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Collecting automaker-to-dealer documents for your vintage car

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1973 Hurst/Olds press photo. Art courtesy of Owen Griesemer and GM.

If you think you’ve amassed every piece of literature that exists for your car, you may be surprised to learn that there’s probably still more out there.

How can that be, you say? You already have all the paperwork that came with your car, as well as its owner’s manual, and you even found and extricated its build sheet. You also acquired assembly, service, and body manuals; AMA specifications; press releases; parts book; dealer brochure; paint color chart; interior chart; accessories catalog; magazine road tests; magazine ads and so on. For some makes and models, there are even companies that can provide breakdowns of your vehicle’s codes, its invoice, order form and other information (for Pontiacs, PHS Automotive Services,, comes to mind). And you may already have that, as well. In fact, if you wanted to, you could probably spend the winter just reading about the details of your fine ride-Nirvana for any car nut.

02-HO Initial Discussion

1973 Hurst/Olds order request.

Aside from all that, there was also a constant flow of interesting communication sent from the automakers to their dealers and zone managers back in the day in the form of memos, announcements, news items, and bulletins. The correspondence covered various subjects regarding changing availability of models, features and options and updates in parts, repair procedures and much more. These documents were referred to by various names that were determined by their issuing carmaker.

03-HO Details-01

1973 Hurst/Olds build intent confirmation page 1.

It can be fun to seek out this additional information online or at swap meets and car shows. Sometimes it’s for sale, other times its scanned and uploaded onto enthusiasts’ websites for all to view for free-be it on those of proud owners of a model like yours or a larger ones like the Automotive History Preservation Society (AHPS) at, which has a steadily growing library of these items and others for various makes, models and years.

04-HO Details-02

1973 Hurst/Olds build intent confirmation page 2.

The 1973 Oldsmobile documents presented here actually found me instead of me finding them. I wrote a Swap Meet Finds story about my 1973 Hurst/Olds brochure in the March 2015 issue of Hemmings Motor News. Reader Owen Griesemer contacted me to let me know that he had these memos, and soon thereafter he emailed copies to me.

05 HO Order Form

1973 Hurst/Olds order form.

To an owner of a 1973 Hurst/Olds, this is great stuff! Since, chances are, most of you do not own a 1973 Hurst/Olds, I don’t expect you to be as excited about the specifics of these documents as I am, but I’m including them to remind you that there may be more information out there regarding your vintage ride. Embarking on an online treasure hunt for it while the snow falls isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon. You may even feel like you got something done on your car in the process.

HO Wholesale Car Order HO Preference List HO Response