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Thread: Oldsmobile Starfire (2nd gen) 1974-1979

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    Oldsmobile Starfire (2nd gen) 1974-1979

    The Oldsmobile Starfire is an automobile nameplate used by Oldsmobile, produced in three non-contiguous generations beginning in 1954. The Starfire nameplate made its debut with the 19541956 Ninety-Eight series convertibles. For 1957 only, all Ninety-Eight series models were named "Starfire 98".

    After a two-year hiatus the Starfire name returned for 1961 as separate model offered in a single convertible body style. Intended to compete in the growing personal luxury car market, from 1961 to 1965 the Starfire Convertible was the highest-priced model offered by Oldsmobile. While it shared most of its sheet metal with other full-sized Oldsmobile models, the Starfire wore unique trim and luxurious interiors. The Starfire Coupe hardtop joined the convertible for the 1962 model year. For the final 1966 model year, the convertible was dropped and the Starfire was moved downmarket to make room for the all-new Oldsmobile Toronado.

    After a nine-year break, the Starfire nameplate returned for the 1975 model year as Oldsmobile's first subcompact, powered by a Buick V6 engine. The 1977 Starfire featured the first-ever Oldsmobile four-cylinder engine as standard equipment, with a V6 and V8 optional. Production ceased in 1980.

    Second generation (1974-1979)
    The second generation Oldsmobile Starfire is a subcompact four-passenger automobile which was introduced in September 1974, and produced for the 1975 through 1980 model years. The Starfire was Oldsmobile's entry-level product and a badge engineered version of the Chevrolet Monza, which was based on the Chevrolet Vega. The Starfire was virtually identical to the Monza other than Oldsmobile specific badges and the grille design. It would be the smallest car bearing the Oldsmobile name since before World War II. An upgraded SX model was available, and the GT was introduced in mid-1975.

    The Starfire has a 97.0-inch (2,460 mm) wheelbase and a 65.4-inch (1,660 mm) width. The Starfire, Chevrolet Monza, Buick Skyhawk and Pontiac Sunbird were among the first vehicles to adopt the newly approved quad rectangular headlamps. The body style is noted for having a resemblance to the Ferrari 365 GTC/4. Starfire's standard engine for 1975-76 model years was the Buick 231 cid V6 engine using a 2-barrel carburetor that generates 110 hp (82 kW) at 4000.

    The front suspension is short and long control arms with coil springs, and anti-roll bar; the rear suspension is a torque-arm design with coil springs and an anti-roll bar. The second generation Starfire is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a live rear axle design. Variable-ratio power steering was standard of a recirculating ball type. The brake system features standard power assist including front disc brakes with solid rotors, and rear drum brakes. This was the first GM product to incorporate a torque arm rear suspension (rear coil springs with 2 links) - its design was later incorporated into GM's second and fourth generation F-bodies (Camaro and Firebird).

    1976 models could be had with the new optional Borg-Warner 5-speed manual with overdrive transmission. Starting with the 1976 models the front disc rotors were of the vented type.

    For the 1977 model year, the front end was revised with a split grille design with vertical slots similar to the previous year's Cutlass base models. The 140 CID (2.3-liter) aluminum-block inline 4-cylinder engine with 2-barrel carburetor became standard, while the Buick 231 cid (3.8-liter) V6 became optional on the base model. The GT package included the V6 engine. The Chevrolet 305 (5.0-liter) V8 engine option was added later in the year. The Vega 140 CID aluminum-block L4 was discontinued at the end of the 1977 model year.

    The 1978 standard engine was Pontiac's 151 CID (2.5-liter) Iron Duke inline 4-cylinder engine with a 2-barrel carburetor, generating 85 hp (63 kW) at 4400 rpm. Late in the year, Oldsmobile added the Starfire Firenza package which included special rallye suspension, a front air dam, rear spoiler, flared wheel openings taking the width to 67 in, sport wheels and special paint and trim.

    The 1979 model year saw a face lift, with twin rectangular headlamps replacing the previous quad rectangular headlamp design. The rear end was revised with a blunt rear body panel containing new taillamps and the license plate mounted above a conventional rear bumper. The V8 engine option was dropped at the end of the 1979 model year, as was the 5-speed manual transmission.

    The 1980 model year was the last one for the Starfire and its derivatives. Production ceased December 21, 1979, as Oldsmobile traded H-body production to Chevrolet and Pontiac in exchange for a higher allotment of new FWD X-bodies.

    The rear-wheel-drive H-body cars including the Starfire were replaced in the spring of 1981 with the new front-wheel drive J-cars designated as early 1982 models, including the Oldsmobile Firenza.

    A total 125,188 H-body Starfires were produced in six model years.

    Source: Wikipedia
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