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1965 Starfire 4 speed convertible


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Hi, I am thinking once again of selling this car...its a 1965 Starfire convertible, white with dark blue top and light blue interior, woodgrain wheel, bolt-on mags, AMFM, loaded with power options, and best of all, its a 4 speed stick car. It did did NOT come from the factory that way, however I did part out factory 4 speed Starfire coupe and used all the components from that car in order to do the conversion (since the donor car had the same color interior, even the console was the right color). It is indistiguishable from factory, unless maybe if you crawled under the car. This is not a show car, but its a nice driver, looks clean and straight, has decent paint and chrome, nice interior, and a brand new top. Its got its idosyncracies, as can be expected from a 37 year old cars. However, it drives great. The worst part of the car is the underside, which shows a goodly amount of rust and scale. And the car has its share of bondo. Nothing too frightening, though that depends on how easily you are fightened, I guess! The car looks essentially 100% factory, with the exception of hoses, battery, tires, that sort of stuff. Some of the trim (ie tail and headlight bezels) are a bit pitted, but overall the trim is actually pretty nice. Bumpers are very nice. Exhaust exits out the side as it should. It is priced to sell at $7000. I have too many cars. If interested or have any questions, please contact scottfettner@hotmail.com

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PS: the car is located in central NJ...I have pics I can snail mail, and some so-so pics I could E-mail, but I am no whiz at scanning so they aint all that great.

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And natcherly something like this comes along AFTER I have shelled out the change for another 1964 coupe...<P>For DF general info- there are only two 4-speed convertibles known to have been factory built out of 172 total 4-speed 1965 Starfires. One is currently in Michigan, the other was in NC up to about 6 years ago and then I lost track of it. The NC car was an anomaly- it was a no option car. Not even a radio or backup lights. Special ordered by a doctor who wanted to go fast in class. It was for sale in the $25k range even then and was too rich for my blood.<p>[ 07-24-2002: Message edited by: rocketraider ]

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Rocketraider, thank you for that information...actually, I know of one currently for sale, might be the Michigan car you mentioned. Its a "mint" green with white top and interior, and optioned much like my own car. It is said by the seller to be "vary pricey". I also know of one in Mass, was advertised in Hemmings last year, pretty sure it was light metallic blue (forget the official color) with black top and interior, and also well optioned. I spoke to the seller, who was friendly enough...he wanted 22.5K FIRM...dunno if he ever got it. Both cars were/are said to be in original unrusted condition, and of course, were factory cars, hence the pricetags. My own car has the backup-light delete plates, by the way. --Scott

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A light blue one means a third one may have surfaced. The NC car was black/white/white. The MI car is Turquoise Mist/white interior and that is kind of a mint green. Around 37k miles is what I hear.<P>Being in Joisey, I take it you know about the Mager 66 4-speed coupe? Rumour of another one stuffed in an old garage about 30 miles east of here but I can't confirm it.

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Rocketraider, also there is my buddy Joe who lives in NJ and owns a 1966 Delta 88 Coupe with factory 4 spd and the Starfire engine with dual exhaust. I know of a few other big 4-spd cars, namely Kurt Shubert's 1965 Jetstar I and also a nice 4-spd 65 Jetstar I that sold on Ebay last year for something like $6500. Curt Anderson has a 65 4 speed Delta 88 (4 door!), and I think there is a guy in California with a 65 4-spd Delta (was at last year's nats, heard about it but did not see it). And oh wait, there is a guy in NY, Stew Feurstein, who parted a 4-spd 1966 dynamic and still has all the parts (which he says he'll never sell!). Hmmm, maybe these aren't that rare after all! Haw haw...seriously I wonder how many total big 4-spd cars survive? A couple dozen would be my guess.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Anyone see my car at the NEOC show in Meriden, CT this past Sunday (Aug. 11th?). Just wondrin...was a great show by the way, and while my car was far from the hit of the show, I was happy to see that it knocked a few people's socks off! One guy came up and asked me if I converted the car...I asked him if he overheard me telling someone and he said "no, but since they made only a couple of these, I just assumed..." <P>--Scott

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow!! That was impressive that you had a website for this car so readily available. Thanks for the information.

