One of the most successful collaborations between a major car company and a small aftermarket outfit was the deal between Hurst and Oldsmobile. Back in the late’ 60s, Hurst transformed the Oldsmobile 442 into one of the fastest cars available on the North American market. They equipped them with the famous shifter, and its signature gold and white or black and silver paint job. At the time, Oldsmobile was under the GM ban, which forbade the company from putting engines larger than 400 CID in intermediate cars
This meant the popular 442 model couldn’t receive the biggest available engines. Due to that, it was inferior to those Mopar muscle cars that had engines of up to 440 CID under their hoods. However, since Hurst was an independent company, the GM rules didn’t apply. So, Oldsmobile shipped partially disassembled 442s to Hurst where they installed the biggest engine Oldsmobile had. It was the mighty 455 V8 that put out 390 HP.
The Hurst Olds package also got numerous other performance upgrades and a ram air induction system. It also had a heavy-duty suspension and updated brakes. Since the Hurst Olds was a limited production factory hot rod, it was expensive and the convertible wasn’t available. Hurst produced its own versions of Oldsmobile performance cars from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1983 to 1984.
However, only the first few years when the power output was unrestricted were the most interesting and well-known by collectors. Afterward, in the late ‘70s and the early ‘80s, Hurst Olds were lukewarm versions of standard Cutlass two-door models. Hurst produced Oldsmobiles in limited numbers and people soon forgot about them.