The Little Car That Could

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What you see here is one of eight Hurst Rescue System 1 Gremlins built in the early 1970's. I've always been a fan of Hurst cars, particularly the long string of Hurst Olds that were produced from 1968 to 1984. Of course, Hurst made a lot of aftermarket parts including custom wheels, the Hurst Hatch T-tops and of course their famous line of shifters. Dad's 1965 Barracuda came with a Hurst shifter from the factory.

What many folks don't know is that George Hurst is the inventor of the Hurst Rescue Tool, more commonly known as the jaws of life. It was created for help with racing crashes, but of course it's use has spread far from the race track. The Hurst name continues to be associated with the jaws of life and with the shifters.

The Hurst Rescue System 1 Gremlin was the company's fully equipped solution for tracks that wanted one of their Rescue Tools. It came fully equipped with all the rescue gear needed, including a stretcher. Good trick getting a stretcher in a Gremlin.

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This Gremlin was sold in 1973 for about $11,000 to a rural Georgia county and served as their primary rescue vehicle until 2002. At that time, it was replaced with a larger truck that could hold all the equipment mandated by the state. The Gremlin remains in service as the backup vehicle and still carries all the original rescue equipment.

When I read over the Hurst history back in High School, I thought these little Gremlins with their bright orange stripes and push bars was really cool. To see one that has spent 35 years in active rescue duty and still bears the marks of use is simply awesome.

Images and story from gremlinx.com.

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2 Comments

That story made me smile Doug.. I remember riding is a Gremlin back around 1970 - uncomfortable from what I remember.

My 1970 Cougar came with a Hurst 4-speed shifter.. fond memories.. I loved that car!

That is absolutely a cool story and car.

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