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

 

1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 W-30 – AMT Ertl

69oldscutlass442w30 (1)I’m doing this more often and often it seems, building a kit I’ve built before to do it again only in a different manner, using the same parts and a fair amount of extras. All of that combined with the good teachings of having screwed up the first time and knowing what pitfalls to avoid this time through.

A good two years back I built the ’69 Hurst/Olds Cutlass 455 and I wrote a dingy review about it before I knew what the hell wanted to do with this website of mine. Anyhow, I bought the same exact kit just with some extras such as the Model Car Garage photo etch set(albeit for the ’72 Cutlass that I got two months after I built the damn thing, but it’s the 442, W30 and Cutlass logos that matter!) along with a dashboard set from Best Model Car Parts to bring out the dash a bit more.

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Now, way, way, waaay back in 1988 both MPC and AMT Ertl had the Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 kits out on the market, I believe there were more before but I honestly don’t recall, it was a pretty nice kit all around, spare American Racing Torq-Thrust II’s, different carb and air cleaner set up, nice things like that. Now in the early 90’s, they expanded on this with a ’69 Hurst/Olds with the appropriate 455 cubic inch engine. And boy did this kit see some re-releasing, it’s been re-released close to five times now just like the ’69 Mercury Cougar. Though unlike the Cougar, this kit is actually really good!

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Anyhow, the kit is still the same kit as it was in the eighties. It’s got the default re-release package of the 2010 plus years of AMT Ertl where they give the box a “retro” look, add pad printed tires that are actually super, super nice and on top of everything else, they expand the decal sheet by… two license plates or so. The whole ordeal is still the same too, building this model is a bit of a shamble; the front suspension(with nice turnable wheels, hurray!) is prone to coming loose and allows the car to sink, which happened to mine.

69oldscutlass442w30 (13)The other is that the weight of the entire chassis rests on the front and rear bumpers, which believe me, is a bad plan on their part as this allows for them to be torn off if you ever pick it up, sort of quickly. God bless epoxy! Also, once again, the Torqs don’t fit the tires. This is one of those issues that I keep having with AMT recently, they always sit slightly outside the tires and the backings keep falling out.

But back to the model in question, I decided upon an all black Cutlass 442 with the Torq wheels. There’s always something so sinister and vicious looking about an all black Oldsmobile. I did the same thing with the ’84 Cutlass and wished to do the same for the ’72 but settled on silver at the time.

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And the nice thing of this kit having originated as the model I wanted to build is that the entire thing is already a 442, just missing the decals(and now the engine, of course) and you take it from there. The things that make it the Hurst/Olds is the giant intake on the hood, the spoiler and the H/O shifter and gearbox. And they’re all separate parts! So reverting this kit to the regular 442 is easy-as-can-be.

69oldscutlass442w30 (11)It has its issues, but the whole kit is actually quite crisply molded. Like I said, it’s building it that is the annoying bit and getting the things to stay where they are is quite the handful of work but despite that, you get yourself a fantastic freakin’ car. Mine is a little stanced due to the crappy suspension and a little more beefed out cause the kit only packs the Rocket V8 455 H/O engine of course, but I’m glad I went and gotten the kit again to build the stock 442 at last.

The pair rocks together now.

’69 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 W30 specifications:
Kit: AMT6898
Skill Level: 2
Parts: 85
Molded in: White
Scale: 1/25

1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass LSX442 – Revell/Clearly Scale

84oldsboxLast year Revell released the ’83 Hurst/Olds Cutlass kit and boy it was pretty damn great. I mean, it had some quirks but it was a new tool that people had been awaiting for half a decade and it at the least delivered. Plus with how it was designed it’s not hard to imagine that Revell is gonna release some variations on it sooner or later.

Someone beat ’em to the punch though, a Canadian resin caster called Clearly Scale has been pumping out Oldsmobile parts for a good half a year now. Last year in December I figured I’d order some parts from him, in specific the LSX442 Big Block V8 engine, gurney wing and the open grille nose so I could slap in the ’84 grille inserts that I personally like the most. He was kind enough to give a chin spoiler along with it free of charge, which I’m gonna be using sooner or later. Also ordered a slightly longer hood for the car cause currently the engine’s too big for it and needs just a tad bit more clearance and luckily Clearly Scale’s got just the perfect one.

