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Only 349 Made? 1980 Hurst/Olds 442 W-30

From Frank Y – Recently, while out on a drive, I spotted what I thought was a 79 Hurst/Olds. I had actually noticed it almost 2 years earlier, but it was under a tarp so I didn’t know what it actually was… I finally decided I needed to take a closer look and since the tarp had come off enough to see what it was, I knew it was a Hurst/Olds. And now I’m wondering, “this car can’t just sit there and go to waste( or can it?)”. As I was passing by it on my way to the house, I thought to myself, “ok… here we go”. As I stopped at the house, which is north of Butler, Pa and beeped the horn, as there were 4 dogs, at least 7 cats, and a bunch of chickens that clearly call the place home. To my amazement, someone came out of the house.

Chris, who lives on the property, was very nice. I asked him about the car… he said he didn’t know much as it belongs to his uncle. The story is that his uncle got it from the daughter of an elderly guy who passed years ago and had a barn full of old cars. Be bought this one and parked it in the yard years ago, put a tarp over it and that’s where it’s been ever since. She is pretty rough for sure, but someone may be able to save her (at least I hope so).  Now, as I already stated, I thought it was a ’79 H/O. It is white with gold, has the W30 emblems, etc… The VIN was rusted over and I couldn’t read it. The driver door was stuck (missing handle and window halfway down) so I couldn’t look at it that way or the door plate.

I took a picture of the sticker on the radiator. It definitely reads 5.7 Ltr V8. But above it, it also had SS (see the pic)??? The car also has a factory spoiler, per Chris, and it looks legit. The interior could be saved. Oh, also on the door panel on the passenger side it said 442. So, I am sure the great people on here can tell the rest of us what year this is for sure, if it is a rare edition because of the spoiler, or some type of custom clone. It didn’t look it to me but I am not the expert. It will need to be towed either way, but if your coming East to The HO fest in Gettysburg, it’s on the way.

Now… the uncle can’t find the title and he may not have ever titled it in his name and lost the original? He is now in his mid-70s and can’t quite remember the details. I know that can be an issue… it was last inspected in 1998 per the sticker. Chris took my number and is asking his uncle if he wants to get rid of the car. So that where we left it, he will let me know… Post your thoughts and please let me at least know what year and if they did make a spoiler as an option because this mystery is driving me nuts! Good luck…

So, what do your Oldsmobile experts out there think? Is this a rare version of the Hurst/Olds? Is that spoiler an aftermarket piece or a genuine factory part? Whatever the story is, this seems like an interesting find! Our thanks to Frank for sharing it with us.


  1. Patrick S Patrick S Staff

    Good detective work Frank for a free-style hunt! Nice find.

    Like 8
  2. Rosco

    The ’79 didn’t come with a rear spoiler. Aftermarket or looks like it could be one from the ’83 – ’84 H/O.

    Like 7
  3. Classic Steel

    Been there many tines asking on old cars.
    My saddest one was a 60 Tbird convertible 428 BB.
    I stopped at 16 ,17, 18,22,24 years of age and watched it rot down. My last stop was a tree growing inside the floorboard. Each time the old man said going to restore it soon. I. Would state lets put in your barn just 20 feet behind you thats empty. Same response ..
    Irony in the early 2000 s i bought a 70 torino GT 429 convertible missing an engine and saw a 70 thunderbird for sale at same town. I called on engine 429 thunder jet specs and asked where it was located. Yes it was same place .. asked on 60 vert, Son inlaw clearing the estate said a man from GA bought it a month back. He came down with a big rig truck and cut the engine and transmission then removed vins and cut various sections on firewall ,trunk area and took top railings ,dash and steering and left the rest. (Rebadging a fake-one)

    So sadly same old story i am sure everyone has one too😟

    Like 12
  4. Maverick

    Parked under a tarp. I would be concerned about moisture damage.

    Like 5
  5. sparkster

    If the 4×4 isn’t included this could be a deal breaker for me.

    Like 4
  6. Popawfox

    1979 had single headlights. 1980 had dual headlights.

    Like 7
  7. George Mattar

    No true Hurst Olds made in 1980. I worked on the 79s new at an Olds dealer in State College. They had 5.7s in them. Hurst shifter. Nice sounding transverse muffler with dual outlets. Single cat. We had a white and a black one. As mentioned here, 79 last year for single headlamp design. 80s had four rectangular headlamps.

    Like 10
  8. TimM

    It’s a sad end for this car!! Any idea what it’s worth after restoration??? I don’t want it I’m just curious what this would bring!!

    Like 3
    • George T

      Certain States only require a bill of sale if the car is over 10 years old.

      Like 0
  9. RH

    It is possible that it’s a 442, just not a Hurst Olds. Not worth anywhere near what it would cost to restore. Estimate of $10-$15k fully restored.

