Oldsmobile Car Spotters Guide - 1965

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Oldsmobile Car Spotters Guide - 1965


Proving to be an ill-fated model, 1965 concluded the 2 year run for the Jetstar I. Only 6,552 were sold. The introduction of the Pontiac GTO and Olds 4-4-2 in 1964 insured the future of the musclecars were the intermediates, and the front-drive Toronado loomed big in Oldsmobile's future taking over the flagship status from the Starfire. Further confused with its less brethren with the Jetstar 88 nameplate, there was no way but out for the Jetstar I. And close examination of prices revealed that unless one bought a sparsely optioned JS1, there was little financial incentive to buy a JS1 over the Starfire.

Take the $3602 base price and add the $107.50 power steering, the $43.00 power brakes, and the $242.10 automatic transmission (all standard on the Starfire), and you had a $4,000 Jetstar I. And less than $150 more would buy you the $4148 based priced Starfire, which not only included those standard features but a more luxurious leather interior. But lost the mix was a jewel of a high performance car in the ’65 Jetstar I. Trimmed down to 3963#, the ’65 model was an overlooked performance car. The new 370hp (276kW) 425ci Starfire engine delivered 470lb·ft (637N·m) of torque, was durable, and was quite an improvement over the ’64 394.

How serious was that horsepower and torque in ’65? If you wanted this much power in a Pontiac, it was only available in the top-of-the-line 421 HO Tri-Power engine that was not standard in any Pontiac model, but an extra-cost option. The new Oldsmobile Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was a vast performance improvement over the previous “slim-jim” Hydra-Matic transmission. But best of all, Olds offered the Muncie 4-speed with Hurst shifter in ’65. Oldsmobile boasted in a 1965 press release that “a Jetstar I proved to be the top accelerator of the entire event” at the 1965 Pure Oil Performance Trials in Daytona beach. Those trials were sanctioned and supervised by NASCAR.
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