61 Starfire - what do i have? - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old October 27th, 2016, 09:32 AM   #1
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61 Starfire - what do i have?

New guy here, am I in the right spot for these questions? Took delivery of a 61 starfire 2 days ago VIN 616C01375 and have lots of questions I'm hoping to get help with. Owned a project when I was 17 but never hit the road with it. Glad to have one again.

I've read there were 1500 produced in 1961 and also read there were 7800.

My engine is stamped G169207S. Understand the G is 4 barrel and S is starfire but would like to decode the numbers.

intake is stamped 580677.....1962?

The set of original wheels and 4 ply bias tires came with the car. Would like to get a new set of radials that match those from the factory. Does anyone have the specs and size of the white wall? How can I determine if the wheels are correct before I have them powder coated? Gloss or semi black?

Good source for parts? Looking for rear speaker grill and emblem, more so the emblem.

Thanks for reading and hopefully answering.
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Old October 27th, 2016, 09:35 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site. Hopeful some will be able to help. Got any pictures.
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Old October 27th, 2016, 09:37 AM   #3
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I'll give it a try. Still trying to navigate my way through the site. Is there a better forum area for me for Starfire related questions?
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Old October 27th, 2016, 09:48 AM   #4
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The think it should be under vehicle lineup - other vehicles. but everyone will see this post and someone with Starfire knowledge will reply.
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Old October 27th, 2016, 09:52 AM   #5
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Nice car!

I don't know anything about 'em.

Others will tell you what you need to know.

Welcome to ClassicOlds.

- Eric
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Old October 27th, 2016, 07:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mjmyaire View Post
New guy here, am I in the right spot for these questions? Took delivery of a 61 starfire 2 days ago VIN 616C01375 and have lots of questions I'm hoping to get help with. Owned a project when I was 17 but never hit the road with it. Glad to have one again.

I've read there were 1500 produced in 1961 and also read there were 7800.

I think the 7800 number is closer to reality


My engine is stamped G169207S. Understand the G is 4 barrel and S is starfire but would like to decode the numbers.

The numbers are simply a sequential serial number.


intake is stamped 580677.....1962?

Sounds right for a 1961 manifold.

The set of original wheels and 4 ply bias tires came with the car. Would like to get a new set of radials that match those from the factory. Does anyone have the specs and size of the white wall? How can I determine if the wheels are correct before I have them powder coated? Gloss or semi black?

Wheels should be 14 inch with 5 bolts on 5 inch pattern , gloss black .
Whitewall tires of any kind are going to be hard to find in 14 inch , maybe Coker tire etc.

Good source for parts? Looking for rear speaker grill and emblem, more so the emblem.

E-Bay is probably the best place to look . I've seen one there recently , maybe still there .

Thanks for reading and hopefully answering.

Last edited by Charlie Jones; October 27th, 2016 at 07:11 PM.
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Old October 27th, 2016, 07:25 PM   #7
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Thank you Charlie. Spent some time with the car again today so a few more questions.

Ordering the wheel cover clips from Fusicik tomorrow. Understand that 61 clips were special. Any issues with these clips? I know aftermarket parts don't always work as advertised.

Were all the wheel covers painted at the inner ring ridged area and if they were, body color or interior color?

Still working on decoding part of the ID pad at the firewall. Body BC 380, Paint CL and ACC is blank next to it. Wondering what accessories would have been noted here.

I noticed that the shifter doesn't show an indicator in the window. Assuming there was one, just missing.

Was the underside of the hood painted all body color? I've seen some all black and others with black braces and body color at the front of the hood.

Appreciate the help!

Mike
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Old October 27th, 2016, 07:57 PM   #8
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Fusick sells top notch stuff . And if you do have problems they will work to sort them out .

Not sure about 61 wheelcovers , maybe others will chime in on this.

Body BC 380 = 380th Starfire body built at South Gate , Calif.

Paint CL = Provincial white with Garnet mist accent stripe

ACC codes were typically for options that would have involved modification of the body . Such as air conditioning or rear antenna .

Yes , there should be a red shift indicator .

