A special edition model, the 1968 Hurst/Olds represented the best in performance that the Oldsmobile name had to offer. To understand what the 1968 Hurst/Olds was, you have to go back to the origins of the Oldsmobile 442. The Olds muscle car came out in 1964, initially as an option on the Cutlass and the F085. The number referred to the four-barrel carburetor, the four-speed manual transmission, and the two exhaust pipes. From 1968 to 1971, the 442 was a model of its own, and in 1972 it became an option again, through the early 1990s.
The Oldsmobile 442 muscle car used shifters from Hurst Performance out of Warminster Township in Pennsylvania. The company was especially known for their manual shifters and supplied other manufacturers, including Ford and AMC, with parts for their muscle cars. Because of the success of their components in the 442s, Oldsmobile decided to collaborate with Hurst to create the 1968 Hurst/Olds. This was a special edition performance package for the already special 442 muscle car.
The 1968 Hurst/Olds was the first model brought out by the collaborative partners and it used the body of the 442, but included a unique black and silver paint theme. The interior included a Hurst mini console and genuine walnut dash trim.
The engine choices included a 390-horsepower W-45 or a 455-cubic inch Rocket V8. At the time, General Motors placed an engine size limit on cars smaller than full-size. Only Corvettes and larger vehicles were allowed to have engines bigger than 400-cubic inches. The 1968 Hurst/Olds evaded this edict by claiming that the engine came from Hurst, not Oldsmobile.
Only 515 models of the 1968 Hurst/Olds were manufactured, mostly sport coupes plus a handful of club coupes. Today, the scarcity of this car makes it a prize for collectors. More were made in the following year, 1969, and after that significant changes were made to the car. They never quite compared to the high-performance and style of the 1968 model and petered out by early ‘80s.
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