Motor Trend suggested -- only half jokingly -- that the H-O initials of the 1968-1969 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds should perhaps stand for "Hairy-Olds." Needless to say, they were impressed with the joint-venture's skills, which included the ability to slam through a quarter-mile in a fraction under 14 seconds, passing 97 mph. The 0-60 jaunt demanded 6.65 seconds.
Hot Rod magazine ran a 13.9-second quarter-mile, at 103 mph. Jack Watson himself, the Hurst customizer who spearheaded the creation of the Hurst/Olds, managed 12.97 seconds (108.17 mph) for Car Craft, piloting the one and only Hurst/Olds four-speed, equipped with Hooker headers.
On the downside, this kind of "slam 'em into the seat" potential made the Oldsmobile coupe a friend to gasoline dealers. Owners couldn't expect much more than 10 mpg -- less if the temptation to hit it hard proved irresistible. Then again, even everyday V-8s of 1968 weren't too adept at passing gas pumps.
"Snarls softly and carries a big stick." That's how Hurst described the very different 1969 version, which lost much of its initial subtlety. This time, each example was painted white with Firefrost Gold striping.
Blocky twin hood scoops, described in Hurst Heritage as resembling a "rural mail box," actually worked better than under-the-bumper air intakes and eliminated the long tubes. Engine output dropped by 10, to 380 horsepower.
A Cessna-inspired airfoil-type rear spoiler sat atop the deck. As many as 914 were built, with an engraved dash plaque showing the owner's name. Except for two convertibles, all were Holiday hardtop coupes. Motor Trend blasted a 1969 to 60 in 5.9 seconds, conquering the quarter-mile in 14 flat (at 101.3 mph). Road Test magazine actually was pleased by "an unexpectedly high 10.6 mpg, even with a lot of hard driving."
Hurst/Olds coupes performed their major function particularly well: luring shoppers into showrooms. Target buyers were the newly affluent, luxury-craving yuppies (who existed long before that term was coined) of otherwise strife-torn 1968.
Both Oldsmobile and Hurst benefited from the partnership, and each company advertised the product. Not only did the Hurst/Olds coupe continue into the early 1970s, but subsequent versions popped up sporadically, reminding the initiated how much two performance experts working together can achieve.
Check out specifications for the 1968-1969 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds on the next page.