In 1992, at the Kruse Classic Car auction in Auburn, Ind., I was looking to buy a 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 396—the car I had in high school. Instead, I brought home the black `66 Starfire, with a 425 big block motor (375 hp). It was an all-original car with 34,000 miles, black with red strato-bucket seats, power antenna, cruise control, tach and tri-bar spoke wheel covers. It has a Turbo-Hydramatic 400 transmission and a Rochester four-barrel carburetor. A three-core radiator was added to correct an overheating problem and duel flow masters were added to the exhaust system for “effect.” It still has a mirror-shine, even though it comes from a 26-year-old acrylic lacquer paint job.
I joined the local chapter of the Oldsmobile Club of America and also joined the Starfire Club. As treasurer, vice-president and later, president of the club, I became passionate about Oldsmobiles, oddly enough having owned five Chevys prior to 1992.
I’ve attended many car shows, including the Oldsmobile Homecoming car show event held in Lansing, Mich., every June, where you will see over 500 classic cars coming back to roost for one day. As 1966 was the last year of the Starfire (made from 1961-1966), only 13,019 were produced, and the model was replaced by the new front-wheel-drive Toronado. Statistics show there are only 624 left in the U.S. and only 16 in the state of Ohio.
I enjoy swap meets and have “snippered” many Oldsmobile parts on Ebay. Three years ago, I built a 20-by-40 foot garage to house the “Stars.” I have three ’66 Starfires, but the black Starfire is the real “show” car and has won first place at every National Meet since I’ve owned it.