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1965 Jetstar I seen at Fall Hershey (Oct 2002)

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Just got back from Hershey, and saw only the second 65 Jetstar I I've ever seen in my entire life. It was a 29,000 original mile car, with a few "touchups" to its original white paint, if the seller was to believed. I was inclined to believe. The blue interior was immaculate, the body straight, and the trim near NOS quality all around. It had the bolt-on mags, AM radio with reverb, no other options that I could tell (or recall at least). Not a posi car as far as I could tell. No AC. Was an automatic (walking up to it, I was crossing my fingers and hoping it was a 4-speed, but alas, it was not to be). The seller wanted 17K or thereabouts. I sighed and walked away, looking over my shoulder the whole way. What an exquisite, unique car.

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One of 6552 made. There was a nocturne mist one here years ago that an old drunk had so you can imagine how it ended up. I know of one in a salvage yard that was probably an easy restoration when it went in there, but it's been pretty well gutted over the last five years.

The J-I was a victim of Olds' own marketing strategy as much as anything. The car should have sold well but it had the Starfire, and by 1965 the 442, to contend with in its own house, and the Grand Prix over in the Pontiac camp. It actually outsold the Starfire coupe in 1964, by about 3000 units.

Full-size high performance was on its way out by 1965 after the midsize musclecars appeared. But jayzus what a ride <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif" alt="" /> ! 370 horsepower <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/wink.gif" alt="" /> at your disposal! What nobody realised was that both this and the Starfire were capable of blowing a 442's doors off, and giving a GTO a hard time.

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RR, for the record, I have a 425-equipped 65 Starfire and a 400-equipped 66 442...both are 4 speed cars. The Starfire has 3.23 posi rear, the 442 has 3.55, also posi. Both are convertibles. The 442 has AC, the Starfire does not. Both are essentially stock. The 442 is the faster car of the two. I mention all the particulars to demonstrate the "fairness" of the comparison!

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Different gearing and transmissions would produce different results. The 66 Starfire I had would walk away from my 66 442 past 50 mph. Both were air/automatic/3.42 cars, but I'm sure the 442's Jetaway didn't help its performance.

But you can't deny that a well tuned Starfire is a hell of a fast car.

Maybe I had an advantage growing up in a small town that had an Olds dealer who was serious about high performance.

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RR, the Starfire is fast, fast enough to surprise and frighten my neighbor, who is also into performance cars from the 60s. But his fear may have has something to do with my driving ability, and also his knowledge of how well stock brakes on these cars perform. By the way, I have a friend who agrees with you that a properly set up and tuned 88 series car is at least as fast if not faster than a 442. Especially if the 88 is a stripped down car and the 442 is weighed down with enough options (such as AC) to at least partially make up for the usual weight difference between the two series.

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Late General Motors stylist Dave Holls once said in an interview that many GM stylists shared the view that the corporation's full-size 1965 cars were the high water mark of General Motors design. From Chevrolet to Cadillac, the cars had shape and style from every angle. I agree fully with this viewpoint, and believe that the '65 Jetstar I was one of the best.

If I could assemble my 1965 dream car collection, I would find the top performance version of each of the following cars. Oh, and they would all have to be 2-door hardtops because -- frankly -- the rooflines were part of what made these cars so spectacular. The convertibles lack some of the style that the hardtops have:

Pontiac 2 + 2 hardtop

Oldsmobile Jetstar I hardtop

Buick Wildcat hardtop

Each of the above would be equipped with the available factory 4-speed option. I think that the modified B-Body roofline worked better on the Jetstar I and the Starfire than on the Grand Prix, which is why I chose the 2 + 2 for the Pontiac. If I could add three more cars from the same year, we'll throw in a Grand Prix, a Starfire and a Riviera Gran Sport (not a B-Body, but still stunning.)

The way I see it, these were some of America's greatest '60's performance cars, and it is a shame that the collector market focuses far more attention on the intermediate and compact performance cars.

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Well, Brian- for those of us who like these cars, that spells an advantage. We don't pay as much for our overlooked treasures as the midsize guys have to, and we can go just as fast and look WAY <img src="/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif" alt="" /> er doing it!

Agreed that 65, and to a lesser extent, 1962 and 1969, were the pinnacle years of GM styling. I'll even hazard a thought that 1973 styling was generally good, in spite of the federal bumpers. The cars still had identity.

