Two-Car Combo! 1965 Oldsmobile Starfire 425

Oldsmobile’s 1965 sales brochure goaded Olds buyers to “Let yourself go… where the action is!” While off-the-hook hedonism rarely correlates with Oldsmobile’s image later in history, the 1965 Starfire came with plenty of style and action. This 1965 Oldsmobile Starfire in Downingtown, Pennsylvania boasts bright red paint and a flashy red leather interior to match. Though not running, it shows well and could make a great project for someone who wants something different and not a complete restoration. It comes with a similar donor car that unfortunately had its roof crushed. The listing here on eBay has enticed at least three bidders to a value above $1400. Thanks to reader Larry D. for spotting this stylish twosome.

Sidelined when critters chewed on some engine compartment wires, the double-red classic shows why Oldsmobile featured the Starfire prominently in ’65. Power seats and windows, power locks, and (I believe) air conditioning make this one sharp coupe. A year before Oldsmobile introduced the Toronado, this Starfire represented the brand’s premier sporty two-door. Starfire answered the call for high-rollers wanting the best of luxury and performance. What looks like original standard leather-trimmed bucket seats have held up well, and that shiny center console was standard equipment too.

Though no engine pictures grace the listing, it’s described as the appropriate 425 cid (7.0L) V8 and TH400 three-speed automatic transmission. If original, the new-for-’65 tall-deck 425 would make 370 HP, and the switch-pitch Turbo Hydra-Matic featured an electrically-variable torque converter that’s almost like having a two-speed first gear to get the big Olds off the line quickly while maintaining a smooth jump into second.

Both Starfires will need to be trailered, and the description reads “very little rust.” Spare parts not shown accompany the sale, so an ambitious buyer may put the best of both on the red car and sell what’s left. Growing up I wouldn’t have given this “Grandpa Mobile” a second look, but now I’d drive one with pride. What do you think of Oldsmobile’s high-powered full-sized luxury sports coupe?


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  1. nycbjr Member

    Love the dashboard, very tbird like!

    Like 3
    • Ignatius J. Reilly

      Which generation of T-bird are you referring to?
      Not seeing it.

      Like 1
      • Fran

        I see it. Yes.

        But I see more Buick in the body. Good old GM make them all resemble each other.

  2. Jcs

    Fantastic cars.

    To me, all model years of these had some of the most beautiful interiors ever, well with the exception of the later Monza based ones.

    The first-year 61 Starfire was industries the first time offering of the ubiquitous two buckets with full center console with shifter design, which this 65 maintains. Also, note the location of the exhaust outlets in the quarter panel trim, unique to the 65.

    Very cool beasts.

    Like 11
    • Jcs

      Doh. *the industries first

  3. Dave

    The 1960s definition of a Gentleman’s Express.

    Like 6
  4. On and On On and On Member

    This year, make and model is #1 on my list, I would really like a convertible though, last year for those. Anyone knowing of one please contact me……..these were awesome well built and engineered cars. I want a nice one……..most were all loaded with luxury features and amenities. The 1965 is the one to have because it does not have the weak transmission of the earlier years, plus it has the 1965ish coke bottle body design…………..Impalas be damned, I’ll blow you off the road in real style with this puppy.

    Like 14
    • Tom Member

      I have a 65 Starfire convertible for sale. If you are truly interested in a purchase we can certainly talk

      Like 5
      • Craigo

        I had a 65 Starfire ready to purchase but the sellers signature didn’t matchup with the one on the title.

        Always wanted on as the cars were built on the Olds 88 with the big 98 engine

      • John Czarnecki

        I would be interested..

      • On and On On and On Member

        Thank you Tom, my email is: from there I’ll give you my cell #. Thank you again, Gregg aka ‘On and On’

  5. Howard A Member

    Nice. This was the car me and my brother always hoped the old man would roll in with. His last Olds was a ’63, 98 4 door, and you know how it is. As a kid, you think your dads car was the coolest, or sporty renditions of them anyway, we knew he was looking for a new car ( new to him, he NEVER bought a brand new car) , one morning after he came home from the auction, we scurried out to the garage to see what he came home with,,opening the door,,,there it was,, a ’65, 98, 4 door,,oh well, it still had the 425 ( that the old man was too cheap to pay the extra .04 cents for premium( it takes premium, dude, PREMIUM,,in my best Snake voice), and ran it, and all his vehicles, for that matter, on the cheapest gas he could find. Naturally, it pinged like a cell phone, he didn’t care. My brother got his 1st ( and possibly only) speeding ticket with that ’65. I think ’66 was the last true Starfire, before it was reborn shoddily in the Monza types, and these were possibly the last attempt from Olds as a true “Gentleman’s Cruiser”. GM sure had the nicest then, Riv, GP, and Starfires were some of the best cruisers ever. The Toronado was just too weird for most.. Great find, for sure.

