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does anyone know if florence henderson once owned a 1961 starfire. I have one that is supposed to have been owned by her according to the two previous people who owned it. There are a couple of reasons that i think it might be true.


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She was doing a lot of singing ads for Olds back then, and was featured in several of the new model introduction extravaganzas that Olds was so fond of staging. Seems like I have some Jam Handy ad kits that feature her singing radio ad jingles.

Given her connections to Olds, amazing they used Chrysler products in "The Brady Bunch". They could have used Vista Cruisers and 442s easy as they used Custom Suburban Wagons and Barracudas.

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the reason i think it might be true, besides previous owner comments, is that for 1 it has "extra" chrome around the depressed area where the brushed aluminum side panels are mounted. This chrome by all appearence seems to be original. Also, there is a fiberglass boot that matchess the car's original paint color.

I have tried to inquire to her "people" but get no response. The whole reason that we got the car in the first place was because my wife was a raging Brady Bunch fan. God help her.


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I seem to recall that Olds had an off-white convertible with a fiberglass boot that was on the auto show circuit back then. The car may have been a Ninety Eight, though- I just can't remember. There was a vintage photo of it in Collectible Automobile magazine years ago when they had a feature on '61-64 Oldsmobiles.

Can you post a few pics of the car?

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I've not heard of her owning a Starfire, but that doesn't mean that she didn't. I have heard of her owning a '66 Toronado. Went to her ex in a divorce settlement, then to a museum, then was on eBay, and not in the best of shape.


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  • 2 weeks later...

If you type a reply (a standard reply, not a "quick reply") you'll notice a "File Manager" link under the reply box. Click on this & you'll be able to browse your image files & select which ones you want to upload. You can upload 5 files- I don't know what the size limit is, but I haven't had any problems using it.

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Thanks for the help-

I think you can see the extra chrome i was talking about. We are doing some motor work (searching for new heads) before we do the body work. When we do the body we are going to remove the extra chrome, original or not, because there are two pieces missing.

This is my first project car and it has been infinitely more complicated that i had dreamed it might be. It's a great car and that is what keeps us going (my dad and i).

It was running so-so when we decided to pull the heads. one had two tiny cracks, and the other had a slightly larger crack big enough to allow some water damage.

The only thing that have not been able to replace has been the passenger side rocker panel chrome. The rest of the car is original although the upholstery has been redone.



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Those are some fascinating pictures. Thanks for posting them. I can't quite tell, is the extra stainless trim on both sides of the cove? I have to admit, I've never seen anything like it before. Do you have any pics of the fiberglass boot you can post?

It might be helpful if you could provide the data off the cowl tag. It's located under the hood just in front of the windshield on the driver's side. There should be a date code in the extreme upper left: for example a 12C would indicate the car was built in the third week in December of 1960. There should also be a body number, along with trim, accessory, & paint codes.

If your car was some sort of pre-production auto show model, or perhaps a special order along the lines of a COPO car, it may have something unusual stamped on the tag.

The VIN, stamped on the driver's doorjamb between the hinges, may also offer a clue as to whether it's a regular-production Starfire, or something different.

Depending on what you learn, don't even think about removing any extra trim if you can determine that it's original to the car. If that car left the factory with extra trim & a fiberglass boot, you will be destroying the very thing that makes the car unique & sets it apart from the rest of the Starfires. If the missing extra trim is truly original to the car, replacements could be fabricated.

Unless you have access to another set of '61 Starfire heads, I'd suggest having your existing cylinder heads repaired if at all possible. Oldsfan commented in another post recently that the '61 Starfire heads are unique. He's correct.

You could certainly fit another set of 394 heads to your car, but they aren't quite the same in terms of valve size. Furthermore, the engine numbers on the 394s are stamped on the heads. The number is on a boss between the two middle cylinders. Change those heads & you'll likely have somebody telling you that you don't have a '61 Starfire engine at all should you go to sell the car.

