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bbodine

florence henderson

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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)

CENTER TOP BOOT

COMPT.

The other piece of the boot has this:

Top COMPT. Boot (in pink/red chalk)

30114 Div (with the 30114)crossed out

30133

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

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

The top picture shows one of the holes left by the missing chrome piece.

The other picture shows the pieces that are still there from inside the trunk.

hope this helps

thanks

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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.....

Chuck

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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...

Paul

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http://home.wanadoo.nl/shaul/cf/co00/com.html#1961M

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.

Chuck

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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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I think compt. is an abbreviation for compartment.

Glenn, that is so cool! You da man! And Mike should be given credit for providing the web site link.

This is exciting!

Paul

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I just called my wife at "high school musical" rehearsals to tell her the news, even if it is just a maybe.

She is going crazy.

My cel number 903-271-7355

thanks

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Glenn, that is terrific--wouldn't this be something.

Now, if anybody knows of a Willow Mist '62 Starfire Coupe, VIN#626M06848...

(that was MY father's Oldsmobile from 8/15/63-12/21/66; more on that at another time)

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I don't know if I've ever seen a Willow Mist '62 Olds, let alone a Starfire. Somewhere I have the VIN for my dad's '62 also: a Garnet Mist Dynamic 88 coupe with the optional interior bright moldings & all-Morroceen seats. One of my earliest memories is going with my dad & hauling a Christmas tree home in the trunk of that car. That's another story, too.

Regarding the antenna on this Starfire- the two swept-back units currently on the car are almost certainly aftermarket items. I see a lot of cars with pairs of those at cruises- it must have been a big thing back then???

At least nobody hacked-up the dash & interior for some super-duper-mega-stereo system.... did they?

Anyway, the correct power antenna is on the passenger's rear fender. There is one mounting bracket that runs from the base of the unit to the trunk pan. When removing the antenna, this bracket usually comes out with the whole assembly, which is probably why there's not much there to see.

At the top, the unit mounts to the fender with a fancy collar nut & a rubber washer. It all comes off when the assembly is removed.

If you look at the trunk pan adjacent to where the antenna would mount, you should see two small holes where the bracket attached. You may also see the wiring harness & the antenna lead tucked into the well between the trunk floor & rear quarter. If your cardboard & liner is intact, much of this will be hidden from view.

I've posted a couple pics. The red trunk is on a '61 & shows the finished installation. The blue trunk is on a '62- notice it's a little different in the position of the attaching bracket, but the '62 pic still gives a good illustration of how the assembly connects to the trunk floor.

Chuck

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Sound of Music is listed as a 1965 movie, may have been actually filmed a little earlier. Would Olds have given her a used car?

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I have been waiting for this day. Finally the OCA forum proves the value of having an internet forum! For some reason, members of OCA do not seem to embrace this nor does the leadership of the club feel compelled to do so either.

Just my opinion but these types of forums bring members together in so many ways. They HELP members! Look how active the BCA is! They have a phenomenal following on this site. I absolutely know there can be some pain associated with the policing and dealing with disgruntled members but that is a duty club officials need to accept.

Glenn and I have both struggled with this issue and I have even addressed the OCA in Texas at the national meet. Sad, as I just see an opportunity wasting.

Of course now I wonder if I need to start posts out with Marilyn Monroe, J Lo, Angelina Jolie or some other woman to get your attention! grin.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 61Oldsguy</div><div class="ubbcode-body">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.</div></div>

Here's something interesting I learned today regarding '61 Starfire production:

1393a.jpg

Paul

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Saw that too and thought interesting. My Pontiac bud's comment was "Kinda blingy, ain't it?"

Anyway, for those who have waited...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Glenn,

Yes you may copy my email address to AACA Oldsmobile Forums.

Sincerely,

Florence Henderson </div></div>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dear Glen

Thanks for your note. I think the car you are referring to is the one Oldsmobile lent to me while I was doing The Sound of Music. It was originally pale blue as I remember.

I have always had a special place in my heart for Oldsmobile as I was "Lucille" for several of their industrial shows, as well as doing my TV commercials.

I'm glad you are a fan and I appreciate your interest.

Sincerely,

Florence Henderson </div></div>

Her contact email is Flofanmail@aol.com . Since Florence was gracious enough to respond to our questions, I believe personal thanks from all of us, identifying as AACA/Oldsmobile Forums members, are in order. Bodine, I hope you can talk to Florence about your car and get even more details.

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Rocketrader-

I just wanted you to know that i wrote Florence a letter of thanks for her reply to your request. Of course it would be nice if i get some kind of acknowledgment from her, but I know better than to expect it. It's just amazing to me that some little off-hand remark passed from buyer to buyer for 47 years ended up being true. Of course I wish i could get my hands on paperwork or pictures to back it up, but the odds are slim.

After the euphoria of the discovery wore off i was back to trying to figure out what to do about these blasted heads. I know they are going to have to be repaired, but although i have found one shop that says they "think" they can, they don't give me much assurance. Is head repair a common thing among collectors? Is it super expensive? I know that one head has two about half inch tiny hairline cracks that have not seemed to cause any damage. The crack in the other head is maybe an inch and a half hairline, enough to allow some corrosion from water, i guess.

The shop i had taken them two to check out took them apart and dipped them - when they saw the cracks they just told me to come pick them up. They told me i would have to get new heads, apparently not realizing that they are next to impossible to replace. Well, anyway, the springs, retaining clips, and valves, etc. were all taken off and are now in a big pile. The springs are obviously worn and i assume the valves are also.

Do i take the springs,valves, clips, etc.. in with the heads when i finally find a place that can do the work. Should i go ahead and order valves and springs? Please forgive my ignorance.

Thanks as always

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