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1968 HURST/OLDS 442 COUPE For Sale

*FRONT PAGE FEATURE IN APRIL'S AMERICAN CAR MAGAZINE * One of Only 515 Iconic First-Year Examples produced 455 cid V-8 engine, 390 BHP, single Rochester four-barrel carburettor - Turbo-Hydramatic 400 three-speed automatic transmission. Full restoration, UK Registered, MOT'd and TAX exempt. Loads more pics here Some history of car: While Oldsmobile launched the American “muscle car” in 1949 with its Rocket V-8 engine powering the lightweight 88, it was not until 1964 that it returned to the concept with its F-85 Cutlass-based 442 package. While performance was competitive with that of Pontiac’s GTO, the 442’s excellent balance quickly drew it praise as “the thinking man’s GTO.” The success of the 442 earned it unique series status within the Oldsmobile model line-up for 1968, a year which also marked a handsome major redesign. While the 442 was hugely capable, it could still be improved, and nobody was better qualified for the job than Jack “Doc” Watson, who was asked to design and build a special “executive hot rod” by George Hurst, president of Hurst-Campbell Inc. Watson, whose many credits included the “Hemi Under Glass” wheelstander and twin-engine “Hurst Hairy Oldsmobile” exhibition car, certainly delivered and created an instant icon. Beginning with a 442, Watson installed Oldsmobile’s new 455 cubic-inch V-8 engine, sidestepping GM’s ban on engines over 400 cubic inches powering its intermediate models. Equipped with Force-Air induction, high performance cylinder heads, a hot camshaft, and specially-machined crankshaft, plus careful ignition and carburettor tuning, the 455 developed 390 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 500 foot pounds of peak torque. Next, Watson continued working his magic with heavy duty underpinnings, a Hurst Dual-Gate shifter allowing full manual control of the modified Turbo 400 automatic transmission, fat Goodyear Polyglas tires, and comprehensive upgrades to the brakes, cooling, and drivetrain. Peruvian Silver paint, black side and hood stripes, and a black rear deck-lid, plus Hurst/Olds scripts and a hand-rubbed walnut instrument panel insert set the vehicle further apart. Hurst was thrilled with Watson’s creation, and when he showed the car to Oldsmobile dealers, requests soon followed. Watson’s friend John Demmer and his son each ordered a Hurst/Olds and Demmer offered to produce a limited run of the special 442s at one of Demmer Engineering’s facilities in Lansing, Michigan, near the Oldsmobile plant. Further meetings between Hurst, Watson, and Oldsmobile management brought distribution through Oldsmobile dealers with the cars retaining their factory warranty coverage. An outstanding performer jam-packed with upscale swagger and the substance to back it up, the Hurst/Olds garnered praise from every magazine tester fortunate enough to experience it. While its staggering acceleration potential was obvious, handling and braking were exceptional to match. Fierce demand, including an 11-car order from one Lansing, Michigan, Olds dealer alone, spurred Hurst/Olds production of 515 cars for 1968, numbering 459 hardtop Holiday Coupes and 56 pillared Sport Coupes, with that year’s run completed in just 40 days. All began life as original 442 models and contrary to official statements at the time, they arrived at Demmer Engineering with their special 455 engines already installed

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