Ever hear someone say, ‘this is the best steak I’ve ever had?’ I prefer, ‘never had a steak better than this.’ It could be said Bill and Billie Guinta’s 1955 StarFire convertible is the finest on the planet. Suffice it to say, there may be one more perfect, but I haven’t seen a tastier one.
And tasty it is. The equipment and options list on this turquoise and white convertible rival’s automobiles 65 years newer. The Ninety-Eight was the flagship of the Oldsmobile fleet and you would expect nothing less than a cruiser that floats down the highway with the luxury you’d expect in a modern car plus a few unique options that were cutting edge for 1955.
Rocking the accessory “power” list is power steering, brakes, a convertible canvas top, windows, seat, and even a power antenna that brings to life the famous “wonder bar” radio. A chrome bar running above the radio stations is pushed, right or left, to automatically select the next clearest station. How about a dash-mounted Autotronic Eye to automatically dim brights to low beams for opposing traffic and a hand spotlight to check addresses if you got lost.
Sorry, there’s no GPS. True GPS would not arrive until 1981! If you were lost on a nice summer night in 1955, top-down, who would mind driving around a bit longer in this beautiful ship?
The StarFire convertible made its debut in 1953 as a concept car and was so well received Oldsmobile started production in 1954 for public consumption. As we know, post-war 1950′s was all about the space race and the StarFire moniker played well with Oldsmobile’s Rocket V8 engines.
This high-end ride from Old’s packed a punch with a 324c.i. V8 and the legendary Holley Quadra-Jet (a rocket V8 engine with a “jet” four-barrel carburetor) pushing over 202 horsepower. Plenty of power to rocket down the highway.
Battery technology was antiquated by today’s standard, but GM engineers decided to light up the car like a Christmas tree with courtesy lights in the glove box, under the hood, trunk, and multiple interior courtesy lights.
Full restoration done in 1992 has held up remarkably well and the old girl still shows only 67,000 original miles! The car is the star in this spotlight edition, the Oldsmobile StarFire.