This car looks pretty solid, but certainly pictures don't tell the whole story.

Anybody ever driven a Starfire (or similar size Olds) with the Muncie 4-speed? How do one of these things drive out?

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The car in that website is NOT mine...I wish it was. I know of it because it is near identical to mine (except the fact that its a factory car, while mine is a conversion, and also its nicer cosmetically than mine). Anyway, my car runs great, I had the opportunity to drive it as an automatic (before the conversion) and then after putting the 4-spd in it. Of course, I prefer the 4-spd...the car is remarkably quick for its size, and will throw you back in the seat if you whomp on it (but of course, I am a responsible driver, and so I almost never do that). The only problem I have noticed while driving it is that in these older cars, there are quite a few turns lock-to-lock on the steering wheel...if you are leaving a parking lot, say making a sharp turn, and need to accelerate quickly, it is a bit awkward because you need to shift with your right had while at the same time returning the wheel to center after negotiating the turn (which really requires both hands to do with any amount of grace). A third hand would come in handy in such instances.

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Power steering was standard on Starfires (as I recall), so I would think that by stabbing on the power, the car would have "somewhat" a natural tendency to straighten itself out - though it sounds like some assistance is needed on the part of the driver. But, that's part of the "charm" about driving a semi-boat of a car from the 1960's.

In order to find an affordable car, I've been trying to find a convertible that flys below the radar, so to speak, with regard to its popularity - and thus price. I thought a 1964-1966 Olds 98 convertible would fit the bill pretty nicely in that regard.

In reading the posts above, it sounds like Oldsmobile didn't make too many Starfire convertibles with 4-speeds. I guess this car may be more rare than I thought and probably out of my budget.

Any ideas on what this guy might be asking for his car? I've not yet checked Hemmings.

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In reply to the question of drivability of a full size Olds with a stick I would say it "runs out" not much differant than any other car. My 66 Delta with Sfire option 425 and factory 4spd is a pleasure to drive except in traffic of course. I believe my car to be the only 66 Delta left so equipped. While my car does need some cosmetics it is solid and clean but rarely turns a head or even gets notice at the cruises.

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Oldsmaniac what you need to do is sell your car and git yerself a Mustang or one a them there Camaros...then all the local yokels will admire what ya got, and ya might even win a trophy or two! Haw haw! Its cool to be different. As in "Scott's okay, he's just 'different'."

By the way, Parm, don't know how much that "vary pricey" Starfire is, but I would bet 20 grand at least for an asking price. Maybe more. One way to find out...call the number at the bottom of the web-page!

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Scott...Thanks for the advise...as true as it is and your "tongue in cheek humor is", I think I'll keep it for a while. I know what I got just wished a few others would appreciate a car rarer than, say a crowd gathering 66 W30...My 88 or your Sfire with the same factory engine modifications, carbs, and gearing would probably be as quick as the W30 or a very close second....The Delta's 25 extra cubes would cancel the 88's extra weight.....but I guess it all boils down to packaging!

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My God, you are right, and I am INSANE to even consider selling my Starfire! Yep, you've talked me out of it. Haw haw. Seriously, I think I'll remain a member of our "exclusive" club. When's the next meeting?

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  • 2 weeks later...

A couple of weeks ago, I emailed the seller of the '65 Olds Starfire convertible 4-speed for sale in Michigan to inquire as to his asking price. I finally heard back from him.

Hang on to your girdles. He's asking $55,000! May these two grow old gracefully together.

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When I spoke with him over a year ago he hadn't set a price but said it would probably be over $30k. That would be reasonable all things considered. $55k is a little out there, even for rare de la rare.

