With a name borrowed from a Lockheed jet fighter, the 1961 Oldsmobile Starfire had a lot to live up to, and in the first years of production, it certainly did. While it was also offered as a hardtop, the ultimate Starfire always was the convertible. It was very expensive, of course, representing Oldsmobile in the personal luxury car market, and came with a wealth of standard equipment, including power windows, a tachometer, a Hydramatic transmission with a floor-mounted shift, power seats, leather bucket seats and more. Power everything, as they say. The Oldsmobile Starfire was an early success, and continued to sell well for years.
On the engine front, the Oldsmobile Starfire had nothing to be ashamed about. It boasted Oldsmobile most powerful engine, the 6.5-liter (394 cubic inches) Skyrocket, boasting 345 horsepower and a stunning 440 pound-feet of torque. Thus equipped, it could reach a top speed of 105 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, impressive numbers for the early 60s.
Of course, nothing ever lasts, and the Oldsmobile Starfire eventually lost its shine. It had to compete with the Riviera, who was a formidable contender, and was cheapened by the appearance of the more pedestrian Jetstar I, with whom it shared a body and a lot equipment. The Starfire lingered until 1966, sans the convertible which was cancelled in 1965.