The Oldsmobile Starfire is a subcompact four-passenger automobile introduced in September 1974, and produced for the 1975 through 1980 model years. The Olds Starfire is a rebadged Chevrolet Monza based on the Chevrolet Vega sharing its H platform. It was the smallest car bearing the Oldsmobile name since before World War II. An upgraded SX model was available, and the GT was introduced in mid-1975.
The first generation Skyhawk is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a live rear axle design. Starfire's standard engine for 1975 model year was the Buick 231 CID V6 engine using a 2-barrel carburetor that generated 110 hp at 4000 rpm. The front suspension is short and long control arms with coil springs, and anti-roll bar; the rear suspension is a torque-arm design with coil springs and an anti-roll bar. Variable-ratio power steering was standard of a recirculating ball design. The brake system features standard power assist including front disc brakes with solid rotors and rear drum brakes. The Starfire has a 97 inch wheelbase and a 65.4 inch width. The hatchback body style is noted for having a resemblance to the Ferrari 365 GTC/4. The Starfire, Chevrolet Monza, and Buick Skyhawk were among the first vehicles to adopt the newly approved rectangular headlamps.
Model year changes
For the 1976 model year, the Chevrolet 140 CID (2.3-liter) aluminum-block inline 4-cylinder engine with 2-barrel carburetor was standard on the base model with the Buick 231 CID (3.8-liter) V6 optional. The GT package included the V6 engine. 1976 models could be had with the new optional Borg-Warner 5-speed manual with overdrive transmission. Starting with the 1976 models the front disc rotors were of the vented type.
For the 1977 model year the standard engine was Pontiac's 2.5L 'Iron Duke' with a 2-barrel carburetor with the 3.8 Buick as an optional upgrade. Chevy's 305ci, 5.0L V8 was added to the engine lineup. The front grill was totally redesigned to reflect the Olds "waterfall" design found on all Oldsmobiles that year but still included the quad-rectangular headlight system.
Late in the 1978 model year, Oldsmobile added the Firenza package which included special rallye suspension, a front air dam, rear spoiler, flared wheel openings taking the width to 67 in, sport wheels and special paint and trim.
The 1979 model year saw a face lift, with twin rectangular headlamps replacing the previous quad rectangular headlamp design. The V8 engine option was dropped at the end of the 1979 model year, as was the 5-speed manual transmission.
1980, the last year of production for the Starfire saw the removal of the 305 V8 and the 5-speed transmission from the option list. Production ceased December 21, 1979 with just over 8,000 Starfires built for 1980. Oldsmobile traded H-body production to Chevrolet and Pontiac in exchange for a higher allotment of GM J-cars designated as early 1982 models, including the Oldsmobile Firenza. A total 125,188 H-body Starfires were produced in six model years.