Did Gm Factory install Hurst shifters in 1978??

C

clean8485

Royal Smart Person
Dec 18, 2005
2,451
113
Ontario, Canada
I have an '80 Malibu that's a factory 4 speed car. From what I know, most of the factory 4 speed cars came with a shifter that was made by a company called ITM. That's the shifter that's in my Malibu now. I went looking for a Hurst shifter for the car. They are hard to find now, but they still show as being available from Hurst online. You need to get 2 items from them, the Hurst Competition Plus shifter, and an installation kit, neither of which is cheap, but it was about all I could find. I was searching local online ads here several months ago, and I found a gentleman who was advertising a factory 4 speed Hurst shifter assembly that came from a '78 Cutlass. The shifter was complete, and in good shape, with an April 1978 date code stamped on the shifter assembly, and it was considerably cheaper than getting the parts from Hurst online, so I bought it.
As for which GM A body cars from 1978 and I think 1979 had the Hurst shifter as a factory option, and whether it was listed as a separate item on the factory option list, I'm not sure. I have one from a '78 Cutlass, GP403 has one from a '79 Grand Am, and you have one from a '78 Buick Century, so I'd have to assume from that info that you could get it from Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Buick. I don't know about Chevrolet. Maybe someone else can chime in with some more info.
 
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pagrunt

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
5,067
113
Elderton, Pa
What did you mean by "most with the inland copy" ?
Inland Division of GM, later called ITM. GM made close to but different enough not to pay a fee to Hurst. The build sheet won't have any info which shifter was used, possible be one of those what ever was on the line at the time deals on which was used.
 
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Bonnewagon

Bonnewagon

Geezer
Sep 18, 2009
6,623
113
Queens, NY
ITM = Inland Tool Manufacturing. Better known as the "mystery" shifter. Some were OK, most were sloppy. George Hurst made a fortune selling his shifters to replace them.
 
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gnvair

gnvair

Master Mechanic
Sep 1, 2018
489
93
Southern New Jersey near Philly
All of the 78-81 manual Chevrolet models came with the ITM. The Hurst came on the Pontiacs, some Oldsmobiles and some Buick's. Functionally they are about the same with the ITM requiring you lift the handle for reverse while the Hurst relies on the internal spring loaded detent in the gear box. The rest of the linkage and brackets are identical on the factory units. The after market Hurst shifter is a totally different beast in almost every way. Most noticeable they have a bolt on handle with a squared profile.
 
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P

paul.m

Master Mechanic
Oct 20, 2018
360
43
I think also from what i have seen and learned about the factory Hurst snifters in the 78/79 g body the stick was always round instead of flat . Some other guys here will probably chime in with additional info . Of the ones i have seen none of them ever had Hurst shifter knobs though just the stick .
 
GP403

GP403

Administrator
Site Admin
Moderator
Feb 25, 2005
3,571
113
Inola, OK
correct the Hurst "t-handle" wasn't a thing anymore, and yep its round, with HURST on a flat cut out. I don't have any good pix atm...
 
gnvair

gnvair

Master Mechanic
Sep 1, 2018
489
93
Southern New Jersey near Philly
All of the factory Hurst shifter handles going back to the the late 60's (I believe the 69 Camaro was the first Chevrolet) had the round profile with the aluminum shim retainers. The round profile Hurst was used on the Pontiac GTO and Olds 442's. I know the handle on the early ones were not removable from the mechanism.
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Geezer
Sep 14, 2014
5,067
113
Elderton, Pa
Most noticeable they have a bolt on handle with a squared profile.
I fixed that with my Comp Plus, I ordered the round stick a few years back. If this wasn't detailed all O.E. shifters for our generation was round, the aftermarket Hurst came with a flat stick.
 

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