Ride Of The Week 01/17/2022: Lloyd Shawver's 1969 Hurst Olds
AN OLDS LEGACY
When I happened upon this 1969 Hurst Olds at the Madera VFD Car Show in August of 2021, the owner was somewhat mobbed by curious spectators. As I was admiring his car and show board display, I overheard him telling some of the backstory. Once I heard him talk about the firewall, stamps, I knew this car had to be a Car Show Life #RideOfTheWeek.
This particular Hurst Olds was the only one sold in State College, PA. However, it languished on the Rider Oldsmobile lot for some time. During that period, the dealership’s owner had a son who got married and used this car in the wedding. He also drove it to the Pittsburgh airport to their honeymoon, and about 9 months later, to the hospital to pick up his firstborn child.
Despite all of that family history, Mr. Rider wasn’t about to let his son just have the Cutlass. Finally a buyer, Bill Hendershot, purchased the car. Bill worked with Wayne Shawver. When Wayne saw the car, he told Bill, “If you ever sell it, come to me first. I wanna buy your car.”
Apparently, Bill didn’t get the hint that Wayne really wanted the car. He eventually traded it in at Rider Olds without consulting his co-worker. When Bill came to work the night-turn shift with Wayne and revealed that the car was no longer his, Wayne left work early that evening and camped out on the doorstep of Rider Oldsmobile until they opened. “I want that car,” he told the first employee to show up that morning. “We just got it in. It’s not even detailed yet,” they replied. But Wayne insisted and brought the Hurst Olds home to the delight of his seven year old son, Lloyd.
For four years, Wayne drove the Olds and Lloyd said, “When he’d floor it, you’d be pushed back in your seat and couldn’t move anything but your eyes!” The car was well loved and enjoyed until about 1975 or so, as the inspection sticker indicates. It then sat in storage for about 10 years, first in a barn and then in a building lined with plastic. That second resting place is where the damage was done. While the car looked okay from the outside, underneath was rust and corrosion. Lloyd says that it took two weeks of prying just to get the hood open.
Lloyd convinced his dad to sell him the car and he began a 10 year restoration. According to Lloyd’s Fiancé, he never did anything on a car before let alone a full-on restoration. Some things had to be done more than once, but the trial and error paid off.
There were a handful of items that need to be replaced, the Windshield, brake booster/master cylinder, exhaust, and tires. Any hardware that couldn’t be restored was replaced with period correct stamping. Even the headliner rods, which would never be seen, got period correct paint. Lloyd estimates he has over 100 hours of work in restoring the stainless trim alone.
Now for those firewall stamps that drew me in. Lloyd said he could make out a hint of color, one in green, the other in blue. Back in this period the firewalls of the Oldsmobile Cutlass, 442, and W-30 were stamped by Fisher Body with an inspection stamp. These numbers have nothing to do with build codes but were issued to a person who did the inspection. Since he couldn’t verify who might have stamped the car, he decided to do ‘W’ and ‘D-2’ for his father’s name, Wayne, and “Dad-2nd owner”.
And the cherry on top of this story is the sunglasses that hang on the rearview mirror. Those belong to Lloyd’s dad, and they hung there ever since he bought the car in 1971. There remained on the mirror during its decade long slumber and reside there again as a reminder that Wayne is always along for the ride!