Rocket Rarity: The 1964-65 Oldsmobile Jetstar I

Back in 1964, they introduced the Jetstar I to fill a gap in the Oldsmobile lineup a niche that may not have been real after all.

When the 1964 Oldsmobiles hit the scene on September 24, 1963, they brought a new base model in the full-size line the Jetstar 88. But let’s chat about a different car with a similar name that was also fresh for ’64 the Jetstar I (note the Roman numeral I tacked on). Even though officially it was part of the midrange Dynamic 88 line, this new model had a lot in common with the Starfire, Oldsmobile’s luxury sport coupe, like its cool roofline and concave rear glass also shared with the Pontiac Grand Prix.

These two Oldsmobiles also brought a sporty vibe, with bucket seats and a console inside, plus the most powerful Rocket V8 available with 394 cubic inches and 345 hp. Basically, both were full-sized performance sport coupes. But here’s something major: $4,128 for the Starfire compared to $3,592 for the Jetstar I. They say it made Olds square up against Pontiac Grand Prix at $3,866.

The lower price of the Jetstar I was partly because some standard features weren’t included: automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes came at an extra cost. Once decked out with similar gear, much of that price difference vanished.

While you could snag a fancier convertible Starfire for $4,742, your only choice with the Jetstar I was its hardtop Sport Coupe style. The Starfire boasted leather interior trim while the Jetstar kept it all vinyl and had less shiny stuff on its exterior. In ’64, both sold approximately 16,000 units each. So maybe they ended up competing more than planned since back in ’62 when Starfire was solo almost 42,000 units rolled off lots.


Come ’65 when full-sized Oldsmobiles got new looks outside yup, you betchea so did the Jetstar I (see below). Underneath those sleek changes was their new big boy engine: a 425 cubic-inch V8 packing 370 hp. And they swapped out that old Roto Hydramatic for Turbo-Hydramatic as an auto option. But sales dipped to just 6.552 cars in ’65 and sadly they pulled the plug on Jetstar I at year-end. With Cutlass 442 and Toronado joining in and making fancy two-door coupes tough to sell, there were too many options floating around – or so it goes. The Jetstar 88 lasted another season before getting swapped out for Delmont 88”.

Our mission is to take you on a thrilling ride down memory lane, exploring the history, design, and unforgettable moments that define the golden era of automobiles.

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