Lightning Rods: 1984 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds

In ’83 and ’84, Hurst Lightning Rods were offered in the Cutlass to put the kibosh on overenthusiastic 1-2 bump-shifts that would inadvertently land drag racers in third gear, thereby spoiling any chance of getting deep into the 17’s. Find this 1984 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds roller for sale in Horsham, PA for $2,600 via craigslist.

Lightning Rods are bewildering but here’s the elevator speech: The lever on the left is the most recognizable of the rods, showing a P-R-N-OD-D gate. This serves as the overdrive lockout and actuator of normal-person mode. The rod closest to your underwhelmed passenger is the 1st gear selector which actuates second when pulled rearward. Only then, the middle rod can be pulled into 3rd, should you ever reach that speed in the distance allotted. When the hoon session is over, the main level can be pulled to put it aft into the auto sequence.

This particular Hurst Olds comes as a roller, meaning the obvious choice would be a junkyard LS and 4L60-E. You be remiss not to adapt the Lightning Rods somehow but I don’t know how to make that happen without consultation. The interior is in good condition which could be expensive to put right if it were in shambles.

The body, however, needs some attention. Fixing the roof where a tree branch karate chopped the sheet metal could be a challenging repair but otherwise the metal looks fair. A bit of rust on the inside of the door is present but it’s not yet beyond a wire brush and jug of POR-15. These are all bargaining points to get to the seller’s bottom dollar. For not much cash, one could do the G-Body shuffle quite easily.

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Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the remaining third on keeping them on the road.