Here are some part numbers that I got in an email from Oldsfan (I'm sure he won't mind me passing this along):

'61 non Starfire heads are 580419

'61 Starfire heads are 582836

'62 & '63 are 584782

'61 & '62 domestic head gaskets are 581168 (.025 thick)

'63 head gaskets are 588040 (.020 thick)

'59 thru '61 exc. Starfire intake valves are 576497

'61 Starfire intake valves are 581790

'62 & '63 intake valves are 583761

'56 thru '61 exc. Starfire exhaust valves are 576498

'61 Starfire exhaust valves are 581791

'62 & '63 exhaust valves are 583762

'61 thru '63 4bbl exc. Starfire camshaft is 581827

'61 Starfire camshaft is 582198

'62 Starfire camshaft is 583875

'63 Starfire camshaft is 588475

Pistons have a bunch of different numbers.

Everything else is the same.

Trust me on this one, these are not easy or cheap cars to restore properly. You're very ambitious to take one of these on for a first project. I recently participated in a thread on this very subject:


Tell me, where are you located?


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I just checked the 1962 body parts book to see if a 1961 88 or 98 might have had such trim. The pics and details in the book don't show any trim like that on any 61 big Olds.

Then I thought someone might have transplanted some 62 outline trim onto it, but that's different around the door key opening.

The curve at the front looks too factory to be anything else. What does it do toward the rear, near the taper?

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Thanks a lot for the info. Sorry i am so slow to get back. I only have access at work and rarely have free time.

I had just (today)come to the conclusion that the heads will have to be repaired. The only ones i can find are super high priced and i have no way of knowing for sure that they are good. My cracked heads have two weeks of rust from sitting in the back of the truck in the rain because i thought they were going to be trotline weights. I have found a shop that says they can do the work (over the phone).

The extra stainless trim is on both sides of the cove and goes all the way to the back "point" that is unique to the 61. Unfortunately there are apparently three pieces missing on one side including the point where the pieces come together.

I had always thought they had been added but decided they were just too perfect. They are even beveled correctly for door clearance.

I mentioned the fiberglass boot. There was a boot in the trunk when i got it that perfectly matches the upholstery in the car. This made me think that the car had been modified. But, the chrome strip around the top that has the snaps for the boot to attach to, has no snaps at all and looks absolutely original.

i will get better pics to put in next week.

thanks a lot for all of the info. I had never seen a starfire until i bought this one which may be my undoing.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: rocketraider</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Then I thought someone might have transplanted some 62 outline trim onto it, but that's different around the door key opening.</div></div>

That's a different piece of trim, Glenn. There are actually 4 horizonal strips on the doors and quarters of a '62 Starfire, if you count the bead molding on the panels. '62s have a stainless top molding like this '61 has, then right below it is another stainless molding, framing the top of the aluminum panel, that stops short at the lock cylinder, with a chrome piece on the other side of the cylinder. There is a third stainless molding that frames the bottom of the panel.

I think the top moldings on this '61 is stock '62, which would account for the bevelled edges. I think they also used '62 upper moldings for the lower moldings, for continuity. Front fender upper pieces are most likely modified '62, or fabricated from scratch. Front fender lower pieces are probably cut-down and modified '62 upper door pieces. Lower door moldings are probably '62 upper door moldings. Quarter moldings are most likely cut-down and modified '62 quarter pieces, with the end caps being fabricated.

Lots of work, but it could be done. Somebody did it.

Like Chuck said, it would be interesting to see the numbers from the Fisher Body plate to know if we are dealing with an early or a late car, and whether there's any unusual trim codes.


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I'm looking forward to seeing some more pics, especially of the boot & trim on the rear quarters.

Again, it would be most helpful if you could provide the info off the VIN & Fisher Body Tags.

Paul, do you think the '62 quarter molding is flexible enough to bend it to the curve of the '61 cove without kinking it? I've never had mine off the car to know how rigid it is.

That's an interesting bit of information about the lack of snaps on the top well molding... I've never seen that before, either.

I dug through my pile of Collectible Automobile magazines & found the feature on '61-4 Olds. The auto show car with the fiberglass boot was called the Deauville & was based on the Ninety Eight. Other than the paint job & fiberglass boot, it looked like a stock Ninety Eight convertible from the outside. The interior was quite different.

It will be interesting to compare the fiberglass boot on the '61 auto show car to whatever boot is on this Starfire. I'll try to scan & post some pics from the magazine when I have a chance.


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Again, thanks for the help

here is a picture of the plate and a closeup of where the chrome meets on the driver's side door. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but one piece of chrome is beveled, and the other actually " overlaps " i suppose to give the illusion of a continuous piece of chrome. I haven't been up in the attic to get the boot yet.

