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Starfire61

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  1. Yeah, that blue is far too bright. Must've had spray cans on sale at Walmart that day. They painted over all the chrome ribs on the dash, and the steering wheel crest is wrong, too. Lots of other little nits to pick on this car- The valance panels at the bottom of the rear bumper should be chrome on the Starfire, & not body color as they were on the rest of the full-sized '61s. Trunk lid letters spelling out "OLDSMOBILE" are missing. These were used only on the 98 & Starfire models and are difficult to find today. The trunk lid and rear bumper on this Starfire likely came off of an 88 parts car. The voltage regulator on the firewall is missing, which suggests some alterations to the charging system & harness. Curious to know the selling price- these have gotten much more affordable in past few years...
  2. The only numbers that really matter on a Starfire are those on the engine. The '61 Starfire had a unique cam, heads, valves, & pistons. Unfortunately, any 1961-2 Olds 394 readily drops in, and even installing a '63-4 engine would likely require a minimum amount of fiddling. I've seen several 61-2 Starfires sporting non-Starfire engines. One time a seller insisted that it was an option, and became quite indignant when I told him that it most certainly was not. Some years ago, I purchased a '62 convertible equipped with a low-compression 394 from a Dynamic 88. Luckily, I figured this out before buying the car & paid accordingly. Bottom line- anyone considering one of these cars needs to confirm the presence of a Starfire engine before opening their wallet. While the correct set of numbers does not verify that internal components remain intact, it nonetheless remains a reassuring sign that the car is relatively unmolested. Of lesser significance are the numbers on the transmission. All 1961-4 Starfires came with the infamous Roto-Hydramatic, or Slim-Jim. Slim-Jims designated for the Starfire wore a unique-colored tag and had a number ending with an "OB" suffix. All I've ever been able to determine is that there may have been some subtle differences in the Starfire valve bodies when compared to the transmissions used in the rest of the Olds line, but they are otherwise identical. Given the poor reputation and failure rate of these units, it's typical to find Starfires fitted with a Slim Jim from an 88 or 98. Unlike the engine, I don't see this as a big deal. Just be thankful if it works. The sale car appears to need quite a bit of everything. Starfires are complicated cars to restore, with lots of high-end and exclusive bling that costs a bundle to do correctly. These cars are notorious for frame rust, particularly behind the rear wheels. Sitting on dirt certainly won't help matters. The color is called Fawn Mist, which IMO is not one of the more eye popping choices for '61. Options NOT seen on this example include AC, power vent windows, power antenna, a Wonderbar radio, and Guide-Matic headlight dimming. Interestingly, the car appears to have its original top, the clue being the silver stripe running along the edges above the side windows. This seldom-seen and seldom-duplicated feature is unknown to all but the most die-hard Starfire aficionados. The price seems wildly ambitious, particularly in the face of escalating restoration costs and the generational shift that seems to be enveloping the market. I take my '61 to a show, and the people most drawn to it are 80+. No one else even knows what it is...
  3. All '61-2 full sized Olds with power brakes used the vacuum tank. Both the Bendix & Moraine boosters came with an integral T-shaped connection, one side of which went to the engine, and the other to the tank. The tank itself attaches to the inner fender with three bolts accessed by removing the left front wheel. The left hood hinge might need to come off in order to remove or install the tank. Pics are attached. Note that the Moraine booster has only two studs for the master cylinder, while the Bendix has four. Moraine boosters are anodized and held together with locking tabs, while Bendix are painted & assembled with screws. The other big difference between the two is that the master cylinder piston on the Moraine system is physically a part of the booster, while the Bendix has a separate piston that's assembled into the master cylinder with a snap ring before the whole assembly is mounted on the booster. Looking at your photo, it appears that somebody threw some available parts together in a half-baked attempt to just get by. Obviously, the tank is missing, but the big red flag is the 4-stud master cylinder attached to the 2-stud booster. Since this is clearly a replacement booster, I'm not certain that this car has mixed & matched Moraine & Bendix parts, but I would be very leery about driving it until you figure out what's going on. At best, it's slipshod. At worst, it could be dangerous. Given the recent braking issues, this is probably a good opportunity to tear into this stuff & make it right. Not the most glamorous task imaginable, but it will give you peace of mind knowing that your brakes are as good as they can be.
