Rare Cruiser: 1961 Starfire Convertible

1961 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible

It may not look like much now, but this Starfire used to be one heck of a cruising machine! With a convertible top, V8 power, and futuristic styling this was the Oldsmobile to have. In fact, it held the title as the most expensive model in the lineup. Cost of entry might be high once again though because this car is going to need some serious work done to it before any cruising is going to happen. It does seem like a car worth saving though, so if you have the ambition and resources, it can be found here on craigslist for $2,750 out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thanks goes to Chuck F. for the tip!

394 Skyrocket V8

There were many good reasons for that high price tag, but this could have been the best of them. The Starfire came standard with Oldsmobile’s most power engine offering. This 394 Skyrocket V8 put out 325 hp / 434 lb-ft and had enough chrome on it to blind a Ray-Ban wearer! That may be hard to imagine from this photo, but if you can look past all that grime, you will know that something special is in there.

Center console shifter

If you thought the engine bay was bad, then get a load of this! The floors look more like they belong in a forest then in a car. Lots of sheet metal will need to be replaced, but the trim appears to all be there. This car was apparently the first full-size car to have automatic shifter in the console. Lots of cool features and design work here, but I have my doubts that it will ever be saved. What do you think?

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Comments

  1. don

    with the asking price of $2700, NO WAY! that car is to far gone for that kind of money, worth saving, yes if the price is right, going to take a lot to bring that one back.

  2. Dave Wright

    I disagree that the price is too high……even though it would be nice to buy it cheaper, the parts have to be worth that and the price is only the cost of admission to spend another 30,000 on the restoration. These had the aluminum 215 V8 engines that was sold to Rover later. They were quite attractive little cars, even came turbocharged as an option. So, is 2700.00 to much to start a 20 to 30K restoration? I don’t know what a nice car like this sells for today but I would think it will be appreciating, otherwise. A labor of love.

    • DENIS

      Dave, that was the Jetfire that had the 215 aluminum, not Starfire…believe these had a hi-comp 394…

      • Dave Wright

        You are right…….they looked so similar in photos when not parked next to each other.

  3. sir mike

    Is every car dragged out of a scrap yard worth saving?? this would be nice to save but..

  4. DENIS

    They were a helluva car but after lots of restorations, maybe I’ve lost my nerve..you can buy a decent Starfire ready to drive for a lot less than you can fix this for.

  5. Wayne

    I have a soft spot for these cars since the first time I ever rode in a ragtop, it was a 61 Starfire. I think this would make an excellent parts car but for my money, way to far gone to restore.

  6. Carl B.

    Might be a good parts car – if you already have one you are restoring.

    Really way to far gone for restoration – when you can still find complete, presentable and running cars to start with. Even if you have to pay $15K for one – you’d be time and lots of money ahead.

    For your money – 61 Starfire or 61 Bonneville… I’d put my money in the Pontiac.
    62 Starfire Conv. or 62 Pontiac Bonneville Conv. – – – I’d take the Olds.

  7. Carl B.

    Might be a good parts car
    Really way to far gone for restoration – when you can still find complete, presentable and running cars to start with. Even if you have to pay $15K for one – you’d be time and lots of money ahead.

    For your money – 61 Starfire or 61 Bonneville… I’d put my money in the Pontiac.
    62 Starfire Conv. or 62 Pontiac Bonneville Conv. – – – I’d take the Olds.

  8. skloon

    It makes Miss Belvedere look good by comparison

  9. JW

    I had one but a hardtop nice cruising car but this one’s not for the faint of heart.

  10. Mike C

    Back in 61 my dad had one of these, Black with Candy apple interior. Great sounding exhaust. I got to drive it on Sundays. He traded it for a 62 Starfire same color as the 61. Wish
    I had one of them today.

  11. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    From an ad for a 61, $35k and $68k for 2 nice ones, a junkyard stripped one they’re asking $6500…….To bolster their lineup, as well as add some ammo against the wildly popular Ford Thunderbird, Oldsmobile introduced the Starfire as a separate model series in January of 1961. The Starfire was a sport variant of the top-of-the-line Olds 98 series from 1954 through 1957. It then re-appeared in 1961 as a limited production convertible and then for three years thereafter in both coupe and convertible forms. It shared the 123-inch wheelbase of the Super 88 Series and the grille of the 98, but was powered by a special 394-CID, 330 horsepower V8 engine exclusive to only the Starfire arguably making it the first Oldsmobile muscle car. The car was aimed at the well-heeled adult and virtually every Oldsmobile option was included as standard equipment. At $4,647, it was the years most expensive Oldsmobile and just 7,800 were ever produced all convertibles. The interior is quite captivating with its four leather bucket seats and the special console.

  12. Rancho Bella

    Lets say someone restores it……..then what. When the time comes……Who’s going to buy it? Old guys (like me) are the only ones that were around then. Think and dream what you want, the reality is, this ship has sailed.

  13. Adil

    I need help in restoration of my car it’s the only Oldsmobile Super 88 1961 in Pakistan please help I need some parts although I can’t afford to restore it but am looking for used parts in limited budget my Watsap no 00923355779911

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