1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds – Revell

83olds_2The Hurst nameplate is one of those you immediately associate with muscle cars, without a doubt. A lesser known fact is that George Hurst’s company invented the jaws of life system in 1961 and gave away the patent for free, but a better known fact is that if your muscle car in the mid to late sixties or early seventies had a steering column shifter or just a plain and rough floor shifter, you were doing it wrong. The Hurst shifter was nothing short of legendary throughout that decade, you needed one to stay with the pack and you know what, that’s fine. And it quickly became a realization within the Pontiac division of GM that slapping the Hurst brand on your car might actually help improve sales!

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By the turn of the 1970s, Hurst Engineering had their name and their iconic logos or gold-white paint and/or stripe set up on well over a dozen types of cars, the ’69 AMC SC/Rambler, ’72 Pontiac SSJ Grand Prix, ’70 Hurst Jeepster and of course the ’68 through the early eighties; Hurst/Olds. AMT Ertl made a kit of the ’69 Hurst/Olds back in the nineties, based on a even older W-30 Cutlass 442 kit and I’ll say, they weren’t half bad. Not superb, but pretty damn good in their own right. Revell still has a 1972 Hurst/Olds pace car kit on the market today, which is nothing short of amazing, I personally made it into a 442 but I wish I had made it the pace car, still. Jo-Han is the only model kit maker to have bridged the gap between 1973 and 1983 by issuing a simple snap kit of the ’75 Cutlass Supreme and a few promo models of that one and a ’73 Cutlass, but nothing truly spectacular. In somewhat sadder news, or well, it was news once, there were plans to revive some Jo-Han kits including the ’75 Cutlass back in 2011 but legal hurdles quickly killed those plans off.

1984oldshurstolds (4)So we’re left with 1969, 1972 and 1983 for the time being. And Revell is a month away from unleashing the ’85 Oldsmobile 442 with a second option in there to turn it into a FE3-X “Darth Vader” show car, they haven’t yet blessed us with a 1984 Cutlass kit. Which is… understandable, it’s just a swapped paint job and decal scheme of the ’83 version and some minor differences in the grille, rear axle and tail lights and I doubt its worth the effort of boxing one for that. I built the ’83 version last year and a ’84 LSX-442 version earlier this year, with a LSX-454 engine designed by Clearly Scale in there to boot and I have to admit, it’s easily one of my favorite model kits. Not necessarily cause it builds like the best, cause believe me, it’s still a 7 outta 10 at best, especially with how the wheels are attached and how you’re meant to manhandle the chassis into the body but.. Still, I love 1980s cars and the last dying wail of one farted into the annals of history in 1984 as the very last proper stripe-ridden specialty version on the market. And no, not counting the ’87-’88 Monte Carlo SS, dammit. Well, I should, but nah.

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You see, the thing of muscle cars is always the sheer un-subtleness of it, and yeah that isn’t a word but bear with me here. Take for instance the 1969 AMC Rebel Machine, also known simply as “The Machine”. It literally had AMC’s colors all over the cars and seriously made some striped vehicles like namely a ’69 Mustang look subtle besides it. Muscle cars are cheap, powerful, uncomfortable powerhouses that do the supercar appeal of “look at me” but got the anger and growl of a rabid dog and the 1984 Hurst/Olds is literally one of the last to have that with the two toned paint job, the bright red stripes, the aggressive stance and red-lined wheels. Underneath, it’s literally the same car, as I said earlier. It has the same LG8 307ci V8(5.0L) under the hood, which given the 1980s standards for power output versus size, actually had a very reasonable amount of horsepower going through it(around the 180HP, to compare it to a similarly equipped car; the ’84 Z/28 with a 305ci V8 block achieved 150) and the interior luxury was… well, Oldsmobile-ey. It had kept a lot of interior options of the Cutlass Supreme that got crossed over that were translated into kit form veeeery nicely and besides the fact that my dumbass once again used a gloss paint for the color; the detail is crisp as sin.

1984oldshurstolds (10)I mean, for the most part I’m gonna be regurgitating information that you could read over in either the ’83 Hurst/Olds article of the ’84 LSX-442(minus engine details, given it’s got a Clearly Scale engine swap in there), but for the sake of it I’ll just go over it one more time. The interior detail as I just mentioned is really, really good. I mean, it could use some slightly more raised details but 99% of it is there and perfectly fine to work with, vents, dials, all of it. The engine bay is really, really pretty but it does have some downsides; the A/C unit is molded into fender and so is the battery and… it can look really, really strange when you look down besides the engine and see that the A/C unit goes all the way to the frame, kind of the same blocky “bleed” from old Monogram kits, it’s just not exactly pretty.

