Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Automotif CXXX...

197...we'll arbitrarily call it a '77...Oldsmobile Starfire. Olds's badge-engineered version of Chevy's Monza 2+2, these were marketed as sporty-ish compacts, intended to compete with Ford's Mustang II.

Initially, the base engine for the Starfire was the Buick 231cid V-6, and it could be had with a four-speed manual. Given the dearth of performance in the mid-'70s doldrums, a 110bhp 3.8-liter six in a 2800lb car was considered kind of sporty.

Later model years could be had with small-block V-8s but in factory form, those things got whatever you call hip dysplasia when it happens to the front suspension of small GM autos. Oh, and understeer for days. (For those of you who are not car nuts, understeer is when your car loses traction and plows into the outside guard rail nose-first, while oversteer is when you hit the outside guard rail ass-end-first.)