An exploded schematic of the Hurst wheel clearly shows the unique spring clips required to
Although the wheel was superbly built, distinctly handsome, and highly advertised in print as well as heavily promoted at the retail level, it was one of Hurst's few marketing failures. Hurst ultimately had to admit defeat and withdrew the wheel in mid 1969. It wasn't until the mid 1980s when the musclecar hobby began to grow that an interest in Hurst wheels drove collectors and restorers to swap meets in search of the forged wheels. Then as now, discovering an NOS set of wheels in the original shipping drum is a major find, and many restorers pay dearly for the right to bolt on a set of Hurst wheels. After more than four decades, the Hurst forged wheel has become a musclecar legend and testament to George Hurst's unwavering dedication to quality and safety.
The Return Of The Hurst WheelIn 2003, Performance West Group in Bonsall, California, was developing two new show cars, a 1965 GTO and a 2004 GTO, and was looking for a visual theme that would tie the two Goats together. "Our solution," explained Performance West's Larry Weiner, "was to capitalize on the well-known relationship that had existed between Hurst and Pontiac during the 1960s. That led to the idea to paint both vehicles a modern version of the original "Hurst Gold," feature Hurst Shifters, and create custom wheels inspired by the original Hurst wheels, taking advantage of 40 years of advances in metallurgy, engineering, and modern tire technology."
An early Hurst promotional photo shows the "gladiator" style three-wing center cap that wa
Weiner borrowed an original Hurst wheel for design purposes, and working with Oasis Alloy Wheels in Anaheim, California, created a modern interpretation of this classic wheel. Unlike the originals, which featured an aluminum center that was riveted to a heavy steel rim, Oasis engineers chose to manufacture the wheel as a one-piece casting, making it lighter than the originals, while being more affordable. In addition, these new wheels would be designed to accommodate a wide range of modern aftermarket disc brake kits, something that cannot be done with the original wheels.
Tooling for wheels in two sizes was created: 18x7-inch and 18x8-inch, and offered in three bolt patterns, 5x4.5, 5x4.75, and 5x5. In each case, the wheels were designed for early vehicle fitments. When Performance West recreated the famous Mr. Norm's 1968 GSS Hemi Dart in 2006, they again turned to Oasis. "With Hurst's well-documented involvement in the build of the original cars in 1968," Larry said, "it made perfect sense to follow in the footsteps of history and work with Hurst on the new Hemi Dart Program."
Oasis decided to engineer and cast one-piece wheels identical in appearance to the 18-inch wheels, but this time in a 17-inch diameter, since the Dart is a smaller vehicle. Wheels were cast in 17x7-inch and 17x9.5-inch, and have been seen on the new Mr. Norm's GSS Hemi Darts nationwide at shows and events.