When our 15th-anniversary Hurst-Olds first arrived on the scene in 1983, it was safe to assume that this blacked-out puppy with red & silver accents was packing plenty of power and high-performance agility. What ended up happening was that it didn’t necessarily live up to the hype, and it simply fell short of expectations. It was all show and no go. But we intended on changing that by making all the proper upgrades to turn this Hurst-Olds into the street-seeking muscle cruiser it was meant to be.

Because our main priority with this vehicle was to increase its performance, the stock engine needed to be swapped out. And, while many would assume we’d replace it with an LS, we’re keeping this project true to the source material by keeping it Oldsmobile. So in order to give this car the extra pep that it deserves, we installed a big block 455 blessed by Doctor Olds himself, Joe Mondello! As they say, there is no replacement like displacement, and this big block is just what the doctor ordered.

What made this project particularly different from the rest that we work on is we made our Hurst-Olds keep its transmission automatic. In order to retain its classic retro aesthetic, we had to hold onto its cool triple-stick lightning rod shifter. What we ended up doing instead was taking the stock, light-duty transmission, and swapping it out for the more durable 700R4 SS Transmission by Monster. This way, our Hurst-Olds can tackle the back roads without having to sacrifice one of its iconic features.

Once the final bolt was fastened, it was time for us to bring the Hurst-Olds back to the drag strip for a second round of testing. It was obvious that once we added some performance upgrades, the final results were like night and day.