  4. I am by no means an authority on these cars, but it appears to me that the market for them has softened considerably. Whether this is due to simple economics or something more insidious like generational shift remains an interesting discussion. The '41 Phaeton previously mentioned as being for sale was initially listed at almost $130K. Several months later, the car is still for sale with an asking price under $60K. https://www.gatewayclassiccars.com/DET/1555/1941-Oldsmobile-98-Phaeton Then there is the '41 Buick Roadmaster Phaeton discussed on another thread that failed to meet reserve at this year's Indy Mecum auction. High bid was $28K. https://www.mecum.com/lots/SC0520-414249/1941-buick-roadmaster-convertible-sedan/ Perhaps it's an apples-to-oranges comparison, but the no-sale prices on these '41s may be a barometer of what someone would be willing to pay for the '40 being discussed here. I'd imagine restoration costs for one of these would be frighteningly expensive. Someone with deep pockets could probably buy both '41s and have a his & hers pair for less than the cost to acquire and restore this '40. Nonetheless, it's a fantastic car, and I hope it finds a good home with someone who gives it the care it deserves. Good luck with the sale!
  5. While the hissing certainly indicates a vacuum leak in your booster, a bad booster alone shouldn't cause your pedal to sink to the floor. if anything, it would be more difficult to depress the pedal with the loss of the vacuum assist from your booster. Are the master and booster still on the car? I would take a good look at your master cylinder, particularly if you've never had it apart. A similar situation occurred to me years ago on a '61 Olds with a soft, sinking pedal. Couldn't find a leak anywhere. Then I removed the master & booster, and discovered that the booster was half-full of brake fluid that had leaked past the piston in the master cylinder. The bore in the master was very badly pitted, which tore up the seals on the piston. I wound up with both a rebuilt booster and a sleeved master cylinder, which took care of the problem. That scared me enough to go around the car and check the wheel cylinders, which weren't much better. By the time I was done, the whole brake system was new. It's not much fun having your car laid-up unexpectedly while waiting for parts, but ensuring that it has reliable brakes is one of the most essential things you can do for your own safety and that of those around you. Good luck!
  6. Despite the wording of the ad, the car no longer has anything close to its original interior. Four monochromatic interiors were available on the '61 Starfire: red, blue, silver, and fawn. That's all. The correct all-red interior is much more subdued than the shiny red & white pastiche seen here. Furthermore, the car has the wrong steering wheel, wrong turn signal stalk, and may well have the wrong column. While red was a common exterior color on the Starfire, Olds only offered one shade of red in '61, and this isn't it. All this for $48K and no title. Hopefully the seller likes the car a lot, as he will be looking at it for a very long time...
  7. Olds only built around 4400 of these. They are seldom-seen. The roofline is shared with the 1961 Buick Electra and Cadillac. It Is not the same roof used on the more common "bubbletop" Super and Dynamic 88s. I'm almost certain that I inspected this very car when it was for sale in FL in 2007. At the time, it wore lake pipes, fender skirts, and different wheels, but the spotlights on the fenders suggest that this is the same car. California-built, it was very straight and rock-solid, with no evidence of any rust or filler. The interior was quite nice and appeared mostly original. The seller at the time let me take the car for a long ride by myself. It was a great-driving car, and much tighter and quieter than my '61 98 convertible. I very likely would have made an offer had it been wearing its original color scheme. The car once was a 2-tone and codes for a white lower body with Garnet Mist on the roof, side stripes, and wheel covers. Must have been spectacular. If it were mine, there's no question that I'd want to restore the original paint scheme. Unfortunately, the 2007 seller was also asking top dollar, and I just couldn't rationalize spending that kind of money on a car that would require the additional cost of disassembly, stripping, and repainting, plus dealing with whatever other unforeseen problems that would appear along the way... I've reached out to the current seller to confirm whether it is indeed the same car.
