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62 Starfire advice

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OK, so I had a great Olds and don't anymore. I love Olds cars though and am looking for another one that needs some tinkering. A friend of mine says he has an old friend that has had this car for many years and now it sits. In fact it hasn't been running since 95. Starfire's are great looking cars and I have always wanted one. This may be a good opportunity now but I would like to have opinions of people that know more about these cars then I do.

Here is the link to my Picture Trail album that has the pictures I took today. Only a couple of bad rust spots, a straight body and good interior with no rips or tears. Solid floors. Needs fuel system totally re-done I am sure along with the brake system and a set of new tires. Had a rebuilt trans not long before the car was put to sleep. Needs a paint job but I have done that before many times and can handle that. Chrome work is the thing that bothers me some as to the cost.

So let me have the good, bad and ugly guys it is appreciated any help given.




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Wow, where to begin...First of all, if you want a '62 Olds Starfire, let me compliment you on your great taste in cars! All '62 Oldsmobiles are great IMHO, but the Starfire is the crown jewel of the bunch, with all its glitz and glitter, not to mention performance.

General advice--let's start with the ugly. What is the transmission like? That is the Achilles' Heel of these '61-'64 full-size Oldsmobiles. If it's in good shape, big issue out of the way. If it needs work, well...make absolutely sure the person HAS worked on one before. If they haven't--even if they say they've had 40 years of experience, you may end up with the parts of three of them spread out in eight boxes, with an "I give up--take it away!" story. That's exactly what happened to me last fall-fortunately, found an old retired guy who made two good ones out of the flotsam and jetsam that he sorted out.

I've had two engine rebuilds--one for the '62 Starfire, one for my '62 Dynamic 88 wagon. They are not difficult, parts are available, it's just that it ain't cheap. No Chevy 350 walk in the park here. If the engine is fine, great; if a rebuild needs done, expect about $5k to do it at least.

Any other general maintenance stuff, for the engine, suspension, steering, all that good stuff, parts can be found; primarily I always go first to Fusick's, then USA Parts Supply if need be.

Interior materials can all be found at SMS Auto Fabrics; and I'm sure some others as well. The headliner is another problem area; SMS does have a material that is much more durable than the sponge crap originally used, and looks close enough to perfect to me; finding someone to do it 100% may be a challenge, but it can be done--I've seen it.

What makes a Starfire a Starfire is the aluminum panels on the side; for years this was a major concern, but thanks to Steve Westlake at JasWest in Ontario, you can get a 100% faithful and correct set to make your car shine.

So, the three major areas to look out for--the transmission, the aluminum panels, and the headliner--if any of these are good to great, then you are ahead of the game.

Could go on and on here, but will leave it up to my fellow Starfire brethren who know more than I. Would be remiss in closing if I didn't give a shout out to Paul and his terrific website, the 1962 Oldsmobile Information Page:

1962 Oldsmobile Information Page

Good luck, hope I've answered what you asked for, at least in part...

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I just bought a 62 Starfire last year actually. I have always liked the look of the 62 in particular. I haven't gotten mine on the road yet but I hope to this summer. Parts are a little on the expensive side and they don't repro enough of them in my opinion. However, they make enough to get you by (like Fusicks). You can also use some Impala parts in your Starfire, which really helps out since a lot of the time the chevy parts are way cheaper and are exactly the same for olds cars. Just do your hw! I don't know a whole lot about the Slim Jim trannys or the major mechanical stuff but so far the car is a lot of fun. I am about to redo all the vac tubes for the heater since the old nylon T couplings have cracks or the tubing is brittle so the heater motor won't kick on unless I push in the vac cannister fron the engine compartment. They are cars that you don't see very many of that is for sure! The way the economy is I don't plan on dumping a huge sum of money into my car and I just want a nice driver quality car.

My headliner was missing in my car too but at least came with the backer headliner panels. That will be another adventure in itself! I hope you post picts! I am sure there are others who know way more than I do about the subject. I wish you the best of luck in your project, whatever it may be :)

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Guest palosfv3

Your picture link is not working correctly . Elvis has touched on many of the major issues with the Starfire. The only thing I would add is to look carefully underneath at the floors and body mount areas. They are great for rusting especially in the rust belt states and if the car is stored in an unheated or damp location corrosion will cotinue to take its toll . Pay close attention to the rear body mount immediately behind the rear tires . I have seen cars with as little as 30k miles with holes in this area.

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I appreciate the feedback. I will try this link to see if it works to view the photos. I hate computers because I can not fully understand them.

The interior is in great shape. The upholstery is not torn at all and the carpets are good as are the door panels. The headliner has been replaced by something other than the original but is now hanging down and needs new.

The trans was rebuilt not long before the car was not used any longer. All the trim is is there and in perfect condition.

No rot or bad rust in the floor or trunk. Two small areas on the right rear 1/4 behind the wheel and one on the lip of the deck lid near the tail lights.

PictureTrail - Online Photo Albums

Thanks again for the advice. He is asking 5K but I am hesitant at this price because of it sitting for 17 years.

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I tried this latest link, but it wants me to log in.

I would be a little cautious with that trans. I don't think it's good for them to sit inactive like that for such an extended time, whether it's been rebuilt or not. I've heard more than once of transmission fluid turning to tar, or disolving the material off of the friction plates from sitting. Why they do that when they sit, and not when you drive them, is beyond me. If the trans had just been done, what is the reason it was then put in storage.

