1961 Oldsmobile Starfire 98 Convertible

HIGHLIGHTS


  • Amazing ’61 square-front Oldsmobile
  • Power-operated roof and huge specification
  • Originally a Texas car, imported from France
  • One of only 7,800 built 


THE APPEAL


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. 

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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
  • UK V5C
  • Original ’61 Oldsmobile’ sales brochures
  • Old US certificate of title

THE INTERIOR


  • 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
  • Electric windows
  • Foot release parking brake
  • Dash is tidy and complete, but could benefit from a repaint

THE EXTERIOR 


  • 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

THE MECHANICS 


  • 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
  • Over 300bhp
  • Lively, smooth performance
  • Some electrical rewiring work required

SUMMARY


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.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1961
  • Make Oldsmobile
  • Model Starfire 98 Convertible
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 100,392 Miles
  • Engine size 6500
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Bedfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
42 bids
  • st•••• £15,750 28/12/22
  • Fo•••• £15,500 28/12/22
  • st•••• £15,250 28/12/22
  • Fo•••• £15,000 28/12/22
  • le•••• £14,750 28/12/22
  • Fo•••• £14,500 28/12/22
  • le•••• £14,250 28/12/22
  • Fo•••• £14,000 28/12/22
  • a6•••• £13,500 28/12/22
  • le•••• £13,000 28/12/22

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