That’s Hurst, not hearse

Lightning Rod shiftersYour eyes are not tricking you.

I repeat, your eyes are not tricking you. And, that is not a Photoshop chop either. Nor is it some one-off custom job.

So that means there’s some sort of photographic triple exposure to blame for what you’re seeing, right? Nope.

What you’re looking at is a factory Hurst three-stick, Lightning Rod shifter that was standard on the 1983 15th Anniversary Hurst Oldsmobile.

That’s nice, you might say, followed by the natural query, “so… what do they do?”

That answer just may surprise you as much as when you first saw this picture.


Not your father’s Oldsmobile
Hurst Olds frontTo the right is an example of the 1983 Hurst Olds. It came only in black with silver rocker panels, and striping done in red and silver. Other visual elements that set it apart from lesser Cutlass models are the hood bulge, rear spoiler, dual (outlet) exhaust and 15″ wheels wearing P215/65R15 Goodyear Eagle GT tires. Suspension is of a heavy-duty variety and was available with optional superlift air-adjustable shock absorbers. Standard steering was upgraded to a quicker ratio. T-tops were optional. (Ahh, t-tops.)

Under-hood specifics include an Olds-built 307-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) V8 fitted with a unique Rochester 4-barrel carburetor that opens the secondary barrels earlier than normal. On top of the carburetor sits a dual-snorkel, low-restriction air cleaner.

Everything added up to provide a 40 HP gain over a standard-issue 5.0-liter Cutlass, for a total of 180 BHP at 4,000 RPM and 245 pound-feet of torque at 3,200 RPM.

bw frontStock performance is short of what we’d refer to today as high performance, however, for the time and size of car, it moved pretty good.

At introduction, Oldsmobile estimated 0-60 MPH times of around 8.5 seconds. Motor Trend’s initial test was unable to reach that speed in any less than 9.5 seconds. The magazine clocked a 17.41-second quarter mile with a trap speed of 77.5 MPH.

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