It’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years since many of the muscle cars we hold in high esteem today were brand new. While some of the factory built street and strip terrors we revere earned their stripes in the heat of battle back in the day and deserve to be celebrated, it seems as though every time we turn around, another car, some with less than stellar pedigree, is being catapulted into the spotlight.
One recent 50th anniversary that really is significant celebrates the legendary 1968 Hurst Olds 442. Regardless of your brand preference, it’s an accepted fact that the Hurst Olds was a benchmark muscle car born at the peak of what has often been called “the sizzlin’ Sixties.” It was the first ever Hurst limited edition vehicle which sparked the long running series of Hurst branded vehicles that continues to this very today. Over the years, the cars chosen for the Hurst program were not limited to just 442’s;the 1970 Chrysler 300H and 1969 SC Rambler Scrambler are excellent examples of the diversity of the program when it comes to makes and models. As might be expected, each is highly desirable and sought after by collectors today.
Above: 50th Anniversary Challenger in Peruvian Silver Metallic paint, classic muscle car stance, wide track and bold Demonic hood reinforce the authentic Hurst heritage.
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the vehicle that launched the Hurst legacy of “Gentleman’s Hot Rods” is a modern muscle car with the kind of performance that enthusiasts could have only dreamed about back in 1968. The Hurst Heritage By GSS 50th Anniversary Challenger is the new standard bearer, and carries a horsepower torch bright enough to light up an entire city. Every 50th Anniversary Challenger packs Hemi power starting with the R/T and R/T Scat Pack, while on the high end of the scale, choices include the pavement melting 797 horsepower Red Eye, the 707 Horsepower Hellcat and even the new 1320. And for those who want to do some corner carving when they’re not annihilating the competition at the drag strip, Wide Body Challengers are the perfect choice for the 50th Anniversary program.
The first of the new Hurst Heritage By GSS 50th Anniversary Challengers recently debuted at the SEMA SHOW in the Hurst exhibit. Based on a Hellcat Wide Body, the 50th Anniversary Challenger is loaded with a myriad of features, some of which were specifically chosen to celebrate the originals, while infusing them with the kind of authenticity that is rarely seen. In a salute to the originals, the 50th Anniversary Challengers are available in the same Peruvian Silver Metallic color that made them so distinctive 50 years ago.
Above: Hurst logo Katzkin custom leather interior features white pearl with Diamond Tek Stitch inserts, Carbon Shadow Wings and silver top stitching. This is a far cry from the basic black vinyl that characterized muscle car interiors in the 1960’s.
Everything about the new 50th Anniversary Challenger was to improve on the original. While the color is the same, the paint used is the latest multi-stage basecoat clearcoat has been color sanded numerous times during the application process. The result is a glass-like finish with everything including the Hurst fender logos, lettering and pin striping buried beneath the clear.
There are a myriad of details to take in as you walk around the Hurst Heritage By GSS 50th Anniversary Challenger. Some are obvious, such as the gloss black paint that covers the trunk lid and subtly wraps the rear glass, just like the original from 1968. Ditto the lack of a rear spoiler that provides a clean uninterrupted surface that visually stretches the back of the Challenger. Further echoing the theme of the original is the subtle white pin stripe that accents all of the black panels and contrast stripes. Less obvious, but equally as impactful is the Peruvian Silver custom painted tail panel accented with chrome Hurst letters that, along with the Hurst S/C emblem on the right corner of the trunk lid, reminds one and all that this is no ordinary Challenger.
Above: Mr. Norm’s Demonic Ram Air Hood, functional hood pins, and Speedway Front Splitter complement the ’68 Hurst Olds 442 inspired graphics.
Wheels, tires and suspension were key upgrades to any real muscle car in the 1960’s and still are today. The rolling stock on the 50th Anniversary Challengers offers a marked improvement in the handling and traction aspects, as well as visually. Regardless of the model, all 50th Anniversary Challengers get a wheel and a tire upgrade in size and compound over stock. The Hurst Stunner wheels provide the perfect complement to the classic lines of the Challenger, reinforcing the pedigree while underscoring the lineage to its storied ancestor.
In the case of 50th Anniversary Challengers equipped with Wide Body fender flares, the Hurst Stunner style wheels are CNC machined from billet forgings. In addition, these wheels have a noticeable near zero offset that capitalizes on the additional 3.5 inches of body width as a result of the fender flares. The result is a modern wheel with a deep offset reminiscent of the mag wheels from muscle car era. In fact, the rear wheels are a whopping 12-inches wide. Super sticky Pirelli PZero Corsa System Assimetrico tires were chosen to complement the ultra-wide wheels, with 345/30ZR20 at the rear and 305/35ZR20 at the front. Complementing the wide track, wide wheels and wide sticky rubber are a set of Hurst Stage 1 lowering springs that provide a lower center of gravity and enhanced spring rates, while giving the 50th Anniversary a slight rake that is reminiscent of the originals.
Above: Hurst Stunner style forged wheels with classic sixties style offset are the perfect complement to the Wide Body fender flares that recall the fender bulges of the original ’68 Hurst Olds 442.
Engine performance, even with a supercharged Hemi can always benefit by a free breathing intake and exhaust. The 50th Anniversary Hellcat breathes easy thanks to a Flowmaster Delta Force Cold Air Intake that gets its fresh air directly from the Mr. Norm’s Demonic Hood. And since Newton’s law of physics dictates that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, a Flowmaster Outlaw cat back dual exhaust system provides the perfect low restriction outlet for spent high octane gases, while dramatically enhancing the soundtrack of the supercharged Hemi.
No real Hurst Heritage By GSS muscle car could be complete without a genuine Hurst Shifter, and the 50th Anniversary Challenger is no exception. Prominently occupying its customary position in the console is a traditional Hurst chrome shift arm that provides the tactile connection to the Billet Plus shifter. Adding a touch of nostalgia is a Hurst Consistent T-Handle that makes shifting the 6-speed manual transmission a positively engaging experience, no pun intended. And just in case you forget, there’s an authentic Hurst Shifter Warning Label mounted on the console that reminds you to “shift as hard as you please, but don’t break your arm.” It’s almost taunting you to slam that beefy Hurst shifter from gear to gear as though you were Ronnie Sox or Dandy Dick Landy hustling the 707 horsepower supercharged Hemi Challenger down the track on the way to another victory.
Above: Supercharged Hemi is enhanced with Flowmaster Delta Force cold air intake.
The Hurst logo custom leather interior by Katzkin mirrors the same high quality standard set by the exterior. Made with the finest Tuscany leather, the white pearl facings incorporate classic Diamond Tek Stitch panels incorporated into the seats and door panels, while carbon shadow accents and silver top stitching echoes the Peruvian Silver Metallic exterior.
One look and you can see that like everything about the Hurst Heritage By GSS 50th Anniversary Challenger, the custom interior is a quantum leap from the original Hurst Olds simple black vinyl. Hurst logo plush carpet mats, bright door sill accents and a unique serial number dash plaque are just some of the additional upgrades that make the interior such a nice place to be when behind the wheel and looking out over the Demonic ram air hood.
Above: Left rear ¾ profile shot illustrates the classic subtly raked stance of the 50th Anniversary Challenger.
Today, the Hemi powered Challenger is the only modern muscle car in production with the kind of no-nonsense attitude and authenticity it takes to honor the original that Hurst created in 1968. Like the original Hurst Olds 442, the Hurst Heritage By GSS 50th Anniversary Challenger is reasonably affordable, it’s brutally fast, and quite frankly, there’s nothing like it on the road today. Only 50 serial numbered cars will be built, and one of them could be yours. The only question is, what are you waiting for?