Photos & text courtesy of Mecum Auctions
After two years out of the lineup, the Hurst/Olds reappeared in 1972 to pace the Indianapolis 500, the first time the pace car was sponsored by a company other than an automobile manufacturer, and the first time for an aftermarket manufacturer. Again, the Hurst/Olds Pace Car was the product of George Hurst’s promotional daring, stepping in when the Big Three hesitated at fielding a pace car for the 1972 race because of the previous year’s pace car accident.
More than a cosmetic package, the Hurst/Olds received a kick in the performance department by virtue of a Hurst-installed aluminum intake manifold and special high lift camshaft. The 1972 edition of the Hurst/Olds saw very limited production, totaling just 629 units. A thorough restoration has been completed on this 1972 Oldsmobile Hurst Indianapolis 500 Pace Car Edition, one of just 220 produced with an electric sunroof. Having called both California and Florida home, the car features a rust-free body and frame. It employs the optional W25 Ram Air system – complete with OAI twin scooped fiberglass hood with hold-down pins – to complement its rebuilt Hurst-modified 455/270 HP V8. The drivetrain is completed with a Hurst Dual-Gate shifted automatic transmission (also rebuilt) and 3.23 10-bolt Positraction rear end located by the original boxed control arms. Additionally equipped with power steering and power disc brakes, factory 8-track tape player and air conditioning, Rallye suspension and Rallye III wheels, the car also sports a vinyl landau roof, twin Sport mirrors and new Pace Car stripes, accents and emblems.