1955-1957 Oldsmobile Starfire
In 1955, the Ninety-Eight convertible again carried the Starfire badge on the upper part of its front fenders. Statistically, the 1955 Starfire remained largely the same, but a mild restyling produced a more oval shaped grille opening and flashier side chrome and two-toning. Base price rose slightly to $3,276, and production of the most expensive 1955 Olds expanded to 9,149.
For 1956, the Starfire nameplate continued to be used exclusively on the Ninety-Eight convertible. STARFIRE was spelled out in chrome letters on the lower portion of the front fender. Listing at $3,380, the 1956 Starfire was the rarest Ninety-Eight offered; only 8,581 were built.
A power steering system built by Saginaw Gear became standard equipment on all Ninety-Eight models, and more conservative side trim allowed for attractive two-toning on the 1956 Starfire convertibles.
In 1957, Oldsmobile expanded the Starfire nameplate to all four Ninety-Eight models: convertible, four-door sedan, and two- and four-door hard-tops. The standard equipment list expanded to include Jetaway Hydra-Matic transmission, Pedal-Ease power brakes, and Safety power steering. The popular mid-year J-2 tri-carb engine option could be had on any 1957 Starfire.
Because of the expanded lineup, production soared to 79,693 -- the best model year the Starfire nameplate would ever see. Curiously, after the success of the 1957 Starfire Ninety-Eights, Oldsmobile mothballed the Starfire name for three model years.
Curious how the Starfire name came back? Visit the next page and find out.