1961 Oldsmobile Starfire – muscle cars predecessor

Of course, you could hardly name a muscle car luxurious and very advanced for its time 1961 Oldsmobile Starline. However, it served as the base for a great Toronado, and in addition, people showed automakers the love to powerful cars. Starfire ’61 used the platform of standard 88-series, though it was quite different. Only the front end slightly reminiscent of a simple origin.

1961 oldsmobile starfire brochure

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire review

Starfire could be called the progenitor of personal luxury cars, how they were understood in the 60s – refined lines, the maximum amount of equipment, powerful engines. And of course, the high price. 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire was no exception – it was the most expensive Oldsmobile at the time, even more expensive than the larger models of the 98-series. As they say, it was the image model to show all the latest design and technological advances. Originally sold only convertible Starfire, only a year later, after a small update it was available as 2-door hardtop as well. Toward the middle of the 60s, the concept of an expensive and heavy vehicle has changed and Starfire began to look like the muscle car – due to the weight reduction and the installation of a more powerful 425 CID engine.

1961 oldsmobile starfire review

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire design

Starfire has a very sophisticated and elegant design. Chrome bumpers, chrome “arrow” across the side, curved panoramic glass borrowed from the standard Oldsmobile 88. Two crests on the hood. In profile, the car resembles either an arrowhead or a comet. Behind flaunt two round headlights. The whole car is made in the then fashionable “Aero style” – stylized to look like rapid jet fighters. In our time, this design looks very pretentious but no less beautiful.

1961 oldsmobile starfire design

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire interior

In contrast to the impressive exterior, the interior of the car was rather typical for the car at the time. Nevertheless, there were several unique features that distinguish it from other models. The first thing that catches your eye – a unique combination of devices, consisting of a classic ribbon speedometer and three oval gauges underneath it. On the left are two indicator lights, on the right is a fuel level, and in the middle – an analog clock. In the next model year, all these excesses were removed.

1961 oldsmobile starfire interior

The interior looks elegant and luxurious, mostly expense of a combination of many elements of chrome and leather/vinyl upholstery. In addition, the car was innovative in terms of equipment – in the standard trim level, there was a center console with tachometer, separate bucket seats, floor-mounted Hydra-Matic automatic transmission lever. There were power windows, brakes, steering and even driver’s seat – the first time for the US-made full-size vehicle.

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire specs

You cannot tell too much about Starfire power units, like about a stunning design and a unique interior. For the 1961 model year offers only a single engine. It was Skyrocket OHV V8, with 394 cubic inch displacement (6.5L), producing around 330 HP (thanks to 4-barrel Rochester carb). The curb weight of the ’61 Starfire was too high for such engine – around 4,300 lbs, so the performance was not so fantastic.

1961 oldsmobile starfire engine

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire price, collectibility, production numbers

Only 1,500 convertibles were made for 1961 model year, which makes 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire extremely valuable for collectors. The car is rare, and in the finest condition, it costs around $100,000. Most of the vehicles were sold through auctions, so the price might be even more.

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire images

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