Performance And Luxury: 1966 Oldsmobile Starfire

From the waning days of full-size performance is this 1966 Oldsmobile Starfire. Things were changing at Oldsmobile with the 442 and the new Toronado, just as things were on the move for all domestic manufacturers, and the Starfire was in its final year as a full-size model. Let’s take a look at this Seattle, Washington domiciled two-door hardtop. It is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $1,050, reserve not yet met. Thanks to Larry D for this tip!

The Starfire occupied the personal luxury coupe segment of Oldsmobile’s lineup before “personal luxury coupe” was even a defined segment. Nevertheless, Oldsmobile’s spectacular front-wheel-driver, the new for ’66 Toronado, moved into the slot that the Starfire had held since 1961, making it superfluous. The Starfire name would be resurrected in 1975 as a forgettable sub-compact and the storied name would disappear for good in 1980. The Starfire had a fair year in ’66 with approximately 13K units of the two-door-only hardtop body style finding new owners.

At 4,400 lbs. this Starfire is a big, heavy car but it has big, heavy power in the form of a 375 gross HP, 425 CI V8 providing rocket-style performance. The seller states, “runs and drives but needs some work” – no elaboration beyond that. The mileage reading is 27K miles but it’s easy to imagine that the odometer has been around once. A Turbo-Hydramatic three-speed automatic transmission gets the power to this Olds’ rear wheels. The seller adds that he has performed brake repairs including new hoses and a master cylinder.

The exterior of this Starfire is a bit worn but far from worn out. The seller notes that “Very minimal rust/bubbling on lower panels“. The images bear out that claim – there is rust but it appears to be manageable. The finish has some fade to it and there is some evidence where there has been some spot repair. Nevertheless, the stainless trim and bumper still show well though the trunk trim panel is starting to show its age. The trunk pan is solid and while there is no mention of underside integrity, a look down below is probably warranted. In totality, this Starfire is, as the seller claims, “…a virtually unmolested vehicle and a fine example“.

A Starfire’s hallmarks are bucket seats and a center console, and in this case, a steering wheel that looks Batmobile inspired. The strato-buckets have pull-over seat covers so there’s probably something going on with the upholstery but the dash, console, instrument panel, door, rear seat, side panels, and headliner look pretty good.  Unfortunately, the original radio is missing, and curiously, this Starfire is not air-conditioned.

Change is essential, it is the one constant that we all experience. And as you consider what’s being automotively marketed today, compared to this Starfire, the change, or evolution, is ever so apparent. And that’s the great thing about old, full-size cars like this Oldsmobile – they’re still out there, so enjoy them now because we won’t see their return. No idea what the reserve is on this ’66 Starfire but it could prove to be a reasonable buy; any interest?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    When I see the back of this,all I can say is “Tucker”.

    Like 4
    • MrBZ

      It does have that grid, angliagt! While not a great looker in my mind, I would love it for that 425, buckets and console shifter.

      Like 1
  2. Terrry

    This was “your father’s Oldsmobile”!

    Like 2
  3. Superdessucke

    Uncle had one way back in the day. Target Red she was, with red interior. Beautiful car back then. His had power windows that never shut off. Nearly decapitated my cousin. Kid wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box but it was still pretty dangerous. I think that feature disappeared not long afterwards. I think all cars come with window lock buttons for the back windows now.

    And I’ll never forget shifting that skinny t-handle out of park and the car careening down the driveway and into the street. My face probably looked like the Coyote as a boulder fell on him. Fortunately nothing bad happened to me or the car. I think they fixed that shortly afterwards too. Now, you can’t even shift them out of park without applying the brake first.

    Old school for sure. Not many left. Haven’t seen one in years.

    Like 7
  4. Will Fox

    `65 was definitely the better of the last 2 years for this model. `66 proved to be only an 88 with the stronger 425 V8 under the hood. Many unique bits made the `65 better looking and more distinctive, with one-model-only taillamps, headlamp bezels, and the exhaust that exited just behind the rear wheels thru the lower rear quarter panels. `66 did away with all that as attention went to the FWD Toronado newly introduced that year.

    Like 6
  5. MLM

    The last “real” Starfire IMO. The Tornado took it from there.

    Like 2
  6. JoeNYWF64

    A good ex. of the terribly fitting, looking & feeling seat covers avail today in auto parts & big box stores. Not to mention the choice of “colors”.

    Like 2
  7. Chuck Simons

    Truly ‘Take a ride in a Rocket…an Action Rocket..’

  8. Vince H

    This and the 63 are on my bucket list. Just not this one. At my age they will probably stay on the list unless a really nice one comes along that fits my budget. I think the 66 is one of the best looking Starfires. Bucket seats were not in all 66s. Not unusual not to see A/C on a Starfire. When I was younger I would not have wanted it. Now is a different story.

    Like 2
  9. Bhowe Member

    Looks like something Ted Kennedy would’ve driven at chappaquiddick

    • angliagt angliagt Member

      That was a ’67,but we’ll cross that bridge when we
      come ti it……..or not.

      Like 3

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