How do you guys know so much. I am amazed at your knowledge of all things olds. I am pretty green, but have loved olds since i got my parents 1968 delta 88 in 1975. It is probably still the best car i have ever owned.

Thanks for the help.

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Again, thanks for the help

here is a picture of the tag and a closeup of where the chrome meets on the driver's side door. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but one piece of chrome is beveled, and the other actually " overlaps " i suppose to give the illusion of a continuous piece of chrome. I haven't been up in the attic to get the boot yet.

How do you guys know so much. I am amazed at your knowledge of all things olds. I am pretty green, but have loved olds since i got my parents 1968 delta 88 in 1975. It is probably still the best car i have ever owned.

Thanks for the help.

(this is my second try to post this



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OK- The tag helps a lot. You have a mid-production car that was built in Lansing during the 4th week of May, 1961.

05 = 5th month

D = 4th week

Style 61-3667 = '61 Starfire convertible

Body LA 3153 = 3153rd Starfire convertible body built at Lansing

Trim 933 = Blue interior

Paint H = Glacier Blue (a much lighter blue than what's currently on the car.)

Accessories- not sure on this one... in '62 I believe these numbers could indicate biphonic speakers & a power antenna, air, & power vent windows. Does your car have those options?

The Starfire was a midyear introduction in '61. In comparison to this car, my Starfire was built in February & has a much lower body number. I'm uncertain if all '61 Starfires were Lansing-built. If they were, this car falls close to the halfway point in production, as about 7600 were built in total.

Suffice it to say, it doesn't look like you have a preproduction car that escaped the auto show circuit & wound up on a dealer lot.

Nonetheless, I still can't explain the extra trim. Have you been able to determine if the extra trim is stamped stainless, or is it cast & plated pot metal? Looking at it up close, I'm uncertain as to whether it has the same profile as the '62 trim. In cross-section it almost appears triangular. Unfortunately, my '62 just went into the shop, so I can't run out to the garage to compare it. Perhaps Oldsfan can help out here.

So the mystery continues. Please post a few pics of the boot & well molding when you have a chance. Other than talking with Florence Henderson, I think the only way to figure this out would be to have this car thoroughly gone over in person by someone who knows them well. Where are you located?

If nothing else, I suppose we haven't ruled out the Florence Henderson notion. If this car indeed has AC & power vent windows, that puts it into a fairly exclusive category, even for Starfires. It would seem logical that someone who was so active in Olds advertising back then would wind up with a well-optioned, high-dollar Olds, & perhaps someone in the company saw to it that her car was dressed-up a little better than most. Certainly a fascinating bit of history if at all true, & well-worth preserving.


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I initially had the date code interpreted incorrectly & edited the previous post accordingly. The car was built even later than I'd previously thought. On the date code, the first two numbers signify the month, while the following letter signifies the week. This car was built in the 4th week of May, 1961... NOT the fifth week of April. Sorry for the confusion!

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Which seam on the driver's side is your photo of? It can't be the fender to door seam - there is not enough clearance there for the door to get past the molding without ripping it off. If it is of the door to quarter seem, I find that odd, as moldings usually end flat with the door edge instead of protruding past it. Going past the edge like that gives the opportunity to get caught on clothes or damage surrounding vehicles. This seem looks more like the passenger's side door to fender.

Everything Chuck said about your data plate is correct, except for the fact that we have to send him back to school and teach him the calendar again. crazy.gif We are assuming the IBM codes were the same for '61 as they were for '62. I don't know why they would be different.

The '61 Starfire shop manual supplement claims that Starfires were built in the main plant in Lansing as well as at the BOP plants around the country. I don't recall seeing a non-Lansing Starfire. All of the "good" cars came out of Lansing, and one would think that Olds would want all of it's flagship cars to be "good" ones. There was a period of time when all 98s were built in Lansing, so it would stand to reason that the '61 Starfires might have been as well, in spite of what the shop manual says. There was also a time when all convertibles were built in Lansing due to the special bodies and frames and the lower production numbers, but we know this not to be the case in '61 and '62.