Not too sure on the hood color either , I would think all black on underside but I could be wrong . Others may know for sure.

BTW ; I'd like to invite you to join the "darksiders" on this thread;

http://classicoldsmobile.com/forums/...ers-unite.html
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Old October 28th, 2016, 06:09 AM   #9
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Reference: Setting The Pace, page 474, 2410 1961 SF convertibles made.

The G prefix on head number indicates the year-of-vehicle year of the assembly. The 1961 1962 assemblies are very similar, so the correct stamped year heads could actually end up on another block in the 1961-64 394 series and you might not know it, the 61-62 having the front end casting parts same back to 1949, and the 63-64 having two year only front end casting parts unique to those two years only. Oldsmobile castings typically are day of the year, 0-364, not month and day like other brand-x GM makes.

Ebay for the rear seat speaker grill and emblem, you might contact Chuck Tuma of Chicago, I think he is still adviser for 1961 Starfire for OCA or NAOC, not sure which. He may have what you need.

I tried to check the one 1961 Starfire engine I have and know is original to verify the intake manifold casting number, sorry it's too buried. My hunch is it is the same or at least usable as 1962, wanted to check for you but cannot. Maybe another guy with one of the cars will have a look.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 07:09 AM   #10
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Reference: Setting The Pace, page 474, 2410 1961 SF convertibles made.
This is the figure for 1964 Starfire convertibles, not 1961. The figures for 1961 are on page 473.

All '61 Starfires were convertibles, and production was 7,600.


The VIN on cars of this era is pretty much useless as far as indicating anything about the car, other than the manufacturing plant, that you couldn't tell just by looking at it.

616C01375

61 = 1961 model year
6 = Starfire series
C = South Gate, California assembly plant
01375 = production serial number


Production serial numbers started with 01001, not 00001. So doing some math, 01375 - 01001 = 374. Does this mean that this was the 374th Starfire built at the South Gate plant? I would think so.

'61 Starfires were built at seven different plants, so that production of 7,600 has to be divided up among those plants. Dividing evenly, that's a little less than 1,100 Starfires per plant. If they were built in relatively equal numbers among the plants, and if they were built at a relatively even pace through the model year, this car would have been built about one-third of the way through the year.
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Old October 28th, 2016, 08:05 AM   #11
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This is the figure for 1964 Starfire convertibles, not 1961. The figures for 1961 are on page 473.

All '61 Starfires were convertibles, and production was 7,600.
Thank you - I cannot read anymore without glasses.

I've been looking at my engines - 1964 head is stamped J prefix, 63 is H, I is skipped, another 1961 engine I forgot I had actually has 1962 heads stamped G and a 1962 intake. I'd bet your engine is a 1962, mine have the same intake manifold casting number as yours. I'm just not sure about 1961.

LOL. This pair of covers is on a heavily reworked 1959 394 out to 427, was in a 1956 Chevy with hydro-stick in the 60's. The guy in North Carolina told me it was real quick, engine threw a rod 50 years ago and it sat until I bought it about ten years ago. Loved the 442 reference.


Last edited by coldwar; October 28th, 2016 at 08:32 AM. Reason: details
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Old October 29th, 2016, 06:19 AM   #12
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Now I'm concerned. Hope it's not a 62 engine.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 06:33 AM   #13
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Hello mjmyaire, welcome to Classic Olds.
The difference between a 61 and 62 engine is internal.
I think the intake number carried over into 62 production, 63 is completely different as they changed the fuel pump over to single action and used more vacuum ports on the engine.
We need to see the pictures of this beauty when you get a chance.
Steve
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Old October 29th, 2016, 06:38 AM   #14
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What are you referring to when you say on page 473?

If Body BC 380 is Southgate 380 trying to sort out the VIN being 01375.

Paint CL - The exterior is currently Provincial white with no accent stripe so someone along the line decided not to stripe with garnet mist. How prevalent were the accent stripes?

ACC - mine is blank although I have A/C and power antenna.