You'd love the T-shirt that the DC Metro Chapter BCA did for their 1999 BOP show- red 67 Wildcat, white 66 Starfire and blue 66 GP. I've had people literally try to buy mine off my back. Cory Correll outdid himself on that one. Lot of people said the one he designed for the 1995 Olds National in NC was his best, but the 1999 BOP ranks right up there with it.

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That BOP T-Shirt sounds dynamite. Hmmm . . . would be great if the fellow who designed these decided to run another batch of them!

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Yes guys there's no doubt about it. Sixties body styling was perfect.So many folds and bends in that sheetmetal with all the right chrome accents. Sheet metal changes at least every other year with complete makeovers every 3-4. Did anyone see that 66 Electra 2dr on ebay about 2 weeks ago ? I was really set back by that one. Mid 70's werent that bad either you just have to train yourself to see right past the bumpers. I even find the 74/5/6 Riviera to be quite a handsome car.

Then I must put my plug in for the mid to late eightys FWD Buicks and Oldsmobiles also. I believe their stylests did it again in those years. The later Rivieras and Toronados were awesome. Unfortunetly the tec era electronics craze destroyed their reputations. Then on course the 2dr. H body thats sure to turn heads, as well as the 2dr. Cieras and Centurys, Grand Prix/Cutlass/Regal. There were some decent looking cars from that other division too I just cant seem to come up with the name off hand. I feel the need to mention this era of Buicks and Oldsmobiles because they are now becomeing rare , continously being crushed , were proven worthy of their badges , even with some quirks still outlasted their predesesors mile for mile , and are recieving even less attention in the collector/ aftermarket/ performance world.

Gotta love em'

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I used to have a '64 Jetstar 88 Ragtop. Blue, blue, blue. She had power steering, brakes and tilt steering. I loved that car!

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I just bought a 1965 Olds Jetstar 88 and it is getting ready to make a trip South to Panama. by ship of course.  It is in good shape but I will restore this baby to 100% .  I looked a long time to find this particular car.  At the time, it was not as popular as some other models.  I believe that it will be popular down here.  I will be using it to pick up tourists at the airport in David Chiriqui Panama and taking them to Boquete.  Folks will love it.  Oldsmobile has the best style and stance.  

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Welcome back to the forum , Ross ! I bought a new Blazer in '77 , and drove it to Panama. Went to Boquete. While there I met the Vice - Counsul from the Embassy , who also had a Blazer. We decided to climb that big volcano in our rigs. We made it , but the VC got stuck in the mud at one place. I can't remember the name of that volcano. What is it ? I absolutely LOVED Panama. Boquete is super beautiful. The beaches too. And the canal is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. Hard to get enough of it. The train which goes across to Colon is mile for mile perhaps the most interesting railroad in the World. I even got to transit the canal on a tuna boat. Wish I could go see the new Chinese Canal. I drove as far South as I could. Maybe , what ? 15 or so miles past Chepo , I forded a fair sized River , but only a tracked vehicle could continue. Heavy machinery was building the road , so I turned around. I see you can drive all the way to Yavisa now ! Have you done that ? I hope all goes according to plan for you , with no problems. Hey , it is a long shot , but do you know Cowboy Dave from Seattle in  Boquete ? If so , tell him you met me on the forum !  - Cadillac Carl

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2002 at 7:13 PM, rocketraider said:

The J-I was a victim of Olds' own marketing strategy as much as anything. The car should have sold well but it had the Starfire, and by 1965 the 442, to contend with in its own house, and the Grand Prix over in the Pontiac camp. It actually outsold the Starfire coupe in 1964, by about 3000 units.

What also may have confused buyers was similarly named, and very plain 'price leader' Jetstar 88 four door sedan.  (no '1' after it.). 

 

Craig

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, 8E45E said:

What also may have confused buyers was similarly named very plain 'price leader' Jetstar four door sedan.  (no '1' after it.). 

 

Craig

This must be a record for bringing a post back from the dead, but the bottom feeder Jetstar 88 was available in all body styles (hardtop, convertible, and more door). The J I and J88 are still confused with each other, yet were aimed at very different markets and price points.

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still have fond memories of working on a 1965 jetstar with a four speed in it. i forget what it was in for at delaware olds in the early 70's, but i do remember racing the metroliner on gov. printz blvd. on the road test afterwards

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