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Restorations Projects

1968 Hurst/Olds


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March 25th, 2015 at 11:43.59 pm#1
83hurstguy
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Last fall, I worked out a deal to trade my ’83 H/O with a bunch of NOS parts for a ’68 H/O project car. The ‘68 was sitting in a barn near Shell Rock, Iowa, when Randy (Olds24) was able to purchase it. Randy got the title situation resolved, and we ended up working out a deal to swap cars and parts.


When I listed my '83 for sale, I wanted an older muscle car to race at the Pure Stock drags and also wanted to stay with the H/OCA, so this became a dream come true.  I never thought I'd have the opportunity to own one of these cars, so picking one up a few weeks after my 29th birthday seemed somewhat surreal.

The ’68 is Demmer number 327 in the registry. 


The neat part is that (per the registry) the original dealer is listed as J.J. Wright in Hammond, Indiana.  J.J. Wright had a headquarters in Lansing, IL (right over the state line) that was the local Oldsmobile dealer for our family.  Unfortunately, the car came with zero paperwork or owner history prior to 2011, so tracing its history is a bit challenging (more on that later).


The car is a non-A/C holiday coupe, it came with a service replacement 455 (apart), the original VIN-matched OW trans, and original 3.91 T3 rear.  As it sits now, it appears to have been delivered with the wood steering wheel, gauges, power steering, door edge guards, SSII wheels and remote drivers mirror (as opposed to the few rare cars that came with plain steering wheel, manual steering and hubcaps).  The original air cleaner was in the trunk, though the ‘8255 carb was gone.


The car is pretty solid overall, but is a complete project.  The original decklid had the edge rotted out, original hood was gone (Randy installed the southern replacements that are saffron), the passenger floor has some rust likely due to heater core leaks, and the driver’s side rear quarter is loaded with bondo from an accident of some sort (and an NOS quarter came with).  At some point the car must have been in a front end accident, because it has NOS ’68/69 dual pattern front fenders installed (which appear to be completely solid, and the frame is straight).  Therefore, the car is not original paint but a cheap respray…  some original paint is poking through from the firewall back.  The doors close incredibly well.


I’ve been fortunate to know and meet a lot of people have been incredibly helpful with information on these earlier A-bodies and also supplying or helping me source parts.  I figured it was about time I get a build thread going on it.


Here are a few pictures of the car as it was found by Randy in 2011.Image title


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Last editted on January 16th, 2016 at 6:31 pm


March 25th, 2015 at 11:51.01 pm#2
83hurstguy
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Here are a few pictures from the day we brought it home... odometer shows 60,668 miles.  We had already pulled the seats to clean and sort stuff before putting it into the garage.  The original walnut dash trim is sitting on top the dash just out of sight.


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Last editted on March 25th, 2015 at 11:55 pm


March 26th, 2015 at 12:22.44 am#3
83hurstguy
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EDIT: I've changed this post as I've been able to trace more history. This post will be long and likely boring to some, but I figured I’d post what I’ve been able to discover on the history of the car. 

The Demmer List shows that the car originally went to J.J. Wright Olds in Hammond, Indiana.  It may have been transferred out to Friedley Oldsmobile in Cedar Falls, IA, but I haven't luck confirming that.  The badge on the decklid below is obviously from Friedley.

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Jumping forward, we know the car has a July 27, 1973 Iowa inspection sticker on the windshield (picture below). A gentleman named Philip Houston bought the car from Friedley Olds in that time period as used. Philip passed away 5-6 years ago, but his friend Rod Green was with him from the time Philip purchased it, and knew almost everything about it. Philip and Rod put 4.66 gears in it, and raced the car on the street, but never at the track. Rod stored the car for Philip for a long period of time, likely from the late 80's when it was parked.