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20170104_103503But for the time being, this is gonna be it. It’s still the same Oldsmobile kit from before, though did learn a thing or two along the way. Getting the photo etched set for it makes a world of difference in bringing out the interior, as well as the exterior. The set’s got nearly all the segments of the dash in high detail as well as the logos, trim and knobs, along with the digital dash which is more common in the later Olds’. But other than that, it’s still very much the same ’83 Hurst/Olds with a ’84 grille and no H/O logos on the thing.

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That being said though, the kit is fantastic. I’ve written about it in detail in the ’83 Hurst/Olds Cutlass post from a good eight months back, and it’s still great and man I am still awaiting the day that Revell puts this mold to more use cause it’s cleverly designed to hold options open for the future; all the H/O parts for instance are on separate frames and the spoiler holes have to be opened from the inside of the body, so effectively the bog standard basic ’83 Cutlass is there.

84oldsmobilelsx442-7So, instead of the 307 ci V8 there’s now a 454 ci V8 with a Eaton supercharger and a cone air filter instead of the carburetor and the air cleaner. Along with that, the less intimidating rocker panel-less open grille with ’84 grille inserts and a gurney wing to make it look still like a car that’ll kick some serious ass but be subtle about it.

In the end, along with some floor mats from Plastic Dreams, this model looks beyond fantastic. I’m still planning on adding the air dam to the front so it looks more brutal, and still awaiting the delivery of the slightly longer hood(I will update the photos then), then this big bad beast will sit along the others as the largest and technically fastest of the bunch. Y’know, if it wasn’t a miniaturized plastic copy. Ah well.

’84 Oldsmobile Cutlass LSX442 specifications:
Kit: #85-4317
Skill Level: 4
Parts: 93
Clearly Scale Parts: 20
Molded in: White
Clearly Scale Mold Color: Resin Blue
Scale: 1/25

1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 W30 – Revell

72olds442As I said before, there are far too few Oldsmobile kits on the market. The rights are predominantly owned by Jo-Han that haven’t put out Oldsmobile kits in many, many years, but man when you think of when they were cast and made, they made some terrific model kits back then.

The whole range of Olds’ from ’66 through ’72 were all fantastic, albeit not flawless.

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Now cut back to today, where Revell has a few Oldsmobiles on the market like the ’72 Olds Cutlass Supreme, ’72 Cutlass 442 W30 Hurst/Olds and the ’83 Cutlass Hurst/Olds and of course a Club Coupe from 1950 but I’m personally more into the last-of-the-V8s era myself. AMT has a bit of a diverse range too with a few ’66 and ’67 Cutlass models, of course a few mid-50s Coupes and their rather great ’69 Cutlass 442 and Cutlass 72oldsmobile442-11Hurst/Olds. They’re still few and far between and man, they’re a right pain to find for an affordable price.

But anyway, I got my hands on the ’72 Cutlass
Hurst/Olds Official Pace Car kit with the extra bonus of the Linda Vaughn figure, who most Indy fans and gear heads know as “Miss Hurst Golden Shifter” or just the queen of stock car racing. I mean, her relationship with Hurst, the Indy 500 and stock car racing in general is pretty legendary so it’s a cool addition but man, that figure is… uncanny valley. It’s painted rather well, but it really strikes me as one of those mid 80’s action figures with the very smoothed down faces and rather puffy everything, like almost human but not all the way. But hey, can’t complain about a freebie and some folks would really love it I reckon so, anyway!

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The kit itself is a more indepth take on Revell’s previous Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible kit, it still has the giant wheel-backs from the 21 inch wheels that kit came 72oldsmobile442-13with, although this kit weirdly enough has all the pieces left-over from that kit besides the 21 inch wheels, which happen to be missing. Still has the rear spoiler, the choice of a manual Hurst gearbox or a 2 speed automatic with appropriate center consoles, different pedals with clutch and shifters to make the detail completely up to you.

