Project 442 Clone - Your 1967 Olds Cutlass / 442 Headquarters

Almost Two Much
Hurst's Hairy Oldsmobile -- a twin engine, four-wheel-drive exhibition 4-4-2 that's ready to spread fire and smoke on the nation's drag strips.

Reprinted from Hot Rod Magazine - May 1966
Photography: Bob D'Olivo

HotRodMay66_pg1of3_burnoutTH.jpg (10267 bytes)
Agent 442, "Gentleman Joe" Schubeck slips unobstrusively out of the gate at Bakersfield behind a smokescreen laid down by a thousand pounding horses.

After a show like the Hemi-Under-Glass, what do you do for an encore? If you're George Hurst, you sit in your Warminster, PA office, consider the problem and then defer to the inspiration of brain-truster Jack Watson, one of the Youth Market's hottest numbers, the Olds 4-4-2, and cram in , not one, but two, count 'em, two, blown/injected 432 cubic inch (remember the 425?) Olds -- one for the front and one for the back.

What expedient would you use for a drive train? Just the decade's mechanical breakthrough for the industry, that's all. The Toronado front wheel drive assembly. Stock? Almost. The right hand axle shafts were swapped for left handers because they are stronger, and then each torus was welded up in the torque converter which, by the way, is a variable pitch Hydra-Matic (3000 rpm, low angle; 4200 rpm, high angle).

Better believe it takes a heads-up team to keep this minor miracle on its scheduled missions. Like the Hurst Performance crew, who get into their subject.

With in the neighborhood of 4000 lbs. aggregate on the four 9.50 x 15 M&H's, you've got to start playing power politics, so the Olds engines were pumped up with M/T rods and same family pistons set .228-inch down in the hole. The crank was Tufftrided, the mains grooved and clearanced to .004-inch; rods a thousandth less. Even under the pressure of a GMC 6-71 the engines didn't lose their heads, but the rockers were swapped for M/T mags restrained by 7/16-inch, high performance 289 Ford studs. Further along in the train, Isky worked up a set of special .190-inch longer-than-normal pushrods to use with the novel stud/rocker situation. And while he was at it, old Ed popped for the cams, retainers, springs (180 pounds closed, 320 open) and the keepers.

Bodywise, it's such a lovely chore for a light-hearted person to closely scrutinize the aluminum floor pan, fender wells, deck lid, seat and yea, even the bumpers. Better yet, dig in detail the integral frame/roll-cage assembly and reflect on the fact that it acts as a raditor for the 33 quarts of water coursing through its channels. Oh boy, too much! And it's none too good for its driver, the man himself, "Gentleman Joe" Schubeck, whose fuel dragster action is on the record as formidable.

What a car. What a combination...And now for your pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, and edification...the Hurst Hairy Olds. Music maestro.

(Click images below to enlarge)

Front engine

Rear engine

The "four on the floor" experts have done it it's a four-wheel-drive 4-4-2 by the Hurst Performance Research Center. The basic package: A '66 Olds Cutlass and two Toronado engine/drive train assemblies, all in a tube frame which doubles as the cooling system. The new 425-inch Toronado engines are healthy; special equipment includes Isky cams, Schiefer mags, and other goodies, and both deliver to special Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions. After engines and drive trains were in place, the body was installed, following extensive modification. The Cutlass shell was cut of weight, using aluminum sections; in effect, all internal metal pieces were replaced with aluminum. "Gentleman Joe" Schubeck takes the "hairy" rides, wearing the latest in fire suit fashion. (Watch for him!) Joe is faced with a maze of gauges; two of each: tach, temp and oil pressure. And, there are two shifters for Joe to control. Oh, yeah! Hurst shifters. The "Gentleman" rides in style -- the car is done in black and gold -- on special wheels and M&H Racemaster slicks. After a "Hairy Oldsmobile" ride, Kelsey Hayes discs and dual Simpson chutes to to work to "put out the smoky fire".

"Gentleman Joe's" cockpit

Phantom shots show some of the engineering necessary for this project.

Webmaster's Note: The handwriting you see on the first page of this article (immediately above) make this particular copy of Hot Rod a definite collector's item. Here's the scoop:
There were several special guests at the 2000 Quad States Show in Cedar Rapids, IA on September 22nd and 23rd. They include not only the ongoing Hurst Hairy Olds restoration (about 50% complete) currently in the very able hands of Dennis Mothershed of Des Moines, IA...but the original driver "Gentleman Joe" Schubeck, chief mechanic Dale "Mr. Olds" Smith and Crewchief Bob "Animal" Lathrum. All three were gracious enough to personally autograph my copy of this Hot Rod. (Click here for a closeup.)

For more pictures taken at the 2000 Quad States Oldsmobile Show, including pics of the three
above-mentioned crewmembers taken with the ongoing Hairy resurrection, click here!

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This page last modified on February 15, 2003.