One of two things will happen here. 1) he'll keep the car till he's dead and the kids will sell it off cheap to get rid of it, or 2) someone will buy it at that price, it'll go in the price guide data base and then everybody with a 65 Starfire of any description will try to sell their ride for that money.

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You bring up a good point, to which I have a question. Does anyone know how a private sale transaction gets into any of the price guides? Unlike the sale of real estate, when someone buys/sells a car there are no sales disclosure forms that are completed (along with the sale price) and filed at a local courthouse. These real estate sale disclosure forms are, in turn, available to the public. But, how do these price guides get private sale information on cars?

Auction data is easier to get, but I don't usually trust auction prices. People can get caught up in the emotion of an auction. Next thing you know, someone is writing a check for a figure that exceeds the value of the car he just bought.

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I would GUESS (yes, just a guess) that auction results are used in those guides, as well as data based on ASKING prices from want ads...which makes me wonder how accurate the data is.

That dude with the Starfire 4 spd is REALLY fishing...I seriously doubt that he will find anyone to pay even 25K for the car. I'm not saying its not worth that...but rare and "special" as the car is, I don't think the guys with deep pockets are looking for such a beast. Most people who encounter a 4 speed big Olds simply don't realize they are looking at one of only a handful. Rarity and value don't always go hand in hand.

My fav. thing about those price guides by the way is when they say to add 5% for 4 speed manual transmission. Right. scottfettner@hotmail.com

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If price guides actually include asking prices, that's scary. Asking prices are no more than a seller's exercise of his/her First Amendment rights. For the most part, it's buyers who establish market value - not sellers. The few exceptions are the ultra-rare cars such as a '67 L88 Corvette of which only 20 were produced. But, these types of cars are few and far between.

Buyer's can always walk away and find another car on which to spend their hard-earned money. But, it's much harder for a seller to find another buyer.

A car collector once told me, "Classic cars are a lot easier to buy than they are to sell" which is one of the best pieces of advice I ever received.

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Be very careful about what you call "classic".

You never know, PH might check in (between BS dance video) to this forum as well <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif" alt="" />

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just wanted to say that:

a). I don't really care who PH is

B). After all I said above, still thinking of selling the car...as I have an opportunity to buy a place in the Poconos and the money would go towards my down payment. Anyone put off by my brutally honest description at the start of this thread is welcome to ask for some nice detailed photos I have taken of the car, which I would happily send as long as they can be returned. Seven grand doesn't buy you too much in the old car hobby...in this case it'll buy you one heck of a sharp and unusual car. Imagine an auditorium with a stick shift in the middle of it. Haw haw!

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I don't know, Scott- you might be surprised what 7g can buy. I paid less than that for the 64 Starfire coupe I bought in June and it is a damn nice car. Found a one owner all original 76 Caddy Coupe deVille a couple weeks back, 73k miles and pretty much perfect cosmetically for $1500 and <span style="font-weight: bold">everything works</span>- an important consideration on a Cadawack. It's been stored seven years so needs fuel system cleaned and brakes gone thru to make it roadworthy, still cheap considering the overall condition. I want it, but I don't have anywhere to put it and it is too nice to leave sitting outside.

There's deals out there if you don't mind going off the beaten path a bit.

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By the way, I finally heard back from the owner of that turquoise Starfire 4-speed convertible in Midland, Michigan. He let me know his asking price. Hang on to your hats, he's asking $55,000.

I sure hope he likes this car. Because, he's going to have it for a loooooong time at that price.

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Well, Rocketraider I hate to argue (actually that's not true, I love to argue) but I just got back from Fall Hershey and if prices there are to be believed, 7 grand buys very little these days! Seriously though there was a car there that I must mention...and I will...in a separate thread.

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Don't believe them. Real world prices are always lower. Every spring I see outrageously priced cars at the Charlotte AutoFair and the owners won't dicker price at all. I see the same cars three weeks later in Carlisle for a couple thousand less and they're willing to deal. By summer they're in AutoTrader for considerably less money.