Good information here, thank you!
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Old October 29th, 2016, 06:42 AM   #15
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Purchased two weeks ago off of Ebay. Going through the car figuring out what I have and what parts I need. Have been able to trace the car back to Ohio (title May 2011, owner unknown) Pensylvania (titled July 2014, owner unknown) then it was bought at a mecum auction around january in Florida and sent to Utah. That guy sold it and a dealer in Santa Monica sold it to a guy in Missoula Montana 6 months ago. Cars been doing a lot of flipping. Would like to trace back further but think it will be really difficult to do so. Know it was built at Southgate CA though. Appreciate any help bringing this baby back to original and fully functional. Spent the day yesterday tracing down electrical shorts and figuring out what parts I need. Anyone have a door switch or rear speaker grill/emblem? Good source for engine related parts like a OEM valve cover breather or the premolded rubber hose that connects to the PCV valve?

Last edited by mjmyaire; October 29th, 2016 at 07:40 AM.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 06:53 AM   #16
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Good Gawd, that's beautiful! Love it. Nice car sir!
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Old October 29th, 2016, 10:12 AM   #17
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What are you referring to when you say on page 473?

If Body BC 380 is Southgate 380 trying to sort out the VIN being 01375.

Paint CL - The exterior is currently Provincial white with no accent stripe so someone along the line decided not to stripe with garnet mist. How prevalent were the accent stripes?

ACC - mine is blank although I have A/C and power antenna.

Good information here, thank you!
The bodys were built in a separate plant and then sent to a "body bank" where they are put in order for final assembly. Probably the reason for the number discrepancy.

The L paint code is a secondary code , usually a stripe code , but could be something else like dashboard color.

The A/C and power antenna could have been added during a "restoration ".
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Old October 29th, 2016, 10:20 AM   #18
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Welcome. Very pretty car, doesn't look like it needs much. Love to see more pics. You may want to start a project thread.
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Old October 29th, 2016, 12:44 PM   #19
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Nice car, the 61 had a down draft pipe on the passenger side of the engine, if your car has a breather on the drivers side and a PCV valve that runs to the rear of the carb then this car was originally a Ca. car. I don't know if this car would have to be updated to this system if it was sold in a different state and then returned to Ca.
I would check with Fusick Automotive on the east coast for some of the switches, scripts and rubber components. The side panels are being reproduced now but the aluminium panel across the rear is not. Evil-Bay is a good source for other parts and definitely the national meets.
Good luck with your quest to find the parts needed to bring this beauty up just a little better.
Steve
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Old October 29th, 2016, 07:53 PM   #20
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Good idea on starting a thread. I'll have to get my daughter to help me with navigating this site. Still trying to figure out how to get where I want.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 11:46 AM   #21
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who made the tires for oldsmobile in 1961? Coker has a BF Goodrich with a 1" whitewall I'm considering.
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Old November 5th, 2016, 02:09 PM   #22
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who made the tires for oldsmobile in 1961? Coker has a BF Goodrich with a 1" whitewall I'm considering.
GM bought tires from several different companies back then , one of them was B.F. Goodrich . One inch whitewall sounds about right for 1961 .
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Old November 5th, 2016, 02:27 PM   #23
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Looking at it again it's a bias ply. Would like a bias ply looking radial and Coker doesn't seem to have that in a 1" radial.

I joined OCA but my quick scan of their website doesn't show a forum, waiting for my membership packet. I contacted the local chapter by email almost 2 weeks ago with no response. Hoping I find some 61 Starfire folks that can answer my hundreds of questions.
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Old November 6th, 2016, 09:19 AM   #24
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I joined OCA but my quick scan of their website doesn't show a forum, waiting for my membership packet. I contacted the local chapter by email almost 2 weeks ago with no response. Hoping I find some 61 Starfire folks that can answer my hundreds of questions.

They don't have their own forum, they contribute to an Olds forum on the AACA website but there is very little traffic. I think this is your best bet forum wise. As you have seen the big cars have a smaller following but there is still quite a few people who are interested. When you get your OCA packet look in the JWO issue included, there should be a list of volunteer advisors broken out by car type and year. Give them a try on your 61 specific questions.
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Old November 7th, 2016, 11:18 AM   #25
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Looking at it again it's a bias ply. Would like a bias ply looking radial and Coker doesn't seem to have that in a 1" radial.

