1968 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds 442 - Photo by SpeedDemon0388
With the Oldsmobile nameplate now unfortunately gone, it’s sometimes nice to be reminded that in the late 1960s the company was producing some of the wildest musclecars around. And by far the most outrageous was the ’69 Hurst/Olds 442, the result of a partnership between two performance icons. One was parts maker Hurst Performance, best known for their high-performance transmissions (and interestingly enough, for inventing the “Jaws of Life” rescue device). The other was Oldsmobile, which had been applying the “442” badge—indicating a four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual, and dual exhaust—to its large Cutlasses to do battle with such large musclecars as the Pontiac GTO. The Hurst/Olds was the top-of-the-line, featuring enhancements to both performance and looks. Snarling under the hood is a 455 cubic inch V8 producing 380 horsepower and 500 ft-lbs. of torque, seemingly enough to spin the Earth backwards. Just above the split front grille is one of the ’69 H/O’s signature features, a massive dual scoop with “H/O 455” decals that feeds cool air into the engine. Also unmistakable are the white and gold paintjob, and the rear wing on the trunklid. Whether lined up at a dragstrip or rumbling through a drive-in, there’s no ignoring the Hurst/Olds.