blank 01/04/13 01:12PM 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire, readers pics, Wild About Cars

1962 Oldsmobile Starfire convertible - Ted Loranz is a Lucky Man!
Wild About Cars

Ted's current Holy Grail, this gorgeous, white-over-red, '62 Starfire convertible.

Ted Loranz has wanted a '62 Starfire ever since he was 18 and he occasionally drove his boss's Starfire in the early 1960's as part of his job. After first purchasing a '63 Starfire in 1997 and a different '62 Starfire in 1999, both of which he still owns, Ted came into possession of this featured car in 2004 after seeing it for sale on eBay.

1962 Oldsmobile Starfire convertible -
Ted Loranz has finally found his holy grail - for now
Like many old car enthusiasts, Ted Loranz experienced his first automotive love as a teenager, and in Ted’s case, that happened when he was 18 and had a summer job driving an International Harvester Carryall with attached trailer for a secondhand furniture/antique store. It was tiring work, and he would be out all day picking up and delivering what he thought was junk, but the redeeming factor was the car his boss drove – a brand new Wedgewood Blue 1962 Starfire Holiday Coupe. It was the prettiest car he had ever seen, and he was in love.

Every now and then he was able to drive it on an errand for the store or the boss, and he was floating on air – the sleek styling, the aluminum side panels, the powerful response when kicked down into “Super”, all combined to convince him that this was the ONLY car to own, and he resolved that someday he would.

As he grew older, Ted progressed through a series of cars, starting with a 1959 Plymouth and quickly moving on to a succession of Oldsmobiles, including a 1957 98 Holiday Coupe and a 1959 Dynamic 88. While in college, his roommate’s father owned a red 1963 Starfire. It was pretty and fast and he was able to drive it a couple of times, but it didn’t excite him as much as the ’62 model. In 1968 he purchased a beautiful 1962 red-over-white 98 Holiday Coupe which was pretty close to, but not quite, a Starfire.

He and his wife honeymooned in the ’62 98, and she still considers it to be the best car he ever owned. Eventually it was sold in favor of a 1964 Cutlass and then a 1966 Cutlass that he drove almost 200,000 miles. A random assortment of basic transportation devices followed, but every now and then he would see a 1962 Starfire, and his love would be rekindled – only to be dashed when he looked at his checkbook.

Finally, in 1997, it happened, sort of.  Ted found a white ’63 Starfire coupe in a magazine ad.  The car had dented rear bumper and was missing some trim, but it was solid and presentable, so he bought it.  For two years, Ted scoured the country looking for parts for the car, and he was happy with it.   

One day in 1999, though, he was perusing the classified ad section of when a listing jumped out – an all-original ‘62 white-over-black Starfire Coupe with only 62,000 miles.  Ted received a video of the car from the seller, and he agreed on a price without seeing it in person. The car was delivered a few weeks later in a covered, multi-car carrier. It ran well when it arrived, but he still did some minor things like replacing the carburetor and power steering pump. Ted thought he finally had his dream car.  But this, too, isn’t the end of the story.  

Like many hobbyists, he habitually searches eBay for parts for all of his Oldsmobiles and often finds something useful.  Every now and then listings would appear for various 1962 Starfires in different states of condition, but nothing really caught his eye until June 5, 2004 when a 1962 Starfire convertible, Chariot Red with a white top and only 68,000 miles, appeared.

He emailed the owner and asked for some pictures of the car with the top up.  The owner complied, and Ted started a dialog where he learned that the seller had bought the car at a collector car auction in Seattle in 1993.  After extensive conversation, Ted ended up with the winning bid, and, on June 21, 2004, the car was his.  

Upon arrival a couple of weeks later, the car’s battery was dead because the interior light switch was left on, but the driver quickly jump-started it and backed it out of the truck.

Ted went through the car mechanically since it hadn’t really been driven for several years. Nothing major was found, and now, for Ted, everything really is right with the world as he has his Holy Grail.  But there is always eBay and there is always tomorrow . . .


Ted's Starfire had 68,000 miles on it when he acquired it.

The interior is original and immaculate.

Starfire Rocket V-8 displaces 394 cubic inches and puts out 345 hp.

After a dead battery required a jump start, truck driver Alan carefully backs the Starfire out of the truck on delivery.

Base price of the '62 Starfire convertible was $4,744, making it the most expensive Oldsmobile offered that year.

Ted's black-over-white '62 Starfire coupe purchased in 1999.

Ted's first Starfire, an all-white '63 coupe purchased in 1997.

This article courtesy of Wild About Cars.

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