1979 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds W-30 - $18,900
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  • Overview & History
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It’s also rare, with only 2499 being built and only 1334 of those were black and gold (with the rest being white and gold), and that’s probably due to the fact that it carried a whopping $9200 sticker price, which was dangerously close to the cost of a new Corvette.

The colors black and gold on an Oldsmobile are kind of like the markings on poisonous snakes: they’re a warning. Even in 1979, when this rather rare 1979 Hurst/Olds was built, this was one of the fastest cars you could buy. Surprisingly, it was lighter than even a Trans Am and packs a Hurst-only R-code 350 cubic inch L35 V8 engine, so it was a decent performer in 1979. It’s also rare, with only 2499 being built and only 1334 of those were black and gold (with the rest being white and gold), and that’s probably due to the fact that it carried a whopping $9200 sticker price, which was dangerously close to the cost of a new Corvette. In 1979, this was a special car, and that’s what makes them so appealing to collectors who love them.

First of all, this is a real-deal Hurst/Olds W-30 car in original colors, and it was the recipient of a comprehensive frame-off restoration a few years ago. A passionate enthusiast rescued the car back in 1997 and it was in pretty sad condition. However, thanks to years of hard work, huge piles of cash, and the help of a lot of experts, today it is one of the best of its kind we’ve ever seen. The paint job is far better than anything GM was spraying on Oldsmobiles in 1979, with the black areas being deep and rich and laser straight, and you know that doesn’t come cheap. These folks were exacting in their details, as well, and studied these cars at a level that few enthusiasts ever approach. They took measurements to ensure that the W-30 decals were located in exactly the right spot, they reinstalled the sail panel Hurst/Olds emblems just the way the factory did it, and the paint patterns and stripes are accurate. The sheetmetal is from South Carolina, so rust is a non-issue and we have to admit that the semi-formal Calais coupe bodywork has aged rather well and looks great today. All the trim was restored or replaced with NOS parts and it’s pretty cool to see a stand-up hood ornament on a muscle car, but then again, the Hurst/Olds was just as much luxury as muscle. This is still a great-looking car!

The bucket seat interior was likewise unique to the Hurst cars, fitted with upscale black upholstery on high-back buckets flanking a center console. The seat covers, carpets, door panels, and headliner are all new, and obviously there’s a correct Hurst “Dual Gate” shifter (also known as a the “His-n-Hers” shifter) managing the TH350 3-speed automatic transmission. A full array of gauges, including a tach, was standard equipment, and a buyer could select from all of Oldsmobile’s luxury features on the options list, with this car offering A/C (needs to be serviced), a tilt column, remote sport mirrors, and a rear defroster. The original radio was probably an AM/FM unit, but during the restoration this one was upgraded with a clever digital AM/FM/cassette unit that could almost pass for original thanks to the use of period-perfect knobs. The T-handle shifter works as advertised, giving you manual control of the transmission, and a set of monogrammed Hurst/Olds floor mats are a nice addition. Like the exterior, the detailing is excellent, with proper badges and emblems wherever needed, bright chrome trim on the buckets, and a back seat that looks practically new. And as a full-sized luxury car, there’s a good-sized trunk fitted with black carpets, a correct space-saver spare (check out the original cardboard filler panel!), and proper jack assembly.

The only engine you could get in your Hurst/Olds was a 350 cubic inch L34 V8, which is denoted by an “R” in the fifth slot of the VIN (that’s a bulletproof way to identify a genuine Hurst/Olds). Today, its 170 horsepower and 275 pounds of torque don’t seem all that amazing, but it was pretty stout in 1979 and that big hit of V8 torque makes the coupe feel punchy around town but effortless on the highway. The engine was obviously fully rebuilt before going back into the tidy engine bay, and aside from what feels like a mildly upgraded cam, there are no major deviations from stock. The engine bay was detailed when it was restored but now shows signs of use, which is perfectly OK for a car that you’re going to want to drive. Turn the key and it fires easily, idles like an Oldsmobile should, and yes, the torque is surprising for a car of this vintage. This is still a fun car to drive, even today.

Underneath you can see evidence of living in a warm climate, because the floors are in excellent condition with no patches or other problem areas. It isn’t sparkling clean and perfect (again, the car has been driven and enjoyed) but you will note a fresh 2-1-2 exhaust system that sounds suitably racy and the elimination of the catalytic converter surely adds a few ponies that are quite noticeable. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission was rebuilt and the car drives very nicely with a luxury car ride that’s an Oldsmobile trademark. You’ll also note that the rear end was recently pulled and had now seals and bearings installed and it was repainted before it was reinstalled, so it’s good for another 100,000 miles or so and with 2.73 gears inside, this is a fantastic highway car. Newer shocks help with that smooth ride and those gold-tone 14-inch alloy wheels were unique to the Hurst/Olds, with these being fitted with 205/70/14 Goodyear radials.

Documentation includes the original window sticker, factory literature, magazine articles, and more. There’s a LOT of paper with this car!

Vehicle: 1979 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds W-30
Price: $18,900
Stock Number: 115176
Mileage: 61,336
VIN: 3K47R9M570276
Engine: 350 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.73
Wheelbase: 108 inches
Wheels: 14-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 205/70/14 Goodyear radial
Exterior Color: Black and Gold
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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