Chuck - yes, I think it is possible to put a '62 quarter molding on a '61 without kinking it. It depends how close to the point you need to get. We haven't seen a photo of this area yet. Anything is possible, as evidenced by this:


I'll tell you what. I have a quarter molding off of the parts car. How 'bout if I bring it out there to Chicago and we drill a couple of holes in the side of your Starfire and see if we can make it fit? laugh.gif

I,too, think we've eliminated the possibility of this car being an early or pre-production show car by the information on the data plate. Also, we've eliminated the possibility of it being a very late production car with some '62 trim thrown on it. I don't think the '62 trim would have been laying around the factory when this car was built.

So, someone did something at some point. We also now know that the color has been changed. The Glacier Blue can be seen underneath the top coat (which appears to be too dark to be stock '61 Azure Mist), so it seems reasonable that these pieces were added when the car was resprayed. As I said, anything's possible - see above.

Regarding the hard top cover and no-snaps pinchweld moldings - there was a time when Cadillac was big on those items, especially for Eldorados. It's possible a '61 Eldo hard boot and moldings have been employed. I believe a Starfire would have used the same pinchweld moldings as a 98, which would have used the same moldings as a base Cadillac convertible, which was the same body as the Eldo, so Eldo pinchweld moldings should interchange with Starfire moldings.

Here are the photos I took of the trim on my '62. This is the seam between the driver's side fender and door. Notice the paint chip, eluding to the fact that there is practically NO clearance here. These moldings are stainless, not cast, and have 4 surfaces to them. Depending on the angle taken, they can appear triangular.





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Great pics of the trim, Paul. Perhaps with a few more pics & some more info we'll get a better idea of what's on that Starfire. I had the same thought as you about that bevel...it looks like it's just waiting to snag someone's coat & rip it. I'm under the impression that pic is of the driver's door/rear quarter seam. I wonder if there's a similar bevel at the front of the doors?

Bodine, what color is the paint where the trim's missing? Does it match the dark blue on the rest of the car, or is it the original light blue?

Tell you what, Paul- we can put that '62 trim on my '61 Starfire as soon as we drop an SBC crate motor into yours, lower it a few inches, throw on some 20" wheels & then finish the car off with one of those super-cool neon kits... laugh.gif

Here's a scan of that '61 Ninety Eight show car with the fiberglass boot. This is from the December '96 issue of collectible Automobile. Paul, does that look like the same boot used on the Eldos?



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i'm going to put this into three posts because i am not sure of the limit.

the first picture is the three chrome pieces coming together in the point.

the second picture is looking down between the passenger side door and the front fender.

The third picture is just a closeup which shows the male and female bevel of the chrome where the passenger door meets the fender.

The chrome between the door and the back fender is not beveled this way.

i don't know if this helps on the tag codes, but the car does have electric vent windows, air conditioning and a power antenna (although the antenna has been replaced - am looking for the correct replacement.




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these next two pictures show the chrome around the convertible top. The first picture shows a large part of the back. The second piece is just a closeup which shows (i think) a drain hole in the trim. There is one on the other side also.



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This third set of pictures is of the fiberglass boot. I noticed when taking the pictures that the fiberglass boot is exactly the same color as the vinyl boot that appears to have never been used.

again thanks for your help



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Helen Earley, guide us!

If someone knows how to get in touch with Jim Walkinshaw, it's possible he may know or remember something about this car. The trim at the cove point looks too factory to have been done anywhere else, and the only other GM cars I can think of with anything similar are 59-61 Cadillac Biarritz or Park Avenue.

On the missing trim pieces- how were they attached? Are there weld studs for the trim clips to attach to, or are there elongated holes punched in the panel? Those would indicate factory installation. Or do they look like they may have been drilled later?

Paul, has Ron Miller seen this? Know he's in a bad way, but he or Everett Horton might have some insight here.

An aside- did Ron's car sell at Carlisle? Rumour was someone from South Africa had made a substantial deposit on it.

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I agree with Glenn- that piece around the cove point looks perfect. If this wasn't done at the factory, somebody spent an awful lot of time & money to do a heck of a nice job.

Looking at the additional pics of the trim, I'm pretty confident that it doesn't have the same contour as what was subsequently used in '62. Glenn raises a good point about the attachments- a few pics where the trim is missing to show just how it attaches to the body would also be helpful.

I can't tell for sure, but the trailing edge & latch placement of that fiberglass boot strongly resembles the one on the Deauville show car. A pic or two of the leading edge of the boot could provide a good comparison, too.