I joined OCA but my quick scan of their website doesn't show a forum, waiting for my membership packet. I contacted the local chapter by email almost 2 weeks ago with no response. Hoping I find some 61 Starfire folks that can answer my hundreds of questions.
The OCA model year advisors for your car are:
Skip Watkins (207) 655-2194 655-4495 (Maine)
Allen Scholten (616) 335-5744 (Michigan)

There is also a 1962 Starfire model year advisor:
Terry Pinkney (517) 676-4473 (Michigan)
terryolds@aol.com
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Old November 10th, 2016, 09:16 AM   #26
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1961 data plate and protect-o-plate paint codes were either 2, 3 or 4 letters. Convertibles were 2 letters - the lower body color and the wheel or wheel cover color. No painted stripe on Starfires. 98s had a side stripe and their data plates had 4 letters (3 if it was a convertible) - upper paint color, lower paint color, stripe color and wheel or wheel cover color.

Starfires did originally come with a stripe - on the convertible top around the windows. You can still see these stripes on a few cars with the original tops. Black and white tops had silver stripes, fawn had brown, blue had a darker blue. I have never seen an original green or red top. Red tops may have had a silver stripe, too. There was a car on the show circuit a number of years ago with a red top with bright red stripes. I doubt they came that way from the factory. I would assume that green would have had a darker green stripe, like the fawn and blue did.

As said, your car codes for Provincial White. The Garnet Mist color is for the wheels or wheel covers. I am not sure, but I think the deluxe wheel covers were standard on the '61 Starfire. In '62, dog dish hubcaps and trim rings were standard (at least on the coupe). Cars with deluxe wheel covers had black wheels and that was not reflected on the plates.

Coker offers 2 radial tires in a 235/14 size with a thin whitewall. Coker Classics (if they are still available) are made in Mexico. Myself and others have had trouble with the whitewalls turning brown. I am currently running American Classics. They've got a nice whitewall, but there is a lot of meat at the bead of the tire causing our Oldsmobile deluxe wheel covers to rub the tire and cut a ring into them. People with smaller wheel covers don't have that problem. I haven't run a biased ply tire on one of these cars for 25 years. When I did, that car was all over the road. With the radials on my '62, that car holds the road like it's on rails.

You are correct on the 380th body and the 374th Starfire produced. For some reason your body could have been pulled ahead of a few others for production, or there may have been earlier bodies that had issues and could not be used.

There is also the National Antique Oldsmobile Club that is dedicated to the older Oldsmobiles. http://antiqueolds.org/

Paul
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Old November 10th, 2016, 09:30 AM   #27
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One of my wheel covers showing red paint in the grooved area



If I'm understanding correctly, the extension to the wheel cover, the part that is screwed on and protrudes out is the turbine ring.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 09:35 AM   #28
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Thank you Paul! Another question regarding paint. The heater core, brake pedal lever, emergency brake lever and side dash panel end pieces are painted a deeper red...maybe the garnet mist. The rest of the interior is a brighter red including the dash pad. Is this correct?
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Old November 10th, 2016, 09:40 AM   #29
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Is there a trim piece to finish off where the dash pad material meets the metal dash. You can see from the picture it's pretty ragged. Also wondering about the grooved trim piece on the glove box door. Was it painted in the grooves and was it finished the same as the console edges? Getting ready to pull the dash to have it repainted.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 10:25 AM   #30
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You may also want to look at USApartssupply.com They have a catalog you can download to your smartphone.

On 14" ww tires that seem to hold up well and don't brown out - look at Hankook Optima. Amazon had a deal for a set with free shipping for $57/unit.
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Old November 10th, 2016, 11:01 AM   #31
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Thank you Paul! Another question regarding paint. The heater core, brake pedal lever, emergency brake lever and side dash panel end pieces are painted a deeper red...maybe the garnet mist. The rest of the interior is a brighter red including the dash pad. Is this correct?
Yes, those pieces are all painted correctly. I used to have a '61 98 Holiday sedan with a gray interior. The main dash was a lighter shade, and all the pieces you mentioned (including the pad) were a darker shade. My '62 Starfire is the same way.