Work on that picture link. I'd like to see the pictures. $5k might not be so bad. Depends what you're going to do with it.


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I second what Paul said about the trans. I just had a Slim-Jim rebuilt that had sat for many years. Most of the clutch plates had lost their friction material, and the rear carrier assembly was locked-up from the sludge that remained of the old trans fluid.

A few years ago, I paid $4400 for a rust-free '62 Starfire that ran. (Not well, but at least the car could be driven.) I'd politely suggest to your friend that he gets the car running before paying $5K- you could be out close to another $2K if the transmission needs another rebuild.

All that aside, these are great cars that perform well and turn a lot of heads.

Ron, I'm located in Wheaton and have several full-sized 61's and 62's. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk on the phone. I have some time off next week and would be willing to meet up with you to check out the car if it's local.


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Well, that was a good point that I will have the ask the owner as to why he stopped driving the car. I do have a good trans guy that says he knows these and is willing to do what's needed. My plan is to do the repairs a little at a time. I can paint it and do anything else needed. It will need the brakes totally done along with the carb and fuel pump rebuilt. Not a big deal in my book. The last car I painted was also a Lacquer finish and takes some doing to refinish but it's all about the journey any way.

Hey Chuck, I bought a 65 Mustang quite a number of years back from that area. You're not that far from the Downers Grove cruise night I don't think. That was a great show the number of times I have been there. I am semi retired but work at many things for people so my schedule is all over the place. I'll see what next week brings and let you know. I'll talk to my trans guy and see what he knows.

Maybe this will work. Just click the picture to enlarge.

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050370" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050370.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050344" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050344.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050342" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050342.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050296" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050296.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050260" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050260.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050259" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050259.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050256" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050256.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050254" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050254.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

Edited by Ron of Chicago (see edit history)
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Wow, looking at your Fisher plate, it's almost exactly the same as mine! Your car was built the first week of April, 1962 (04A, which means--Happy 50th Birthday!); mine was built the first week of July '62 (O7A). Your paint codes are exactly the same as mine (AAL--A for Ebony Black body, A for Ebony Black roof, and L for the Garnet Mist Wheel cover inserts). The 935 trim is the two-tone red leather and morroceen, just like mine; and even your main options, N for Oldsmobile Factory Air Conditioning--a usual thing for a South Gate (Los Angeles) built car--the BC before the serial number, specifically the C, indicates a California car, which means it has California emission controls, like PCV). The U4 is for the electric windows.

Seems to me the most common colors for these are the Ebony Black, and the Garnet Mist (maroon metallic); along with Wedgewood Mist (light blue metallic). With the chrome and the aluminum, that really sets off the contrast with the black really well, IMHO.

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Thanks for the information starfireelvis

I could not see a lot of the interior as he has a lot of stuff inside the car. It all looks good including the carpeting but he said that the seats were re-done some time way back. I took that as just the fronts though and will have to call him to see if I can get a better look at the interior. The seats were done nicely but they are NOT two tone unless it is very subtle. I thought I took a picture of the drivers seat but apparently I did not.

<a href="http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=10&imgid=402050366" target="_blank"><img src="http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL619/3950667/24086066/t-402050366.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.picturetrail.com" /></a>

Do you have a picture of your seats?

Thanks again

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Yes, it appears one-tone from that picture, though the pattern seems correct. If you want to have the correct leather and vinyl (which is what the Morocceen marketing therm is for Oldsmobile--I think Pontiac called theirs Morrokide--and I checked the spelling on each), you can get them from SMS Auto Fabrics in Oregon. When I had my seats done about 8 years ago, the material was well over $1,000. You could opt for all vinyl instead of leather to save money, but the sheen will not quite be the same.

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Here's a picture of a red interior in a '62 Starfire.

The front seats in this car have been poorly done in vinyl. The colors are off, and some of the perimeter piping was omitted.

The rear is the original leather and gives a reasonable idea of how it's supposed to look.

In your picture, the area to the left appears to be a slightly lighter shade of red, which is correct. However, it appears that the entire center section of the seat was done in a darker red- this instead should be two dark sections divided by a vertical band of the lighter color.

Perhaps this is something else you can use to drive the price down.... :D

I've been to Downers Grove a few times. It's a nice cruise. Unfortunately, by the time I drive over there after work on a Friday, it's often difficult to find a good spot. I usually wind up going to the one in downtown Wheaton instead- it's close enough that I can walk back to the house if necessary.



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Yep, that's the way I remember seeing the interiors on those cars. I knew that the interior in the one I am looking at was not correct but couldn't put my finger on it. Lighting and and dirt may be throwing the colors off a little but I can see what you mean with the center division section and it not being the way it should be.

I am doing some figuring and will talk to the owner hopefully tomorrow. I just got his number today from his friend. The owner is a bit UN-ordinary. I have been trying to see this car for over a month now and he kept telling me through his friend that the car was not going to be for sale. All of a sudden he says, OK, come and look, maybe I will sell it. If I can go see it I will call you Chuck to see if you are able to go and want to. I need to get a cleaner look maybe without the junk in the car.

Thanks everyone for you input. It is well appreciated.

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OK, didn't take a new pic of my Starfire interior, but here's a reasonable enough shot that I found; took this at Fall Hershey last October; it was a beautiful day, and actually took a couple of shots of the interior, but this was the best one that didn't have sun glare or shadows, and I think best captures the true colors.

Mine is with the leather; I still plan on taking some better pics this weekend for you.


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