Does the boot have any numbers or markings on it?

Have you checked under the backseat for a build sheet? I think the odds of it remaining after all these years is pretty slim, but you never know till you look.

This gets more interesting by the day.... what a fascinating car.

Glenn, I have Everett's email, so I'll send him a link to this thread to see if he can offer any insight. I can't help with Jim Walkinshaw.....Paul?


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This is the first time i've taken the boot out of the attic since getting the car - had not noticed the writing on the back of all three pieces.

The right hand piece of the boot has this:

"blue starfire" written in red chalk

04136 RH written in red chalk on a piece of masking tape

The center piece of the boot has this:

S.O. 30114 DIV (the 30114 is crossed out and replaced with 30133)



The other piece of the boot has this:

Top COMPT. Boot (in pink/red chalk)

30114 Div (with the 30114)crossed out


There was no build sheet under the back seat when i removed it.






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This sure is an interesting car; just my opinion here, but I think the '61s would have looked better with this type of trim around the coves (as was the case in '62), but then again I'm a '62 guy, plus I love the '58s, so you know I'm a bling-bling guy as far as the chrome goes. I must confess I had never heard of any production '61 Starfire that had these, but I do know that every now and then there are one-offs that a big shot specifically requested. I know I had heard at the 100th in Lansing that some Olds executive specifically ordered a four-door '62 Starfire, I guess based upon the Ninety-Eight Sport Sedan, but that would have required some special fabricating.

One thing I can mention is that at Fall Hershey about 4 or 5 years ago, someone had a white '60 Buick that featured '61 Buick taillights, ranther than the conical ones that were on the '59 and '60 models; I was told by the owner of the car that it was specifically designed that way for one of the Buick executives back then.

As for Florence Henderson, she had been featured in several Oldsmobile advertisements in the late '50s-early '60s; she does appear in a '62 Olds Starfire ad featured in Playbill Magazine, which was a Broadway-play publication of the time; you can see this ad at her website, http://www.flohome.com/main.htm and by accessing the "Me And Olds" link on the left-hand side of the page. As Paul had mentioned, the only car I recall her "owning", if true, was the early Toronado on e-Bay. I know I've seen TV show host Garry Moore featured in several commercials (Oldsmobile sponsored his variety show), and he can be seen tooling around in a '62 Starfire, implying that he "owns" it, or at least it was his to use.

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Well- I stepped out to the edge. Here's the email I sent to flofanmail from the website Mike provided. Maybe we'll get lucky and Florence herself will confirm the car.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hello!

A group of us on the Antique Automobile Club of America's Oldsmobile discussion forums are trying to determine if a member's 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire was originally owned by Florence. We knew she had ties to Olds advertising in the 50s and 60s, and this car has some special one-off trim that none of us has ever seen on a 1961 car. From what we can tell, the car was originally a pale blue though it has been repainted a darker blue.

The car's current owner's wife is a "raging Brady Bunch fan" and that's why they bought this particular car.

If Florence did own this car and has any memories of it she's willing to share, we in the group would like to hear about them. An old car with history is always interesting.

And yes, all of us in the discussion grew up with the Brady family, and still watch it on TV Land!

Thanks for your time and help,

Glenn Williamson

AACA Oldsmobile Forums moderator

Link to the discussion: http://forums.aaca.org/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/451714#Post451714 </div></div>

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Oldsfan is a parts guru, so perhaps he'll be able to chime in about those numbers on the boot. Now that I have a few good views of it, I'd say it's the same as the one illustrated on the '61 Ninety Eight show car.

From the trunk view, the fasteners for the cove point trim don't appear to be anything that would have been used on a production line. Of course, if this is a one-off custom along the lines of the '62 Starfire 4-door that Mike referred to, then I suppose they'd have used whatever was convenient.

BTW Mike, I saw your sweet '62 wagon on Paul's site. How's it working out for you?

Bodine, I sure wish you were closer- I would jump at the chance to see your car in person. Otherwise, I'm about out of information. Hopefully Glenn's note to Ms. Henderson will yield some results. Regardless, it's clearly a very unusual car & one deserving of a meticulous (read high-dollar) restoration. I've long said I'd never do another body-off restoration on a '61 Starfire- it's a great way to make a small fortune.... if you start with a big one. HOWEVER, if I had that car.....