Utilizing the newspaper.com archives, I found a handful of advertisements in the Waterloo Courier that contained the word “Hurst”. It appears that Friedley Olds sold 2 or 3 used ’68 H/O’s in the early ‘70s, and I didn’t see any search results for a new ’68 H/O in their inventory. A private party had a ’68 H/O for sale in the Waterloo newspaper around July 18, 1973. The windshield on my car has an Iowa inspection sticker punched for July 21, 1973. Soon after, a newspaper clipping from July 27, 1973 shows a used ’68 H/O for sale in Friedley’s daily advertisement. No mention of A/C is in any of those ads (though it says full power – and this car has power steering/brakes)… I suspect that may be this car, though I obviously have no proof. At least one of the other ads I found indicated the H/O for sale had A/C, which ruled this one out.

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Herald Friedley, the owner of the Olds dealership, is still alive and well. I spoke with him on the phone back in January. He remembers selling H/O models, but could not recall if he had any ‘68s new or if they were used. Naturally, although a long shot, I asked about sales records and received the expected response that most of them were gone.


There is a sticker on the rearview mirror with the number ‘1984’ (picture attached) that I cannot identify. If anybody has any insight what it means, I would appreciate any feedback.


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Last editted on November 30th, 2017 at 9:11 pm


March 26th, 2015 at 9:24.40 am#4
Joffroi
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That's a really great story and some awesome detective work.  The $1,600 OBO asking price for potentially your car and the bullet hole really add to it.  I've never seen a H/O with that side model either.


I know its not the same, but if you think it would help to check out my 68 442 for reference on similar parts, let me know and I'll drive it over.




March 26th, 2015 at 9:36.12 am#5
dnmfranco
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Luke great stuff , love the history




March 31st, 2015 at 6:44.12 am#6
rocketscience
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That looks like an awesome project. Good luck.


April 1st, 2015 at 8:12.24 pm#7
allyolds68
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Drive it the way it is, especially the bullet hole




April 2nd, 2015 at 10:02.20 pm#8
2peelsrubber
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That story is almost cooler then the car. I agree with just it a safe drive then enjoying look for a while.


April 2nd, 2015 at 10:03.38 pm#9
2peelsrubber
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2peelsrubber wrote: That story is almost cooler then the car. I agree with just it a safe drive then enjoying look for a while.

Just getting*


April 4th, 2015 at 9:31.12 pm#10
83hurstguy
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I've been working way too much to make much progress on the car, but I have got some parts in, figured I'd post experiences and part reviews in here.

My OAI hoses and scoops are missing. There are really only three options out there: OEM (used or NOS), the Parts Place repros, or the Siedlik repros. OEM ones are fragile and pricey, so while I wouldn't mind having a set, I wouldn't enjoy driving the car around with them on it. The Parts Place set were repro'd from scoops from Karl Sarpolis, and are supposed to be pretty close to original. I called Siedlik no less than 5 times and traded 4 emails over the course of three months, but he never was able to answer if he even had any parts to sell.


As a result, I pretty much had one option... TPP. Karl Sarpolis provides the stainless edge trim to Fusick to sell with the scoops, so I bought scoops, edge trim, brackets and hoses from Fusick two weeks ago, finally got around to opening them today.


Attached are pictures of the hoses and scoops. Not sure if the hoses look right or not, or how the scoops compare to original.

I'm fairly disappointed in the condition of the scoops as they arrived. They were fairly beat up and scratched (see pictures below). More pictures coming in the next post...Image title

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April 4th, 2015 at 9:33.07 pm#11
83hurstguy
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Here are some more pics of the repro OAI scoops. The stainless trim is nice, but one of the parting lines needed to be trimmed for the stainless to fit, and the scoop is almost cracking on the parting line.


The final issue was that the right side scoop is extremely warped. I took three pictures to illustrate this.

I'm planning to contact Fusick and find out if they are all this way. Fairly disappointing for the price... the LH side was pretty straight (still scratched up decently), but RH side is way off.


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April 4th, 2015 at 9:35.11 pm#12
dnmfranco
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there is no excuse why you should have received them scratched up like that





April 4th, 2015 at 10:13.10 pm#13
83hurstguy
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I also bought the '68-only exhaust manifold heat shroud repro from Fusick...