    Like 4
  10. Superdessucke

    In mint? RH is about right, though 15k would take an original low mile example. A restored car would probably top out at 12k. There’s no way this poor thing makes financial sense to restore. You’d be over the top value just in bodywork and paint alone.

    The 1980 442 was virtually identical to the 1979 Hurst/Olds. Same color scheme, decals, and engine. The only differences were 442 badges in place of the H/O badges and, of course, the 1980 442 had quad headlights.

    The ’80 442 was pretty much an afterthought as it wasn’t even mentioned in the 1980 Cutlass brochure. If I had to guess, Olds had engines, paint, decals, and interior trim leftover for 349 more H/Os at the end of the ’79 model year. So instead of scrapping the stuff, they came up with a hasty plan to rebadge the H/O as a 442.

    Sadly, there’s no photo of the front for us to tell if this is indeed a very rare 1980 442.

    Like 5
  11. TimM

    Thanks RH and Superdessucke!! I’m not up on my 80’s cars and newer!! For years I wouldn’t work on anything newer than 1974!! I know there’s a few special cars after 74 but this car doesn’t make financial sense!!

    Like 4
  12. Grey O’Brien

    The 4-4-2 model moved to the notchback Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais to return to its roots as a performance car as it had a larger 350 V8 engine not available on other Cutlass models. It included W-30 badging on the front fenders above the side marker lights, with less dramatic graphics. Otherwise, the cars shared identical powertrain,(minus the Hurst Shifter), with the ’79 H/O. Also available only in gold over white or gold over black paint, a total of 886 were built, 540 in Black, and 346 in White. The MSRP of a Cutlass Calais in 1980 was $6,919.57. Option W-30 4-4-2 Appearance and Handling Package cost $1,255.12. This package consisted of: Gold Accent Paint Scheme (Y71), Painted Grille Face, Applique Pillar Molding, Aluminum Sport Wheels, “W-30” Decals on Front Fender, Tail Lamp Bezel and Rear Window Molding to Match Body Color, “442” Emblem on Sail Panel and Deck Lid, Engine 5.7 Liter (350 CID) V8, 4-bbl (L34), Sport Console (D55), Rallye Suspension Package (FE2), Tires P205/70R14 Steel Belted Radial Ply Blackwall with Raised White Letters (QFV) and Digital Clock (UE8). The W-30 4-4-2 option was not available in California.

    A sample of included options: Interior color: Camel Tan with both fabric and/or vinyl, as well as White Vinyl,(Black could be ordered for Black/Gold cars), Custom Steering Wheel (NK3), Tilt Column (N33), Gauge cluster, AM/FM 8-Track Radio (UM2), Cruise Control (K30), Delay Winshield Wipers (CD4), Tempmatic Air Conditioning (C65), Dual Remote Mirrors, 442 Door Panel Emblems, Rear Window Defogger, 6-Way Power Left Bucket Seat (AC3). The 350,(Vin “R”, engine code tag “AR”), 3A heads, 4-bbl M4MC Rochester Carb, 8.5:1 compression, 170 hp@3800 and 275 torque@2000. Turbo-Hydromatic 350 Transmission (Code “LJ”, special W-30 application). Code “AB” non-locking 2.73 rear axle. A cross-flow muffler gives a “factory” dual exhaust appearance.

    Like 3
  13. bone

    These metric chassis cars were notorious for having severe frame rot from to top of the rear arches back . I wouldn’t be surprised if this one still had a good frame as it looks like its been sitting on the ground for some time

    Like 0
  14. Gaspumpchas

    Bone is correct, frame is probably toast. Had to junk my 79 malibu wagon since I couldnt tow with it anymore , great car 350/300hp. Wife would street race with it!
    Anyhoo, I think in Penna you would have trouble with no title, NY possibility and I also heard of guys reg in Vermont if your paperwork is questionable. Good luck, shame to see in this condition. Stay safe.

    Like 0
  15. FrankY

    Thanks guys for your thoughts and the post. It is a 1980 442 Hurst Olds. Has quad lights and the 442 on the door panel. Unsure how many were made in the white/gold scheme? I am still waiting on the reply from owner/uncle. Interior isn’t that bad ( I have a few extra pictures) but probably be better off as it would help someone With a restoration. The rare rims are worth $$$ just by themselves). Guy asked me Value and I told him about $2k. Again thanks for the input and thoughts. Always appreciated

    Like 0
  16. Bob McK

    Yes, this is a rare car, but perhaps it is rare because it was an 80’s GM car that not many people wanted when new. It is still ugly.

    Like 0
  17. Ted Dunham

    It is an 1980, the 79 grill came over the top of the nose, 1980 is below and flush,just as this one, and of course the 80 has the quad headlights

    Like 0
    • RH

      There were a number of different grilles available in 1979. The ’79 H/O grille was flat and flush on the front, not over the top of the nose.

      Like 0

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