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The Fiesta Wagon is finally up on the rack at my friend's shop, and as you can imagine, we're replacing quite a few things that are necessary to make it safe and road-worthy. The cosmetics we'll address later. Great thing is, I had some stuff from the Starfire that could be used for the wagon, and have been able to get most everything I need thus far from one source or another. We'll keep you posted.

BTW, nice letter, Glenn; hope Miss Henderson can shed some light on this.

Another thread that may be worthy of discussion at some point are the Miss America cars that Oldsmobile provided for winners back in the '60s; Not only did Maria Beale Fletcher win a '62 Starfire as Miss America that year, seems that the next year's winner, Jacqueline Mayer of Sandusky, Ohio, not only received a '63 Starfire as Miss America, but also received a '62 Starfire for winning Miss Ohio the previous year...

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Geez, I've got so many things I want to address here. This is gonna be long...

Firstly, Bodine, one of your first posts says that the two former owners of this car believe it to have belonged to Ms. Henderson. Obviously they have no documentation, or you would have it. What leads them to say/believe this car may have been owned by her?

Next, I agree with Chuck - this doesn't appear to be a Mickey Mouse job. Someone went to quite a bit of work (and expense) to fabricate those spear pieces, as well as the others. I no longer think these are stock '62 moldings that have been added. And I admit that you couldn't take a '62 molding and put that much of a curve into it. We still haven't been told if any of these pieces are stainless or cast and chromed. If any of them are cast, it would be interesting to see if there are any casting numbers on the back of them. I also agree that the retaining hardware on the back is a little crude. My '62 side moldings use those plastic capped nuts that are shown holding the factory pieces on. But we all know that when GM put together cars for display purposes, it was the outward appearance that counted. It could have been bubble gum, chicken wire and duct tape holding it all together underneath, just as long as it looked good on the outside. Don't forget, many of GMs "Dream Cars" didn't even run/stop under their own power.

We learned something here - I don't know if anyone else caught it. Even eagle-eyed Chuck didn't say anything. This car has light blue and dark blue paint under where that molding that is missing, which leads me to believe that the moldings weren't on the car when it was resprayed. But then again, there is dark blue overspray on the attaching hardware inside the quarter. Some touchup work after the moldings were installed? Collision repair? The world may never know...

Chuck - notice the overhang (for lack of a better term) of the front fender aluminum panel bead molding in the straight-down photo - does yours overhang like that?

Now, let's deal with the top pinchweld moldings. There's a hole on each side, assumed for drainage purposes. I don't know what would drain there. The top drains down inside the car through the drip rail. Not really anywhere for those moldings to catch water that they would need to drain. I think this looks like the location for a snap. If Chuck would look at one of his many convertibles, I'll bet he would find s snap in this location. Why there would only be two snaps on the whole perimeter, and why they'd be missing are beyond me. Or, maybe it's some sort of locating hole for the hard boot. Are there pins or something on the underside of the boot side pieces? I'm surprized this car even came with the soft boot - there's no way to attach it. I checked the full sized Olds pinchweld molding part number against similar Cadillac numbers and they are different. I also noticed that Cadillac stopped offering a hard dust cover in 1960. Even the '61 to '64 Eldorados didn't have hard dust covers available, according to the parts book. So it appears this hard dust cover, and the one on the Deauville, are indeed special - as are the snap-less pinchweld moldings. I was hoping to see these pieces as stock Cadillac, but that is not the case. One thing - as proved by the Deauville photos - it came out of GM.

Helen Earley - oh, how we miss you, Helen! God rest your soul. I think you would have known something about this special car, or would have been able to dig something up about it - and would have enjoyed the hunt. Now it's GM corporate red tape for us. We have lost a great resource, but more importantly, a wonderful person.

Jim Walkinshaw - is not a member of the NAOC (which I find strange). I have no contact information for him. The trouble with Jim is that, while he did co-author the books with Helen, he spent his career at Oldsmobile in manufacturing engineering, not sales/public relations, as Helen did. If one of the two of them knew anything, my money would be on Helen.

I am not aware that Ron Miller has seen this. I will draw his attention to it. His car did sell, at Carlisle, to a gentleman in Florida. I heard nothing about South Africa. I am assuming you know why the car was sold. If not, PM me and I'll give you the details.

