Rare Rides: An Intriguing Oldsmobile 442 Shows Us Hurst at Its Worst

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Last week, we kicked off this Rare Rides series with a shockingly wedge-y Ghia Probe, but that feels a little international, a bit foreign.

Let’s see a familiar brand from the good old USA that’s never pretended to be international. It wears an Oldsmobile badge and stripes tinted with that familiar shade of Hurst gold.

Behold, the 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue 442.

I went over to Hemmings again to find this one-off beast.

Undoubtedly, when one reads or hears “Hurst 442,” this rather common W-Body is not what comes to mind. But now it will, and aren’t you happy for the association? You can thank me in the comments!

According to the ad copy, General Motors used this 442 at places like SEMA to show off its custom car prowess. The aggressive, custom body panels are set off by special wheels and dual exhausts.

The most recent vehicle before this Intrigue to actually wear a 442 badge was the Cutlass Calais 442 in 1991. And with a shocking production figure of 1,364 that year, they’ll always be considerably more common than this one-off.

The elegant and understated interior uses two colors of dead cows, and they’re both rare. I can’t recall the last time I saw an Albino or Premium Beige cow.

The engine powering this 442 is probably not something you’d expect unless you often think about General Motors in the late ’90s era. What was the best engine they had available at the time?

The revered and oft-reliable 4.6-liter Northstar V8, of course. According to the seller, this one has been reworked for 442 implementation, but there are no details beyond that. I’m just glad The General didn’t see fit to equip this very special car with the plebeian supercharged 3800 Series II.

The bill of sale is yours for just under $40,000.

[Images: Midwest Car Exchange via Hemmings]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Paragon Paragon on Feb 15, 2017

    You know, I am old enough to remember the original Hurst Olds. Admittedly, this is really nothing like it. However, I actually do kinda like what they were trying to do here. It's a nod to their heritage. So, I'll come out and say I'm diggin' it. Seriously. As I've long been into rare and one-of-one cars. Am very much loving that interior. And take note that I've posted my comment without reading any of the others above. So, I suppose quite a number of people will suggest it shouldn't be a 442 since it has 4 doors instead of the 2 on the original Hurst Olds models. And that is a valid point. Will say I started high school in the fall of 1970, and graduated in 1973. Am pretty sure for one or two of those years, some kid I didn't know was driving a real Hurst Olds. Those things had to be rather pricey in their day, and I was content with a 9 year old car as my first car.

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Feb 19, 2017

      In addition to the miles on the odo, eagle-eyed readers will also note that the stereo is NOT one of Delco's finest! Methinks this is a fake! Somehow, I would think that GM would have kept this all-original, without a BestBuy special hiding in plain sight! No Hurst Lightning Bolt shifter in there, fercryinoutloud! Surely a NOS leftover from a Cutlass could have been shoehorned into a custom console!

  • Paragon Paragon on Feb 15, 2017

    Oh, and about the Olds Intrigue, I always kinda liked them. About 10 years ago I had a co-worker who owned one and claimed it was a pretty good car. But his wife was the one who usually drove it.

  • Bd2 If they let me and the boyz roll around naked in their dealership I'll buy a Chinese car.
  • THX1136 I would not 'knowingly' purchase a Chinese built or brand. I am somewhat skeptical of actual build quality. What I've seen in other Chinese made products show them to be of low quality/poor longevity. They are quite good at 'copying' a design/product, but often they appear to take shortcuts by using less reliable materials and/or parts. And , yes, I know that is not exclusive to Chinese products. When I was younger 'made in Japan' was synonymous with poor quality (check John Entwistle's tune 'Made in Japan' out for a smile). This is not true today as much of Japan's output is considered very favorably and, in some product types, to be of superior quality. I tend to equate the same notion today for things 'made in China'.
  • Mike Beranek No, but I'm for a world where everyone, everywhere buys cars (and everything else) that are sourced and assembled regionally. Shipping big heavy things all over the planet is not a solution.
  • Jeffrey No not for me at this time
  • El scotto Hmm, my VPN and security options have 12-month subscriptions. Car dealers are not accountable to anyone except the owner. Of course, the dealer principles are running around going "state of the art security!", "We need dedicated IT people!" For the next 12 months. The hackers can wait.