The vacuum looking piece is a really nice repro. In the pictures below, the OEM piece is on the left, repro on the right. The heat riser tube matches shape and size closely, the bending is a bit more "lumpy" than OEM, but again, its pretty nice, especially if you are missing it. In the picture below, the OEM tube is unpainted, the repro is black. The actual stamped shroud pieces are shaped pretty well (fit over the manifold, need some slight tweaking), but the plating on them is pretty crappy. See the spots in the pictures below... not impressed by that for the price ($300). I'm planning to contact Fusick about this as well to see what they say. It's a bit nitpicky, but these aren't $60 parts either.


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April 5th, 2015 at 1:16.08 pm#14
Joffroi
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Geez, I didn't realize how expensive some of those smaller pieces are. I would be pretty pissed off spending a couple of hundred on scratched hood scoops too.




April 6th, 2015 at 5:04.17 pm#15
83hurstguy
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Here's a restored part I just got back. I sent a correct 400269 water pump to Flowkooler for their rebuild process with "upgraded impeller". The water pump I had was fairly rough shape, so I figured replacing the impeller wasn't a bad thing. They claim they generate more flow and higher pressure (unquantified).


I have pictures below of what I sent out and what I received back. I'm impressed with the results, considering the condition of the part I sent. Comparing impellers, their impeller is smaller diameter, but has more vanes with several of them extending all the way to the center bore of the impeller hub. Hard to say whether it will flow more or not. Turnaround was approximately 4 weeks. The only surprise was that I was quoted "around $189," and when I got the final bill, it totaled $213. Somewhat pricey... and I'm trying to figure out a way to determine if it was worth it.


Feel free to tell me I'm nuts... I figured someone had to be the guinea pig to see what the high flow impeller looks like, so here are the pictures...Image title

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Last editted on April 6th, 2015 at 5:05 pm


April 6th, 2015 at 5:52.56 pm#16
Joffroi
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Looks nice! I know you posted great detail on cost of parts for your 83 when you were selling it.  Are you keeping track on excel or something of how much all this is costing? I'm not asking to share details but it sure would interesting to see what a "real restoration" cost when its all said and done.  You're doing great work on a great car.




April 6th, 2015 at 6:11.38 pm#17
83hurstguy
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Yeah, I've got a rough Excel sheet going.  I'm not afraid of posting numbers for "real costs"... doing this car "right" will probably cost more than it's worth.  It won't be cheap, but it should be fun.  Small stuff adds up to a big dollar value quickly.




April 6th, 2015 at 10:16.46 pm#18
dnmfranco
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83hurstguy wrote:

Here's a restored part I just got back. I sent a correct 400269 water pump to Flowkooler for their rebuild process with "upgraded impeller". The water pump I had was fairly rough shape, so I figured replacing the impeller wasn't a bad thing. They claim they generate more flow and higher pressure (unquantified).


I have pictures below of what I sent out and what I received back. I'm impressed with the results, considering the condition of the part I sent. Comparing impellers, their impeller is smaller diameter, but has more vanes with several of them extending all the way to the center bore of the impeller hub. Hard to say whether it will flow more or not. Turnaround was approximately 4 weeks. The only surprise was that I was quoted "around $189," and when I got the final bill, it totaled $213. Somewhat pricey... and I'm trying to figure out a way to determine if it was worth it.


Feel free to tell me I'm nuts... I figured someone had to be the guinea pig to see what the high flow impeller looks like, so here are the pictures...Image title

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Luke was that pump off motor that you received w car ? I ask because never seen a 400269 on a 68 but rather the 387398's. Would be interesting to know.





April 6th, 2015 at 10:42.51 pm#19
83hurstguy
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I'm 95 miles away from any resources I have...  I thought the 400269 is for HD cooling applications.  It was on the replacement engine too, not that it is a sure thing.   I can't remember what other resource had showed it...




April 6th, 2015 at 10:56.06 pm#20
dnmfranco
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it is def for that application, and could very well have been installed on 68's just never seen one. seen them on 69's. I don't think it matters I was just curious as to if it came w car. All sources will show this pump and other 398 for 68/69s




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