I doubt you will find a build sheet. It is my understanding that build sheets were discarded in Lansing, instead of hidden in the cars like they were at various other plants. I have had many Lansing built cars and have never found a build sheet in any of them. The best I have done is a small tag under the carpet with a few trim codes on it.

Hard dust boot markings - I believe the S.O. to stand for Shop Order. I think I recall reading this somewhere before, I think in regards to the F-88. A shop order is something that would be filed by someone in the vehicle engineering department for special work to be done to a vehicle. I don't know if this would have been Oldsmobile Engineering, which would have been located in Lansing at the time, or if it would have been at the Technical Center level in Warren. Either way, I'm sure the shop order is long gone. I'm assuming 30114 or 30133 is the shop order number. The 3 could indicate it as being an Oldsmobile shop order, since that is how their body style numbers started out - but that is just a guess. I think it's interesting that the hard dust cover has those little "booties" on the front edges.

"Parts guru" - that's a good one. My boss should see that. I think he'd have a different term for you...


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Here's some pics of Cadillac Sixty Specials. The 59 was the car I was thinking of that had that spear-point rear fender trim.

Do y'all see any resemblance there, or is the Cad trim cross-section thicker than what is on bodine's car?

As an aside, there were very nice 1966 and 1968 Sixty Special sedans at Carlisle, and either could be had for less than $8,000. Probably overall the best buys there.

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Yeah, that was a good thought, Glenn, but I agree with Paul- the Cadillac trim looks a little thicker, less curved, & on more of an acute angle than what's on the Olds.

Paul brought up a some good points in his post, especially regarding casting numbers. It would be nice to know if that trim is stamped stainless or cast potmetal. Given that the rest of the car looks rather tired, but the trim appears bright, I'm putting my money on stainless.

I did notice the overspray & the different shades of blue under the trim, but I guess the implications of it didn't dawn on me as they did for Oldsfan. I just assumed that when the car was painted, whoever did the job removed the trim & reinstalled it rather than try to do a so-so job & mask it all off. Paul's right though- the trim certainly could have been added after the color change.

Paul, I did notice the slight overhang & bevel of the center bead molding. That's correct for '61- mine has the same thing.

I had a chance to look at my "many convertibles".... smirk.gif you can't have too many.... grin.gif There is indeed a snap at the position of that hole. The locating pin hypothesis is a good one- something has to keep those fiberglass end pieces from going into orbit when you're cruising along at 70mph! The other thing that crossed my mind is that there may have been a single snap in that position to hold the soft "bootie" portion of the boot. I'll be there are still a couple of snaps on the interior for those booties, too.

That's some great info about the fiberglass boot, Paul. I was also unaware that the last year for those was 1960 on the Cadillacs. Bodine, you should make a run of about 1000 of those boots & sell them off on ebay to help pay for the restoration! I assume they'd fit most of the full-sized '61 & '62 GM convertibles, & perhaps '63 & '64, too.

Other than tracing down the original owner, Helen Earley was probably the one person who may have known something about this car. We're still very fortunate to have had her around as long as we did. I wish I'd had a chance to meet her- she sounds like an extraordinary person.

I recently heard back from Everett Horton. He said that he'd heard some vague rumblings long ago about Florence Henderson possibly having some sort of Olds, but nothing more than that.


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This will probably not help a bit but i thought i would mention it.

The starfire has the switch on the dash for an electric antenna beside the top and courtesy light switch.

The car actually has two decidedly not-electric antennae, one on each side of the trunk. They don't go straight up, they kinda' swoop back. I assumed from the beginning that the two antennas had been put on by the teenager who i knew owned it three owners before me (and i can't find the name of) I don't suppose there would have been any reason why they would have been original? There is no bracketing for an electric antenna. Again I assume this was done by the teenager three owners before me.

Does anybody have an idea what the word "Compt." that was written on the fiberglass boot would have meant?

Thanks as always.

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Could mean "complete", "compartment" or <span style="font-weight: bold">"complimentary".</span>

I heard back from Florence herself today. I've asked her permission to post her reply here; once I have that, I'll post the entire email.

Right now, it looks like Oldsmobile lent her a pale blue 1961 Starfire while she was doing "The Sound of Music", and she thinks this is the car.

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