Lightning Rod Shifer: 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Hurst/Olds
I burnt through a few brain cells trying to figure out what to call this next car. I know it was the product of a collaboration between Hurst Performance (company that invented the Jaws of Life) and Oldsmobile…but everybody on the internet just calls it the Hurst/Olds, which is not a proper name because this is technically the Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Coupe (not Cutlass Ciera, that was a front drive pile o junk) with the Hurst/Olds option…so why the Olds name twice in the name? I don’t know and stop interupting me, I was just getting to the part why you should be interested in this car. The Lightning Rod shifters? Yes. We’ve all come to the conclusion that manual gearboxes are superior to autos, but sometimes an auto comes along that is to bizarrely complex that it becomes interesting. Keep reading. Find this 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Hurst/Olds offered for $10,500 in Kunkletown, PA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The reason to get one of the 3001 produced ’83 Hurst/Olds in black/silver or one of the 3500 ’84 Hurst/Olds in Silver/black is because of the Lightning Rods Automatic shifter. One of the big negatives of the conventional slushbox auto transmission is that it watered down the driving experience — made the driver lazy and leads to more accidents and tickets because you don’t need to pay attention to speed or anything other than vaguely being aware that your right foot is associated with reaching your destination. The manual gearbox, on the other hand, requires dexterity, forward thinking, and constant driver involvement. The Hurst/Olds Lightning Rod shifter? That requires memorization of a 34 page manual and a PhD in abstract math…sweet! In truth, it doesn’t look that hard, but I’d be slapping those things around like its 1992 and I’m playing a full size arcade version of whack a mole in the passenger seat.
From the seller:
1984 Oldsmobile-Hurst Edition
cylinders: 8 cylinders
paint color: silver
title status: clean
1984 OLDS (HURST EDITION) 2ND owner, have copy of original title , original bill sheet, just turned over 100,000, # 825 of 3500 made. Documented by the Hurst Olds Club of America. Runs great! 10500 or best offer
Lightning rod shifters, 307 hp motor. Interior in great shape. Car is all original. Needs very little TLC.
Don’t need any help to sell the car. No Scams, No shipping, No checks or money orders. CASH IN HAND to by car.
See a better way to drive something theft proof? firstname.lastname@example.org
A certain guy named Jerry in the front office takes offense to the Cutlass Ciera being referred to as a pile o’ junk.
A tan Ciera is a darn fine car, you betcha! Especially with that TruCoat.
You didnâ€™t have to buy an Oldsmobile Cutlass to get a Hurst Lighting Rod shifter. You used to be able to go down to your local speed shop and buy a stand alone version. Then you could install it in any make or model of vehicle and pretend your were a top Pro Stock driver as these were based on the legendary Lenco transmissions.
For a couple of days when I was trying to get someone to rebuild the shifter on a Muncie 4 speed equipped 69 Chevy Malibu convertible I was driving it around with 3 levers attached directly to the transmission while the shifter was out. It was entirely possible to shift it into two gears at once while stopped. It was actually sort of fun but seemed like it was probably a bad idea to keep driving like that.
This was also when I was driving it without the hood or exhaust manifolds. Very Mad Max according to people who saw the film later.