  8. https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/cto/d/arlington-heights-1958-buick/7146473086.html
  9. Thanks very much for the suggestion to check out the Multibeam threads. The information is extremely helpful. That is indeed the system that was originally on the car- I had no idea it was so precise. Still trying to nail-down whether I have the correct reflectors, but you've definitely given me some direction. Thanks again!
  10. I recently acquired a 1938 Olds F-Series convertible that has been converted to sealed beam headlights. In hoping to undo the conversion, I've managed to find a set of lenses that are correct for the Olds. These came in a batch of headlight parts that are mostly '39 Cadillac. I'm unsure which of these Cadillac parts might work on the Olds. The Cadillac buckets and aiming mechanisms clearly have a right side/left side orientation and look as though they'll fit into the Olds without difficulty. However, the reflectors are a puzzle. Both the headlight and parking light bulbs are offset slightly to one side of the reflector, and it's the same sided offset in both reflectors. I would think that the reflectors would be mirror images of each other if they were left & right sided, so I can't quite figure out what I'm dealing with. Why the offset? Did the '39 Cadillac have left/right sided headlight reflectors? FWIW, the '38 Olds master parts book lists only one headlight reflector for both sides of the F and L series of cars- part #922315. I'd be grateful if anyone can shed any light into whether these '39 Cadillac reflectors with their matching bulb offsets would be appropriate for a '38 Olds, and if not, what other headlight parts of the era might properly interchange. Buying this car was a big leap out of my early-60's comfort zone. Any advice or assistance would be much appreciated!
  11. I recently acquired a 1938 Olds F-Series convertible that has been converted to sealed beam headlights. In hoping to undo the conversion, I've managed to find a set of lenses that are correct for the Olds. These came in a batch of headlight parts that are mostly '39 Cadillac. I'm unsure which of these Cadillac parts might work on the Olds. The Cadillac buckets and aiming mechanisms clearly have a right side/left side orientation and look as though they'll fit into the Olds without difficulty. However, the reflectors are a puzzle. Both the headlight and parking light bulbs are offset slightly to one side of the reflector, and it's the same sided offset in both reflectors. I would think that the reflectors would be mirror images of each other if they were left & right sided, so I can't quite figure out what I'm dealing with. Why the offset? Did the '39 Cadillac have left/right sided headlight reflectors? FWIW, the '38 Olds master parts book lists only one headlight reflector for both sides of the F and L series of cars- part #922315. I'd be grateful if anyone can shed any light into whether these '39 Cadillac reflectors with their matching bulb offsets would be appropriate for a '38 Olds, and if not, what other headlight parts of the era might properly interchange. Buying this car was a big leap out of my early-60's comfort zone. Any advice or assistance would be much appreciated!
  12. An additional consideration towards ascertaining a value is knowing whether or not the car is a business coupe or a sport coupe. Business coupes had a trunk, while sport coupes had a rumble seat. Each bodystyle was available in the short wheelbase 6-cylinder and long-wheelbase 8-cylinder platforms. Does the car have a six or an eight? Trunk or rumble seat?
  13. The 394 in my '62 Starfire convertible is not original to the car. I'd like to find a cylinder head with an engine number that corresponds more closely with the car's build date of early April. Engine numbers within a range of 10-20K of G550000S would work. These numbers are stamped on a flat on the driver's side head that's located just below the lower edge of the valve cover and between the two inner spark plug holes. Willing to consider single heads or sets. Thanks! Chuck
  14. Thanks for the reply! PM sent. Chuck
  15. Thanks for the suggestions thus far. The pieces are rather intricate. I suppose they're more akin to fender or trunk scripts as opposed to a solid badge or emblem, so I apologize for my semantics. I've attached some pics of the boat and the scripts. Having never cast anything myself, I'm not sure if this would be the best project for a rookie, but if all else fails, I guess I'll give it a shot... Chuck
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