Oldsmobile Starfire

A sport luxury car Oldsmobile Starfire was produced from 1954 to 1966 for the American market. Represented as the ultimate in motor car sophistication and glamour, Oldsmobile intended to dominate the competition.

In 1953 everything was dedicated to one special Starfire especially designed for the major automobile shows. The American public loved the new model, which helped to place the Starfire badge to the front fender of the Ninety-Eight convertible.

The original Starfire exhibition model had a stunning turquoise hue with a turquoise-white interior, done in saddle-stitched, patterned leather combinations. Innovative design signaled the future trends or at least an Oldsmobile vision of modern vehicles.

A modified Rocket V8 engine was installed, with 200 hp ready to go. Standard equipment also included hydraulic windows, two-way power seat, and power top. With the price named at $3,249 Starfire model was designed for personal luxury market, for the consumers willing to spend a little extra money to own the very best.

Oldsmobile produced 6,800 Starfire models in 1954. General principles of the Starfire models remained pretty much similar, while the company decided to make mostly minor adjustments over the years to come. In 1955, oval shaped grille opening and flashier side chrome increased the price slightly to $3,276. As an interesting fact, increase in price was followed by increased production numbers which totaled at 9,149 for the model year.

The most expensive Oldsmobile model got its name spelled out in chrome letters on the lower portion of the front fender in 1956. A Saginaw Gear power steering system became standard equipment while more conservative side trim allowed for attractive two-toning. Only in 1957 Oldsmobile decided to expand Starfire brand nameplate to convertible, four-door sedan, and two- and four-door hard-top models.

The standard equipment was expanded as well with Jetaway Hydra-Matic transmission, Pedal-Ease power brakes, and Safety power steering. Expanded lineup caused the production to soar at 79,693 units. But as the history will show, the name was yet to achieve full glory.

In 1961 Oldsmobile needed a new distinctive Starfire to compete with the Ford Thunderbird. The company chose the General Motors 1961 Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City to show off their latest design. It featured a coupe and convertible models, both with high class interior design.

The new Olds convertible shared chassis with the 88 models, powered by an upgraded version of the iconic Rocket V8 engine, with a 395 cu in, 330 hp and 440 lbs/ft of torque at 2800 rpm. Starfire 10.25:1 compression ratio meant that it needed premium fuel to run properly.

The first Starfire models arrived at dealerships in January 1961. Public was again impressed with interior design leather bucket seats separated a multi-faceted console that had a chrome-plated automatic transmission shifter, tachometer, and other additional options. Regular production Starfires came in 15 exterior colors and interiors of gray, fawn, blue, and red.

Convertible tops could be had in white, black, green, blue, fawn, and red. A price tag of $4,647 again made the Starfire the most expensive Olds vehicle in the model year. The following year, a clean, new look began breaking production records with 41,988 units. Starfire is definitely a name that left a strong mark in Oldsmobile history and shaped a significant part of the personal luxury car market.

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