There’s a ton of decals for this kit, a hell of a lot more than the Supreme kit for obvious reasons. The whole array of Hurst/Olds Pace Car decals are there, with every single one replicated perfectly. Along with those are all the appropriate 442 option decals, including the stripes that the ’72 was known for. Although, something I really wanted to have, were the black stripes rather than the white, it would’ve been amazing to have both. Really, really wanted to make it a silver Olds with the black stripes, but oh well! Furthermore there’s all the wooden print panels that are on the doors, dash and center console on the 72oldsmobile442-12decal sheets, that makes the interior look a lot better than anything I can do(which isn’t a lot more than just some brown paint).

Another nice choice maker is the option of grilles, there’s the standard large grid grille with the Oldsmobile logo on it that was on the ’72 Pace Car, or the small mesh 442 grille. Open functional hood scoops, or closed more tame hood? Top raised, top down? They’re all there, which adds so unbelievably much to variety.

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The engine choice is something else that’s given a choice, the engine is either the W29 72oldsmobile442-15400ci V8 with the smaller air-filter, or the W30 455ci V8 which is the one the descriptions
and the actual H/O got in ’em. Detail to the engine bay is absolutely terrific, it’s nice and cluttered and modeled correctly. The only thing that isn’t quite right is the A/C unit that awkwardly links up on both ends, but what the hell, still looks good! Wired up the whole engine, battery, everything for a change cause the model deserved it.

One regret I got is not buying the photo-etch detail set from the Model Car Garage cause the decals look… flat, they look less like emblems and more like stickers. That, and I messed up the 442 logo on the grille with the acrylic pen. At some point in the future I’m buying this kit again, along with the ’69 Hurst/Olds kit from AMT and another ’83 Hurst/Olds kit from Revell to build the ’69 and ’83 in stock 442 and the ’72 in it’s Hurst/Olds Pace Car glory.

All in all, definitely one of Revell’s top of the line kits, without a doubt.

’72 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 W30 specifications:
Kit: #85-4197
Skill Level: 5
Parts: 143
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

1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass Hurst/Olds 455 – AMT Ertl

oldshurst5In celebration of the Revell 1983 Hurst Olds Cutlass having released a few days ago, I figured I’d give the old ’69 H/O a go, a model I’ve made around a year ago.

This kit’s doing the Hurst Olds proud. Not only is it a beautiful representation of the Cutlass as done by Hurst, it’s also got all sorts of extras that make this kit and model stand out on top of the rest. AMT’s been doing these special-ish editions of certain models, they would come in a prettier package, remolded parts that are less brittle and riddled with flash and then some little bonuses. In this kit you’d get a miniature fold model of the box it came in along with a Hurst Shifters sticker to make displaying your model a little more special.

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The model quality is really high, even higher than most of AMT’s stuff. It’s got some extra separate custom goodies such as chrome exhaust headers, custom chrome valve covers
1969oldsmobilehurst-3and rallye rims. A really really nice thing that usually no model maker ever does is supply pre-printed brand tires, this one comes with a set of lovely looking Goodyear Polyglas GT tires. On top of that, all the parts that effectively make this a Hurst/Olds are optional, separate from the model. So if your heart desires, you could make this a beefy stock Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 instead. The difficulty is pretty high but thanks to it the model does some extra stuff that most don’t, like functional and turn-able wheels, deeper engine detail as well as a much more detailed interior.

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Now, the downsides to this kit are luckily just a few… There’s no designated spot for the hood intakes so it was mostly guesswork. Also I couldn’t for the life of me attach the mirrors, they’re meant to sit in a sliver on the body but it wasn’t molded onto it. Discovered that one to late and would’ve needed to scrape into the paint and glue the hell out of them to make ’em stay.

Another downside is that the instructions are rather… vague. They’re correct at least, don’t get me wrong here but having a picture of the entire rear suspension get up in a single panel with about 20 arrows all over the place that also have to be attached in a specific unmentioned order, kind of a pain in the ass.

’69 Hurst/Olds Cutlass 455 specifications:
Kit: AMT6898
Skill Level: 2
Parts: 85
Molded in: White
Scale: 1/25