Live Auctions

Two Cars, Four Shifters: 1975 and 1983 Hurst/Olds

Here’s a conundrum: how do you buy two cars, but end up with four shifters? One of them must be a 1983 or ’84 Hurst/Olds with the incredible Lightning Rod shifter, which has—count ’em—three levers sprouting out of the center console! In this case, the other car would also be a Hurst/Olds, a ’75 to be exact, which makes do with one shifter, although it controls a so-called “Dual Gate” transmission, so call it 1.5. And how much would this collection of shift knobs cost you? Why, $84,500, or $42,500 for the ’75 and $42,000 for the ’83 if you’re not into the package deal. If you are, head here to craigslist in the greater Phoenix area (three miles north of Barrett Jackson and 12 miles north of Russo and Steele, we’re told, although why that matters I’m not sure) to check them out, and a tip of the cap to reader Michael for the find! (Archived ad here.)

Here are the three shifters in the ’83, a complex arrangement that, according to many H/O owners, amounts to little more than a gimmick. Still, muscle cars are all about bragging rights, and there are certainly more levers here to brag about than in any other car! At least as noteworthy is the 188.7 miles showing on the odometer—that’s original shipping plastic on the passenger seat. This car also still wears its original window sticker and shipping labels on the windshield.

The ’75’s Dual Gate shifter might look less impressive, but it’s more historically significant as a forerunner to the shiftable automatic transmissions that have become the standard over the last 25 years or so. Other novelties in this cabin include a console-mounted digital LED tachometer—an original Hurst option—and swiveling buckets with reversible center sections; they can either have the black corduroy, seen here, facing out, or white vinyl to match the bolsters. This car wears the big new option for ’75, the Hurst Hatch T-tops, but shows ten times the mileage of the ’83: 1,893 miles. Horrors!

Obviously, these are both highly pampered Hursts. Neither represents the pinnacle of H/O performance; the ’83 churns out only 180 horsepower from its 307-cubic inch V8, while the ’75 has a 350-cubic inch V8 with an identical output rating (as opposed to the 455 Rocket that was also available that year). They also represent two of the three highest-production years—there were 2,535 H/Os made in 1975 and 3,001 in 1983, topped only by the 3,500 cars made in 1984, the model’s final year—but those are still very low numbers. The numbers on the odometers are ultra-low, too. That just leaves us with the not-so-low numbers on the price tags. What do you think—are these two super nice Hurst/Olds nice enough to merit the asking prices?


  1. jdjonesdr

    What am I missing here? Why so much?? Low mileage?

    • Pa Tina

      You are not missing a thing. For that kind of money one could have a Buick Grand National GNX that might possibly still be worth something in the future. I see nothing here that could justify the pricing.

  2. flmikey

    These cars will be worth the asking price…..someday, but not today…he should take these cars to those auctions and get a rude awakening…that being said, beautiful cars for sure…

    • Rudy

      Judging from when he posted the ad maybe he tried listing them with one of the auction houses and they turned him down when they learned his reserve?? Maybe that’s why he tells us how close he is to the auctions, trying to get some out of towner to pay him some big money. Of course I’m just guessing

  3. edh

    I’d sell the ’83 and use the profits to put an LS in the ’75.

    • Camaro guy

      Good idea only I’d go the opposite sell 75 LS the 83 much better looking car just sayin

  4. Fred W.

    Assuming he started and ran them on a regular basis, looks like he knows how to properly preserve a car. However, I wouldn’t run them through an auction with no reserve…

  5. tommy

    Had a Jeep once that alone had 4 shifters, one for gears, one for 4wd, one for front PTO winch, and one for rear PTO implements.

  6. Joe Haska

    I have seen this gentleman’s collection, and it is amazing, even if you know nothing about these particular cars. I can’t speak to the dollars he wants, but I can say from what I saw, his cars are the best of the best, and he is probably if not “THE” expert on them, he would be at the top of the list. To have one of his cars, would be to have one the finest there is, and for the person or collector that wants this, they also know that doesn’t come cheap!

  7. Metoo

    Beautiful car. But three shifters would certainly have me in a state of driving confusion for a while. And, of course, need I mention it? 2 doors good, 4 doors bad.

  8. morrisangelo

    Had an 84 H/O years ago and it was nothing but trouble. Two failed transmissions, paint fade, clogged converter, stuck shifter multiple times. Cool cars but unfortunately a very dark, low quality time for GM.

  9. Henry Drake

    Regarding the 83: I wish Olds would have done something with that corporate, awful dash and gauge layout. It’s the same one that the 231cid, 4 door grandma cars had that year. If you make a special car, make it special. The shifter (although gimmicky) is a good start.

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