In the last 6 months a friend and I have both bought desirable and very nice condition cars with interesting history for under $7000. Four years ago he bought a fully (and I do mean everything) optioned 64 GP for under $5g and turned out it was one of 860 tripowers made and originally invoiced to Atlanta BOP assembly. 'Twas the Pontiac Division head manager's company car. And all we've done is detail the engine, it was that nice.

Of course, we didn't find them in a swap meet car corral either.

Plus you've got to remember- the stock market is in a cyclic slump, and anytime that happens, old car prices skyrocket. Happened in 89, happened in 78. The highrollers get into it as "investments", then when the market recovers prices drop to normal and realistic.

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RR, I was being facetious about the prices at Hershey, of course...still, I for one never seem to find the "steals" when buying, and never seem to get the "premium" when selling. Anything. Sigh. Good thing I aint in it for the money, right?!

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Well, if you were in it for the money you'd be in a mainstream car forum, where all they talk about is Tri-Five Chevys, 1st generation Camaros or Mustangs <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif" alt="" /> .

Now that I've managed to [censored] off the folks who love those cars...

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  • 6 months later...

Well, here we are nearly a year later (counting from my original "for sale" post)...so does 7 grand still get you very much in 2003, RR? That is still what I want for my Starfire, which once again I am thinking of selling. Car made it to the Long Island Oldsmobile Club's Spring Dustoff last week, in case anyone reading this saw it there. Was a 140 mile round trip, on the return trip (back to Jersey) in bumper to bumper traffic for a solid hour approaching the Verrazano bridge. Point is, the car performed flawlessly. My left leg is another story...does anyone know what's its like to keep the clutch pedal depressed in one of these cars for the better part of an hour?!

Since my original post, I've installed some very nice, unpitted headlight bezels for the car and even found a nice passenger side taillight bezel (no driver's side yet..if I ever find one I'll install both...these are the worst of the trim items on the car) Here's a link to some pics of the car:

http://www.realoldspower.com/cgi-bin/cla...amp;amp;max=199

Please direct any questions to scottfettner@hotmail.com

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Oh man! This car has the Sport Disc wheels I go absolutely ga-ga over.

Scott, do you have any other photos of this car you can email? sparmerlee@yahoo.com

Also, how comfortable is the driver's seat? I've usually leaned more toward bigger luxury cars in that they can be had with 6-way power and a center arm rest. Most of the bucket seats from the 1960's I've been in are painful, due mostly to the severe angle of the seat back.

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Parm, sent you a message about the car...as for the seats, they are 2-way power only (front to back movement). Cool as buckets are, the bench/split-bench seat big cars are usually more comfortable in my opinion, because of the center arm rest (which provides some lateral support, at least on left turns (!), and also a place to rest your right arm). Hmmm...probably this is also true for the A-body cars.

B-body nut, what sway bar? I didn't say anything about a sway bar. At least not in this thread...he he!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have located another 65 Starfire 4 speed convertible near Rockford, Illinois - in a pole barn. I saw it about 5 years ago when I went to look at another car this guy had for sale. Seller wasn't there but his girlfriend was and she let me look around. I haven't looked through all the responses here but spotted rockettraders (sp) first comment about only seeing 2 of these cars. As my wife knows I am an expert at spotting and remembering these rarities. That was 5 years ago but there was ample dust on these pole barn cars. Probably still there. Anyone else heard of this car since? I didn't even bother to call the guy and see if he would sell. Come on, no way he would've parted with that rare car.

Wildcatr

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Pretty sure RR was talking about the 4 speed convertible Starfires...there are more coupes than that, and I have seen/know of about 5 1965 Starfires so equipped and 2 1966 versions...and two 4 speed 65 Jetstar Is. Throw in a 65 Delta, a 66 Delta, and a 66 Dynamic I know of, and the car you saw...and my guess is we double that number and there MAY be as many as two dozen of the 4-speed big Oldses extant. I'd say that was a conservative estimate.

I pity that rarity does not translate into my being able to get anything for my car!

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