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1984 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds - A Collective Soul

The Frankenstein-Ing Of Two Of The General's 1980s Hot Rods Has Created A One-Off Delicacy

Mike Ficacci Jan 1, 2009
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Peanut butter and chocolate, spaghetti and meatballs, peas and carrots; some things just make sense simmering together in the melting pot. Such is the case with Paul Khare's 1984 Hurst/Olds powered by the legendary 231 cubic-inch turbo motor indigenous to the '86-87 Buick Grand National. Straying from the typical 305ci, 700-R4 trans norms of General Motors in the mid-'80s, this unlikely pair is a homemade concoction the masses won't soon forget.

As they were both G-body cars, many of the obstacles endured in creating a one-off were bypassed, especially with a change in powerplant. Paul purchased the 1984 Hurst/Olds in April of '08 from Otto Pernek, and Paul started spinning heads both on the street and strip. "I thoroughly enjoy opening the hood for people and watching their faces as they become utterly confused. That's one of the reasons I bought the car, but it's quickly becoming my favorite reason," Paul told us. Owning and racing four turbo Buicks over the years, he did not want to stray from the motor combination but thought it was time for a new shell, so when Otto's '84 Hurst/Olds 3.8 SFI Turbo came up for sale, Paul knew he had to have it. Otto bought the car in Dec '07 after selling his low 9-second Grand National. After realizing going slower was not gonna work for him, he put the car up for sale to build a new TSO (Turbo Street Outlaw) car.

The low-mileage short-block and wiring-out of a wrecked '87 GN-was retained and reused. After Otto pulled the pan and performed a leakdown test, He decided the bottom end need not be rebuilt and dropped it into the engine bay. He installed a Comp Cams hydraulic roller camshaft measuring .504 lift on both the intake and exhaust, with a duration of 212/212 at .050. Also, to complete the new valvetrain, He installed Comp Cams roller lifters and pushrods, as well as T&D 1.55 roller rockers.

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Russ Merritt of Merritt Performance modified the stock cylinder heads for better airflow, as well as installed larger, aftermarket valves and beehive valvesprings. Atop the heads sits a modified stock intake manifold (Also done By Russ Merritt) and the stock throttle body was retained. Many factory horsepower restrictions existed in the 3.8 Turbo motors: intake, throttle body, plenum, manifold, and even cylinder head runners. Porting and polishing of these parts has become a black art with only a handful of performance shops able to command maximum power from the minute six-banger. Speaking of max power, a Precision 6776 H cover ball-bearing turbocharger fed thru an RJC 4-inch intake pipe forces the charged air through a Precision stock-location intercooler, which pushes the output of this monster to well over 500 rear-wheel horsepower. The stock exhaust manifolds were retained, and a 3.5-inch DLS downpipe and full 3-inch dual Torque Technologies exhaust was installed, along with Dynomax mufflers.

A Walbro 340 fuel pump flows go-go juice to Precision 72-pound injectors. The only way to roll, electronically speaking, with the turbo Buick is with a FAST system, so Otto put in a call to Cal Hartline of Hartline Performance and an XFI was in route. The XFI unit works wonders on the 231 and allows for the deletion of the legendarily awful stock mass air flow sensor. Being a tuner/builder, Otto custom tuned the Olds and did all the fabrication in house. This included modifying the stock Olds fuse block and wiring in all the factory H/O gauges to work with the V-6 Buick including the stock Olds tach.

Behind the flywheel sits a 9-inch, non-billet, 3,500-rpm stall Original Art Carr torque converter and billet 200-4R transmission, built by the late Eric Schertz from Dynotech Performance. Though he passed in 2008, Eric was the man if you needed a 200 to live-even into single digits. The 8.5-inch rear housing was retained and filled with Moser axles and an Eaton posi unit and Grand National spec 3.42 gears supplied by Cotton's Performance.

Paul wheels this car more than most daily commuters and runs factory 15x7 rims and 215/65/15s all the way around. The only blast down the dragstrip netted an astonishing 10.80 at over 127 mph, as Otto threw on a set of Mickey Thompson 275/60/15 drag radials to plant the power, drove the car to and from the track with the A/C on, and saw 28MPG with help from the amazing XFI box. But without the installation of a rollbar, Lebanon Valley Dragway politely asked him to leave before he was able to turn the boost past 22. He attributes Razor's Alky Control dual nozzle alcohol injection kit for much of his success on the track and blowing people away on the street using only 93-octane fuel. Their progressive injection system allows for a cooled, safe charge of air/fuel into the combustion chamber, eliminating knock and allowing for increased timing and ultimately, more horsepower. On the street the car has seen as much as 27 pounds, but it's a bit unsafe when the tires break free over 65 miles an hour!

Since purchasing the car Paul has upgraded to an Accufab 70mm throttle body and a Precision upper plenum with an RJC air distribution plate. At the end of the day, Otto Pernek and Paul Khare have created a monster unlike any other on the street. Melding the rare Buick V-6 Turbo powerplant with the even more rare (1 of 3500) 1984 Hurst/Olds, they created a blistering fast G-body full of unique goodies. If the 3.8-liter under the hood doesn't grab your attention, the Hurst 3-handle Lightning Rod shifter will surely make your head spin.



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