It was all-change for Oldsmobile in 1961, with GM’s oldest brand once again taking the role of innovator, leading the US styling evolution away from the fins and chrome era of the late 1950s into a newer epoch of square-edge styling, slab sides and more powerful engines.
The new-for-’61 Super 88, Dynamic 88 and range-topping Starfire 98 were the first of the square-nosed Oldsmobiles, the latter of which was offered only as a convertible until late 1962.
This is one of the original 1961 batch – one of only 7,800 Starfire 98 Convertibles ever made, and thus a rare car in the USA, let alone the UK.
It was brought into the UK by the vendor around seven years ago, having been purchased from a musician living in the South of France. He carried out quite a lot of work on the car – a project to share with his father – but following his dad’s passing the car has seen very little use over the past 3½ years and is now ready for a new home, where whoever takes it on has a 90% finished and fully road legal project that they can finish to their own tastes. It’s a great car, needing only very minor fettling to finish it off.
THE HISTORY AND PAPERWORK
Original 1961 Starfire 98 – the most collectable of the lot
Original Texas car, found by Michigan-based classic car dealer and exported to France
Purchased from France by vendor in 2015
Lots of work completed between 2015-2019
UK registered in 2018
MOT and tax exempt
Original ’61 Oldsmobile’ sales brochures
Old US certificate of title
Previously retrimmed in the USA in tow-tone grey leather
Very smartly presented with good carpets and door cards
Some trim panels absent in photos, supplied in the boot
Original spare wheel and tool kit
GM ‘Wonder Bar’ stereo
Rare ‘Starfire’ rear speaker grille
Elliptical dials, strip speedometer
Foot release parking brake
Dash is tidy and complete, but could benefit from a repaint
Superb exterior presentation
Unusual metal-flake finish
Original chrome and trim including rare ‘Oldsmobile’ wheel trims
Small repair to front bumper corner
Repainted to a high standard in 2017/18
All original trim and badges
Very solid underneath and undersealed when painted
New roof, with all new rams, pump and associated hardware
6.5-litre V8 “Skyrocket” engine
Four-speed GM Hydramatic transmission with new fluid and gaskets
Engages all gears well
New chrome-finished side exhausts
Starts and drives well
Fresh fluids throughout
Lively, smooth performance
Some electrical rewiring work required
The Starfire 98 is a car that comes from a glorious era of American car design, where every time you look at it, you discover a new design detail.
It’s a fantastic-looking car and the great thing about this one is that all it really needs to finish it off is some fettling and detailing – all of the hard work has been done and it’s perfectly usable and enjoyable as it is. Sort out the wiring and the last few cosmetic details and you’ll end up with a show star – a car in wonderful condition that’s already an incredible head-turner.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
1961 Oldsmobile Starfire 98 Convertible
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