    Like 20
    • On and On On and On Member

      All so true Howard, I learned to drive on my parents 1965 Olds 98 Luxury Sedan……It was a living room on wheels, the windshield was the TV screen……. If I can’t find a Starfire I would settle for a ’65 Olds 98 loaded convertible……….my last hurrah? maybe so! Who’s to say………….LOL

      Like 6
      • Dave

        I took my test in my mom’s 66 Delta 88. Same dashboard brings back memories and that cigarette smell…

        Like 3
      • Will Irby

        I took my test in my parents’ 1966 Olds 98 Luxury Sedan. As several have mentioned, the 425 “Super Rocket” provided impressive performance for a heavy car, and to this day, I still recall that car as being one of the most comfortable cruisers I have ever driven. I surprised quite a few Camaros, Mustangs, GTOs, etc. I would probably still be driving it today had it not hydroplaned at about 55 mph, did a 180, and encountered a power pole that put the rear bumper under the rear seat. I learned a valuable lesson about bias-ply tires in 3 inches of water, and 47 years later, I still have neck issues that remind me why headrests were added to cars.

        Like 1
  6. Superdessucke

    Uncle had a ’66. Cherry red just like this one. Taught me a lot about auto safety. My cousin almost got his pencil neck decapitated by the driver’s side power window that always had power. And I inadvertently put it in neutral once and the car rolled down the steep driveway and into the street. No transmission lock on this bad boy.

    • Howard A Member

      Didn’t Leave it to Beaver do that? :)

      Like 3
  7. local_sheriff

    Who said buildable 60s 2dht project cars are impossible to find any longer…? Extremely good-looking big boat design,Olds was good at designing their fullsize cars with space-age inspired layouts and the ’65 dash is a true highlight. Still I find the ’64 to be sweetest 60s Oldsmobile rocketship ever

    Like 2
  8. Vince H

    They are not far from me. Really tempting but at 76 I don’t think I want to take on a project.

    Like 4
  9. jeff

    I had one 425 ci 375 hp did that thing go for a big car wow I might put a bid on it, but I don’t need another project

    Like 3
  10. Steve

    Sweet Olds, nice to see a decent restorable car starting out at a a reasonable price. I always liked the side exhaust which is unique and the 425 is a powerhouse, especially in the ultra high compression version.

    Like 5
    • Scott

      I had bought a 1967 98 4 door as a kid for a field car,once I was done mowing down trees making trailbike paths and was tired of spending all my paperboy money on gas for 30 minutes of fun,I tore into it to see what made it tick! I remember the pie pan saying ultra high compression,,,would explain it barely wanting to turn over when starting,even after a new battery,cables,starter,etc.The things you don’t understand as a young teen!

  11. Aaron Carlson

    A big THANK YOU for this find. I was 9 when this was new, we lived by an Olds dealer and I was enthralled by all the new models from ’62 to ’66 when we moved. This brought back a flood of good memories. Thanks again

    Like 6
  12. Showbiz

    Had a 1965 Dynamic88 convertible 425 was so smoooth and quiet with plenty of power, coolest dash with two ashtrays and two in the back arm rests as well, only two front seat belts tho :O

    Like 3
  13. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Todd, this may be a “Grampa mobile” to you, but, when I was 17 I had a ’65 Olds Dynamic 88 convertible. Navy blue with light blue interior and white top.
    It wasn’t as sporty as the Starfire, had a bench seat, no power windows or a/c, but, it was fast! Drove it with a 16 year old friend from New Jersey to California.
    Another vehicle I wish I never got rid of, but, who was thinking that far into the future? The car was only 5 years old when I had it.

    Like 4
  14. JCH841

    My first car was a 1965 T-Bird with the jet cockpit styling. Not seeing it here.

  15. JCH841

    My first car was a 1965 T-Bird with the jet cockpit styling. Not seeing it here. And my second car was a 1970 442, so I do like Olds.

  16. Super Glide

    I had a 64 98 Sport Coupe. It was, by far, the most beautiful 98. Of course buckets and a counsole, in a 98.

    Like 1
  17. Kevin

    I like them,nice write up Todd,I would strip down the blue one,to combine some parts on red etc.and sell whatever I could not use,the 425 was a very durable engine, with mostly forged internals if I’m not mistaken, great style, love cars of the era,especially oldsmobile.

  18. Andy Adamson

    Most beautiful model Oldsmobile ever made. Had a blue grey 65. Wish I had it back!

  19. Patrick Curran

    The coolest exhaust outlets ever to grace a vehicle!

  20. MitchRoss Member

    I had the Husky 1/87 scale version of this in steel blue. I have never actually seen a real ’65 Starfire to this day and since the age of 8 I have been looking at the tail lights of every full sized Olds coupe for the big square lenses.

    Like 1

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