Classics Man won this ultra-rare 1968 Hurst/Olds by a draw from a hat

21:30  15 august  2017
21:30  15 august  2017 Source:   HOT ROD

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They drew his name out of a hat ." Sarpolis looked up and verified the Hurst / Olds in the 1968 Hurst / Olds Demmer Assembly Control List, which includes the VIN for every 1968 Hurst / Olds .

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Karl Sarpolis didn't find this 1968 Hurst/Olds. The car found him. That's one benefit of having your own registry.

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"They made 515 production cars," Sarpolis tells us. "There is 198 or 199 of them still in existence, either partially or completely restored, barn finds and wrecked."

A retired machinist, Sarpolis lives and breathes Hurst/Oldsmobiles. In addition to his registry, Sarpolis is the 1968 advisor for the Hurst/Oldsmobile Club of America. So it's not that surprising that Sarpolis got an email about a 1968 Hurst/Olds. This one, though, was from a Corey Keil, who had inherited this muscle car from his grandfather, Vance Brady, the late Oldsmobile muscle car engine builder of great renown.

"He wanted to know more about the Hurst/Olds, and he was interested in possibly selling it. He got the car in a family lottery [in about 2000] after his grandfather died. They drew his name out of a hat."

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Sarpolis looked up and verified the Hurst/Olds in the 1968 Hurst/Olds Demmer Assembly Control List, which includes the VIN for every 1968 Hurst/Olds.

How an employee at Demmer (the company that built the Hurst/Oldsmobiles) found this list in an old desk among papers that were to be thrown away is a Rare Finds story itself. This Demmer employee had the foresight to contact Judy Badgly, then the director of the Hurst/Oldsmobile Club of America.

"She mailed me a copy," says Sarpolis. "So there are two copies in existence. We don't publish them because we don't want people to make up fraudulent cars from 4-4-2s."

Keil thought his grandfather's car was formerly the Hurst/Olds that towed the illustrious Chesrown Hurst Oldsmobile (that Steve Hunkins is currently restoring and was featured years ago in Rare Finds) in the famous factory photo. Could it be?


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Man won this ultra - rare 1968 Hurst / Olds by a draw from a hat . Karl Sarpolis didn’t find this 1968 Hurst / Olds . The car found him.

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"I knew the car was out there somewhere," Sarpolis says.

However, he also knows it's an urban myth among Oldsmobile muscle car enthusiasts that the Hurst/Olds tow car was owned by the legendary Vance Brady.

"The tow car was owned by a fellow named Ben Price, a salesman at Chesrown Oldsmobile. His name appears on the Chesrown car with Ron Garey, driver of the first Olds that they had."

But the very fact the Hurst/Olds was once owned by Vance Brady was reason enough to get Sarpolis excited. Sarpolis wasted no time in driving the 250 miles from his home in Homer Glen, Illinois, to a rural address outside of Ypsilanti, Michigan, where the historic Oldsmobile was out of sight in a pole barn.

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Inside, Sarpolis walked across a dirt floor past "an old-time farm tractor, an old Plymouth, and an old Dodge" to find the Hurst/Olds "uncovered, primer all over the body, steering wheel hub missing, console missing, front bumper missing, a bunch of parts in the trunk."

By now, Sarpolis had memorized the VIN, which he matched to the VIN stamped into the plate on top of the driver's side of the dash. His second check was the trim tag, where he found paint code Z-Z for Peruvian Silver for the upper and lower body, and 940 for black bucket-seat interior.

Under the hood he found a 1976 engine block, not even close to an original 455 H.O., but not a surprise. Strangely enough, it was what made this car most interesting and desirable for Sarpolis. The 455 under the hood, he is sure (through contacts such as Dave Heilala, who worked at Oldsmobile and knew Brady well) was the last engine Vance Brady was building before he died.

"He was a genius with heads, did his own designs and machining," wrote Heilala. "Being an engineer, he understood flow and developed combustion chamber designs, cam designs, and head designs on his own and proved them on his own cars. Big names like John Force, Arnie Beswick, and Grumpy Jenkins had Brady prep their heads while in town for big meets,"

One of the main reasons Sarpolis bought this Hurst/Olds was his fascination with Brady's legendary status. Sarpolis worked out a deal to buy the Hurst/Olds from Keil and is taking the build slowly. He will restore the car to stock except for the drivetrain, which he will preserve as Brady's last engine build. It's a wild one featuring a 455 topped with small-block heads and a 1970 aluminum intake. It's built for low torque and high rpm in the spirit of a race car. Behind the 455, instead of the stock 400 THM, Brady custom-built a 700R modified to fit an Oldsmobile bellhousing.

Sarpolis says he "can't wait" to pull the cylinder heads to investigate exactly what Brady magic he can find inside. When finished, this 1968 Hurst/Olds will look original, but will hold a special place in Oldsmobile history to showcase the "spirit" of Vance Brady.

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Readers’ Rides: Father-son 1968 Barracuda and 2010 Challenger R/T .
Like father like son. The history goes back to 1968 when Daryl Sieker bought his Plymouth Barracuda fastback new off the showroom in Oregon City, Oregon (for a cool $2,995). It has been a part of the family to this day. Yes, one owner. Originally a 318 car, it has more than 300,000 miles on it and has been driven all over the country, through national parks, the mountains and campgrounds of Oregon, and out and back to his home state of Kansas.© Jason DeymonazIt became his 16-year-old son's car (Dad of the Year Award!) in the 1990s and now has moved more to the Mopar show circuit and pleasure driver.

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