Hurst Equipped: More Than 50 Years of High Performance (Cartech)

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9781934709313: Hurst Equipped: More Than 50 Years of High Performance (Cartech)
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George Hurst was a hot rodder at heart, but he was also a visionary, an innovator, a brilliant promoter, and particularly skilled at building alliances. Hurst developed and marketed a high-performance line of shifters that would lead the industry and be the cornerstone of the company. After forming an alliance with Anco Industries, Hurst marketed and sold more than 100 speed parts, which included shifters, heads, wheels, and many other parts, and eventually the Hurst catalog became the source for high-performance parts in the1960s and 1970s.

Jack "Doc" Watson joined Hurst and became a pivotal figure within the company, which led to many performance projects with Pontiac. Over the years Hurst was also able to partner with Oldsmobile to build special 442s known as "Hurst" Olds, AMC with their wickedly effective SC Rambler, and Chrysler, creating a number of Super Stock cars as well as the 300H and one of the most memorable exhibition cars in drag racing history, the Hemi Under Glass.

No other company or individual had as big an impact on so many aspects of the automotive industry as George Hurst. His performance parts were some of the best ever, the competition cars won many races, and the muscle cars that bear his name were some of the best of the era. Scores of interviews, in-depth research, and exceptional insight from veteran magazine editor Richard Truesdell and co-author Mark Fletcher has created a great book. Hurst Equipped captures the complete story from the production cars and race cars to the performance parts.

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With an unquenchable desire to succeed, George Hurst started an automotive aftermarket parts business in his garage in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Through innovative products and marketing, he grew the business into an automotive icon. Hurst Performance became the leader in high-performance shifters on the street and strip, and Hurst companies were key players in the muscle car wars, racing scene, and automotive aftermarket. The story of George Hurst, his companies, the talented people, including Jack "Doc" Watson, Linda Vaughn, and others in his organization, high-performance conversion cars, competition cars, and the performance products have gone largely untold until now.

Hurst’s unrelenting enthusiasm and dedication combined with co-founder Bill Campbell's mechanical acumen and ingenuity propelled the Hurst-Campbell Company to prominence in automotive industry. Hurst shifters set the standard for others to follow and a Hurst catalog offered a variety of high-performance products. When the Competition Plus shifter was installed in the Pontiac Catalina in 1961, Hurst established itself as the leader in shifters and high-performance products. From this pivotal event, Hurst went on to build high-performance cars for AMC, Chrysler, and of course Oldsmobile. In fact, Hurst slotted AMC’s biggest engine into the Rogue Rambler chassis and created the SC Rambler, which produced jaw-dropping performance. But the crowning achievement was the Hurst-Olds, a special high-performance version of the Olds 4-4-2.

High-performance street cars were just one part of the Hurst story. Hurst also created two of the most memorable exhibition cars in drag history, the Hemi Under Glass wheelstander and the dual-engine Hairy Olds. In addition, he developed the Jaws of Life to quickly cut open a car's roof to rescue the passengers.

Scores of interviews, in-depth research, and exceptional insight from veteran magazine editor Rich Truesdell and co-author Mark Fletcher has created a comprehensive book that captures the essence of the era, the people at Hurst who made it happen, production cars, race cars, and performance parts.

About the Author:

Mark Fletcher has been a regular contributor to several automotive websites and magazines. Fletcher currently resides in Steven's Point, Wisconsin.

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