Car Feature: LS3 Powered 15th Anniversary Hurst Edition Cutlass

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Photos by Rick Seitz/Video by Sam McConnell

This 15th Anniversary Hurst Olds Has Come a Long Way From Being Totaled When It Was Practically Brand New!

As far as performance cars go, the mid-1980s was a confusing time. Gone were the glory days of the original muscle car era, but they weren’t so far gone that many people forgot where the bar was set when it comes to American made performance vehicles. Then again, the idea of being stuck in the past with the classic muscle car was already starting to grow stale, so the car enthusiasts were getting thirsty. The answer to the gap left behind by the muscle car? Well, it wasn’t necessarily the Oldsmobile Cutlass, but GM was trying, and they tried a little harder when 1983 rolled around, and they decided to try to recreate the original popularity of the 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst with their 15th Anniversary Hurst Edition Cutlass.

The general consensus about the 15th Anniversary Hurst Olds is that is was an eye-catching machine, and the graphics and performance aspects were a definite move in the right direction. It also had a 307 cubic inch engine, heavy duty suspension, power disc front brakes, and bucket seats to give it a more aggressive feel. While it represented the last of the traditional GM mid-size, rear-wheel-drive V8 with a performance-centric 4bbl engine, Hurst-shifted transmission, and limited slip with 3.73:1 gearing, it’s current form is a lot more on the mark, performance wise, than anything GM could have dreamt up at the time. The car also had quite the journey on the way to Deb and Doug Schultz.

This 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass 15th Anniversary Hurst Edition started life as the 345th one of its kind made, built on December 15, 1982, and was the sixth car built on that day of 34 total. Making it even cooler and rarer, it was the 2nd of only eleven HO models that were sold by Jackie Cooper Olds/GM in Yukon, OK. The person who originally brought the special edition Olds home on January 1st, 1983 was a Doctor in Oklahoma City, and it would be almost three years to that day that the car was crashed. With only 29,000 miles on the clock, the car would be declared a total loss due to the cost it would take to repair it. But this was (obviously) not the end of the road for the Olds, someone else, thankfully, saw enough potential in the car to restore it.

The owner of G&R Auto Parts/Salvage who bought the car after the accident repaired the car, then drove it for three years to follow, and then would go on to store it for another 17. This allowed the once totaled car to live in a time capsule until it was sold to a new owner in 2009 with 47,352 miles on it. It was this journey that put the car in front of Deb and Doug, who would buy it off eBay during November of 2010, but the sailing wouldn’t be smooth right away after they got the car in their possession.

After owning it for a few months, they decided to start an LS3 swap and restomod project in February of 2011. It would spend the next 18 months tied up at a shop who was failing to complete the project as planned, and after a 1-1/2 years of their time with their newly acquired Olds was lost, they decided to move on, and the pros at West Bend Dyno, Wegner Motorsports, Speartech, and Top Line Design and Speed helped to get the build back on track.

This car was not built as a race car, but more of a car show/conversation piece. When they started the project, information about LS-swapping, as well as the parts to do it, in a G-Body were very hard to come by. It took extensive research and searching to find out what they needed, and where to get it. The couple calls the car “The LS3 Hurst”, as they believe this is the first LS3 swapped 1983 Olds Hurst to be completed.

Even though they had shops do the grunt work, it was their vision and plans that made the car possible. As Doug explains in the video on the feature, this is really Deb’s car. Deb has always been an automobile enthusiast who started working on cars when she was a young kid. Her dad was a mechanic, and she would insist on helping him do repairs, so she learned a lot about cars at an early age.

“Debby always wanted an Olds Hurst, so the engine we had out of a 2010 Camaro seemed like a good fit for the car.” -Doug Schultz

Doug also has legacy roots as an automotive enthusiast as his dad retired from the GM plant in Janesville, WI. Doug’s dad would always bring him to the plant to show him new models as they were being released; this experience would make him a serious GM enthusiast as an adult.

Since getting the car back on the road with a 555-horsepower powertrain, they have had many compliments on it, and it’s also won several awards at shows and events. When it comes to this build, it seems about the Deb and Doug have accomplished exactly what they set out to do, and all from a car that almost met its demise in the first few years of its life!

“We wanted the car to look at it and think it was ‘just’ a 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst Edition, and then be surprised by what was under the hood.” -Doug Schultz

TECH SHEET:

  • CAR: 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass 15th Anniversary Hurst Edition
  • OWNER: Deb and Doug Schultz
  • ENGINE BLOCK: LS3
  • CRANKSHAFT: Stock Cast Iron
  • PISTONS: Stock
  • CONNECTING RODS: Stock Forged Powder Metal
  • CAMSHAFT: Comp Cams 227/242 with .623/.623 Lift and 113 LSA
  • CYLINDER HEADS: Stock LS3
  • COMPRESSION RATIO: 10.7:1
  • ELECTRICAL: ECM/TCM Full Wiring Harness with Fly-by-Wire Accelerator Pedal by Speartech
  • EXHAUST: Custom Headers by Wegner MotorSports, X-Pipe, and Flowmaster Super 44 – with 2200 series High-Flow Catalytic Converter
  • GAUGES: Dakota Digital Dash 
  • TUNING: West Bend Dyno Tuning
  • TRANSMISSION: 4L70E Transmission with 2500 Stall and TransGo Shift Kit
  • SHIFTER: Hurst Lightning Rod Shifter
  • INTERIOR: Seats Re-upholstery by 3-Lakes Upholstery
  • PAINT AND BODY: Parsons of Eagle River
  • REAREND: Ford 9” 3.70 Trac-Lock Posi Unit 31-Spline Rear End Assembly by Quick Performance
  • SUSPENSION: QA1 Double Adjustable Coilovers on Front and Rear, Global West Tubular Upper and Lower Front A-Arms, Global West Rear Boxed Upper and Lower Control Arms, Hotchkis Front and Rear Sway Bars
  • BRAKES: SSBC Power Brake Booster
  • WHEELS: Hurst Dazzler Wheels – 15×7 Front and 15×8 Rear
  • TIRES: Mickey Thompson Sportsman Tires – 235/60/15 Front and 255/60/15 Rear
  •  HP/TQ.: 434.6 RWHP @ 5816 RPM and 385 ft-lbs Torque @ 4,241-RPM
  • BEST 1/4-MILE E/T: 13.831 @ 96 Miles Per Hour

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Shawn Henry is a Texas native who has spent the majority of his career building and selling F-Bodies and Corvettes. Now studying journalism, he is taking a new direction with his love of GM Performance vehicles.

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