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The body has some significant mold lines along the rear windows and fitting the nose cone can be a right pain in the ass at times given plastic’s nature to very sometimes expand and/or warp, and even with a kit from a year old, the fenders can bend inwards in the package so sometimes the front end just won’t fit without some severe bending and warping with warm water, but y’know what, it’s something we deal with as modelers, ain’t it. The thing that makes this build stand out, or unique rather, is the decal sheet which I crafted up for it. I’d been pining to get all the Hurst/Olds and 442’s done from ’83 through ’87 and y’know, the ’84 Hurst/Olds is part of it. So when I began with the little decal sheet crafting adventure, number two on my list was the ’84 stripes. Which, I am gonna shamelessly plug right here, yeah, right here, it’s a link to eBay. I have some regrets which I am gonna change on the sheet, number one; the color is off. It’s too far away from bright red, it isn’t helped by the fact that it’s not entirely opaque(printing error by Rothko & Frost) and number two; the top fender/door stripe is too thick. Gotta change that up to perfect it, but as it is, it’s perfectly acceptable.

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I mean, if I’m gonna plug shit, whether it’s mine or someone elses, it’s only fair I’m honest. I did a better job on the air cleaner decals and the Syclone decals, undoubtedly and it’s not helped that the red stripes aren’t printed properly so… y’know, swings and roundabouts. I put some Fireball Modelworks Goodyear Eagle GTII tire decals on the wheels to wrap the whole thing up looking spiffy and that was about it, the rest it’s all the same Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds kit underneath. In the end, it’s part of a series and I’m totally happy its among ’em, it’s all a learning experience, right! Now just to await Revell’s unleashing of the FE3-X/442 Cutlass kit!

’84 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds specifications:
Kit: #85-4317
Skill Level: 4
Parts: 93
Molded in: White
Scale: 1/25

 

1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds – Revell

83olds_2The ’83 Hurst/Olds is a pretty unique car in it’s own right, the last of the Hurst branded cars and yeah while the ’84 H/O had its paint scheme flipped it was the same car underneath, the model still is the last of the era. And after years of speculation and years of Revell contacting owners to take measurements of the car for a model kit, it’s finally here.

The kit does do it justice, with some minor errors here and there in the mold and instructions, it’s an all around amazing kit.

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The exterior detail is fantastic, and credit to Oldsmobile for making a boxy car look downright good. The only problem I came across was the rocker panels on the front end not fitting as smoothly as they should, but everything else just fits like a glove and finding the separation line between black and silver was easy enough.

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I mean, despite all the greatness, some niggles like the headlamps having no chrome backings is kind of disappointing and on the front end, everything is one piece, bumper
83hurstolds (7)included, that needs to be slotted in between the fenders. Wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t two microscopic prongs that are meant to keep it where it is that snapped off at the slightest blink in its direction.

But that would be it really, it’s me just being a huge nitpicker. Otherwise it’s a pretty flawless construction, the instructions are a different story but I’ll get back to that soon.

Using some reference pictures from eBay of a for sale ’83 Hurst/Olds I painted the entire interior the color it should be(though whoops, I swore I bought satin red and black to mix, turns
out I got both in gloss so everything is hyper shiny
), chromed out the outer bits of the seats, the83hurstolds (4) doorhandles, and so on. Slapped some era appropriate Goodyear Eagle GTII decals on the
tires(courtesy of Joseph at Fireball Models)

Everything’s just solid looking. The detail on the dash, the Lightning Rod shifters from Hurst, the plaques, the detail is staggering. The instructions skip on all of the decals besides the dials for the interior, that’s a huge annoyance I found out way after I put the damn thing together, but oh well.

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Speaking of decals, some of them were a nightmare to apply. While you get a nice big sheet of Hurst/Olds stripes and I’m super glad they were segmented down to panel size, they still fell apart upon being touched, hell the Hurst/Olds logo for the rear torn to pieces in the water before even being handled and the little chunks glued themselves stuck to the body the moment they were applied even with solvent underneath.

But overall, I’m extremely happy with the kit. It looks fantastic, borderline amazing. It has a degree of quality(minus the errors) that AMT can’t even hope to top. Plus the kit allows for some options, for instance with the decal sheet you can still make a ’84 Hurst/Olds paintjob and with the extra molded pieces it would seem that Revell is out to make a factory stock Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and the FE3-X at some point in the future, so here’s hoping.

(Edit: August 4th, 2016 – Added some newer, higher quality pictures in better light. Seeing as this is my most popular article, thought it would be nice for y’all!)
(Edit: February 6th, 2017 – For those seeking the article on the ’84 Cutlass, click here)

’83 Hurst Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 specifications:
Kit: #85-4317
Skill Level: 4
Parts: 93
Molded in: White
Scale: 1/25