Classic Classified: 1973 Hurst Olds

1973 Hurst Olds advertisement in the December 1983 Hemmings

From: Hemmings, December 1983

Price then: $9000 ($22,733 today, adjusted for inflation)

Price now: $12,500–$42,000

Approximate dollar difference: $20,000 (Assuming #1 condition)

Annual rate of return: 1.8%

Hurst Olds: 1973, absolutely the nicest, black & gold, 30,000 miles, fitted cover, show quality, asking $9,000

The Hurst Olds name started life in 1968 when Oldsmobile partnered with Hurst Performance Research to install its new 455-cubic-inch engine in the freshly updated A-Body platform. The brute was rated at 390 horsepower and 500 lb.-ft. of torque. While Oldsmobile’s marketing team in the late 1980s probably had its heart in the right place when it introduced the “Not your father’s Oldsmobile” slogan, the team probably didn’t realize that with cars like the 1968–69 Hurst Olds, many sons actually wanted their father’s Oldsmobile.

The year 1973 brought the introduction of the Colonnade era. Although these cars are better known for being larger, heavier, and consequently slower than the preceding generation, there were a few exceptions, the Hurst Olds being one of them. Eking out 275 hp from the restricted 455, it matched the figures of the ’73 Corvette equipped with the LS4 454. Few GM cars, except for the 455 Super Duty-equipped Pontiac Trans Ams, were producing higher figures. While certainly not the 390-hp monster the H/O started out to be, the 1973 certainly carries on in the spirit of offering a car that punches above its weight class.

1973 Hurst Olds
1973 Hurst Olds

For decades, the 1973–77 GM mid-size A/G-Body platform has been relatively ignored by the collector market in favor for earlier, more powerful options. Little to no aftermarket support for restoring these cars (especially for ’73 cars who had many one-year-only features and parts) has also led to an exceptionally low survival rate.

In recent years, the few 1973 Hurst Olds which have survived are commanding strong prices, with like new examples commanding upwards of $40,000. While the return on investment for this particular example from 1983 is almost nil, it was most certainly an investment in passion. This is a car you buy because you appreciate what it was for its time and because nobody else at local car meets will have one.