When you have your dash painted, don't have them paint over the chrome stripes. That is a Starfire only feature. All the lesser models had a fully painted plain cast dash panel. The Starfires were chromed first, and then painted to allow the chrome to show through.

The edge of that dash pad does not appear to be factory equipment. I'm suspecting someone put a "slipcover" over your existing pad, or removed it entirely. I've got a slipcover on my '62 over the original pad. You'll know when you get things apart. The factory pad should be molded and it should wrap over the leading edge and go between the upper and lower panels. I'm thinking it's attached along the leading edge of the upper panel with special screws that are only accessible when the lower panel is removed.

You may want to get your hands on a shop manual. This dash pad arrangement is shown in there. There is a lot of good information in there. There is also a special Starfire manual supplement.

Yes, all those little grooves in the dash and console are painted white.

And there is no needle in the gear indicator like on a newer car. You just have to line the shaft up with the corresponding gear - not a very good design, especially at night. After a while you'll just get a feel for it.

I saw a post about Hankook tires. Any tire smaller than a 235/14 is too small for these cars. I don't think Hankook offers a 235/14.

Paul

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Old November 11th, 2016, 10:01 AM   #32
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I'm all in
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Old November 11th, 2016, 11:39 AM   #33
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You certainly are. I would suggest all new vacuum lines while they are accessible. I'd also seek out NOS components for the blower switches and a/c switches. And replace all the dash bulbs. All this stuff is easy while the dash out. It's a PITA with the dash in place...
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Old November 11th, 2016, 01:28 PM   #34
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Roger that. Just took my radiator, condenser and heater core in for recore. I see heater cores on Ebay but the radiator shop cautioned me on their quality. Also took my receiver/dryer in and they said they couldn't do anything with it and couldn't match it up to anything that looks the same. Thoughts?
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Old November 11th, 2016, 06:27 PM   #35
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Roger that. Just took my radiator, condenser and heater core in for recore. I see heater cores on Ebay but the radiator shop cautioned me on their quality. Also took my receiver/dryer in and they said they couldn't do anything with it and couldn't match it up to anything that looks the same. Thoughts?
Here's one , but it's not cheap!

http://www.oldsobsolete.com/products...r-nos-8530292/
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Old November 14th, 2016, 01:51 PM   #36
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When I had my heater core done, the shop picked a core that was correct dimensions and removed the tanks and replaced them with the tanks from my existing core. I believe I bought my dryer from Old Air Products.
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Old November 19th, 2016, 06:00 PM   #37
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My local radiator repair shop wants $260 to OH my Heater core. I see them on eBay from several manufacturers for less than $100.
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Old November 20th, 2016, 09:54 PM   #38
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For '61 Starfire I'd like to start collecting VIN's, data plate info and present/past owner info for a database that I'll eventually publish on line. It would be great for ownership history, getting an idea of how many are left and where they are and for knowledge sharing. Met with a fellow '61 owner here in Oregon and it was extremely beneficial for both of us. We can put our finger on 4 of them here in Oregon. Send me an email and I'll start putting this thing together.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 10:19 AM   #39
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Regarding 61 Starfires;

Is the hood chrome piece on a 62 the same as the hood chrome pieces on a 61?

Were the rims painted anything other than black?

Was the underside of the hood painted black or body color? If black, gloss or semi gloss?

Anyone with a 61 or 62 for that matter have a data plate with the ACC area blank?

Looking for a 61 Starfire hood and trunk lid.
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Old December 9th, 2016, 11:55 AM   #40
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'62 hood moldings are different from '61. Rims were painted in body colors if the car didn't have deluxe wheel discs. All deluxe wheel disc cars had black rims. I think I got an email the other day from a guy with no accessory codes on his plate.
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