Bearcat on Wheels – 1962 Starfire

Here is a rare and welcome sight, a 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire:

The Starfire was built on a Super Eighty-Eight frame and was available in either a convertibile or two-door hardtop. It is easily recognized by the distinctive band of brush-textured anodized aluminum trim that runs along the sides from front to back.

Standard equipment included bucket seats, leather upholstery and power everything, seats, windows, brakes and steering, as well as a four-stage Hydra-Matic Transmission.

What made this car really special was the standard equipment under the hood: a 394 cubic-inch 345hp V8 engine that featured a new combustion chamber shape and higher (10.5 to 1) compression ratios for 1962. The Starfire also came with a 4-barrel carb, dual exhaust and a tach as standard equipment. What more could you want?

The legendary Floyd Clymer took one for a thorough test drive, 2,720 miles from Indianapolis to Los Angeles, and then wrote an overwhelmingly positive review. He raved that it was the type of car that “causes automotive experts to thrill with joy when they are behind the wheel.” He also described it as a “bearcat on wheels” and said “The engine is smooth as silk and as near vibrationless as any I have ever sat behind. The operation of the automatic transmission is extremely smooth and below 60 mph when the throttle is depressed, the surge of power is nothing short of fantastic – the car literally leaps forward as if another 100 horses suddenly came into action.” Kind of makes you miss Oldsmobile, doesn’t it?


Clymer, Floyd. “Olds Starfire Road Tested.” The Baltimore Sun, 20 August 1961, p. 14.

“1962 Oldsmobile Starfire Makes Bow.” Lancaster New Era, 18 September 1961, p. 7.

“Oldsmobile Has New Style.” Verona-Cedar Grove Times, 12 October 1961, p. A-8.

“Oldsmobile Sports Car Rally at Potts’ 5 Days.” The Kosciusko, Mississippi, Star Herald, 6 May 1962, p. 6.

Oldsmobile Starfire. Advertisement. Arlington Heights Herald, 29 March 1962.

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