it worth the money.

  5. randy

    With my eyes half squinted, this car looks a lot like my mom’s old ’73 Grand Prix. I like this car and the GP as well. I think the 455 and the 350 engine shared the same block, so there would be no “big block” or “small block” difference, just a different displacement.

    • Marc

      Pontiac 350s & 455s (in fact, all Pontiac post-war v-8s ,except for the smog 265 & 301) use the same dimension block, so they have no true “big-block” vs “small-block” beyond the displacement and engineering changes. Oldsmobiles do have “big” and “small” blocks, but they are either similar with the biggest difference being deck height, so they could be described as tall-deck vs low-deck.

    • DENIS

      Randy, not the same block..455 is wider but is a bolt-in…have done many. The 4 spd part interests me, but not 15g worth….

      • randy

        Good to know. I always wondered how to tell a 350 from a 455 if they were the same. I just assumed the blocks had to be the same if everything was a direct fit. Thank you for the correction.

    • Marc

      Actually, the 350 block is narrower than the 455 block by a few inches. I have both sitting in my shop. Lol So yes, the 350 is definitely a small bock even though they look big.

  6. Vince Habel

    Leave it as is.

  7. dj

    I had a 73 Hurst Olds. Of course the grills are different and the hood. Also the Hurst Olds used the Colonnade body with the longer sail panels on the side. Then installed insert panels to make a smaller window. Take the H/O emblems off and leave the stripes and it would be fine. Of course the side stripe is not correct for the 73 H/O anyway. And the a/c is missing. It’s going for way too much but that’s my opinion.

  8. JW454

    My brother bought a new triple black ’75 Cutlass. I thought it was a very nice car. It seemed to ride and drive well.
    This one is a very fine example of a seventies GM mid-size. Nice… I like it. I’d probably get around to swapping out the steering wheel for the Oldsmobile 4 spoke sport wheel. Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Like 1
  9. JW

    I love it, keep it as is then just get a vanity plate that says “NAHURST”.

  10. sparkster

    Black Oldsmobile in Arizona with no a/c. Fail ! Nice car but at that price your going need to stop by the air conditioning replacement shop BEFORE you rush to put it on Ebay. Love the four speed

    • Marc

      White interior & door panels at least keep it cool to the touch. Maybe needs a white steering wheel too.

  11. Mark

    Like the 4-speed option and ralley wheels!!

  12. piper62j

    Sweet.. I’d make it a trailer queen and just take it to shows.. Drive it on,, Drive it off..

    Change the plugs every few trips.. LOL

  13. Keith

    I like this car!

  14. Tundra/BMW Guy

    Spectacular package. The black and gold (not favorite color by any means) is striking in this situation!!! I would remove the H/O badging due to the fact that it is, IMHO, “false advertising” and the car does not need it. Removal would take nothing away from the aesthetics at all! My first stop would be somewhere that installs high quality A/C systems!!!!!! Black car, no A/C?!?!?!?!?! Crazy! I too think the pricing is kind of steep but obviously I am in the minority in that opinion! 2+ hrs left and its within $1000.00 (roughly) of the BiN price.

  15. Walter Joy

    I saw this car in the comments section of a Jalopnik article

  16. dm

    It’s got AC. The VIR is still attached to the evaporator on the passenger side of the firewall and the aluminum liquid line running between the VIR and the condenser is visible on the passenger side inner fender panel. New A6-style compressors are available from an old air company in TX. The AC hoses can be easily made. Only problem might be the compressor brackets and most wrecking yards with 70’s stuff may have them.

    Like 1
  17. randy

    New A-6 compressors are very obtainable, rebuilts are less than $100.00. To put A/C back on this car you’d want to convert it to a non VIR system, they work better and the parts are a lot cheaper. The brackets I’d say are available as well, either used or repops.

  18. Chris

    That’s best looking colonanade I’ve ever seen. The lighter ’73 bumper looks so much better than the huge ugly ones on the ’74s

  19. Bob C.

    Even as an early smog era vehicle, this cutlass could still suck pigeons off the sidewalk, especially with the 4 speed.

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