For some, the so-called Malaise era , loosely defined as the automotive period between 1973 and 1983, was an irredeemably dark time in American automotive history. As a result, few cars from the time are celebrated and many have even been forgottenthough, to be fair, not a great number those vehicles survive today. But as we lurch toward the 1970s golden anniversary, we think its high time unsung classics from the era were treated with a little more respect (or at least a little less disdain). Lets begin with this, the Oldsmobile Starfire. Prepare yourself, here is everything you never knew you wanted to know about the 19751980 Starfire. Reviving the Starfire name, which was last used on a 1960s two-door Oldsmobile, the malaise-y Oldsmobile was a badge-engineered version of the Chevrolet Monza. Unlike the Monza, which was offered in a number of different body styles, the Starfire was sold exclusively as a two-door, 2+2 hatchback. The Starfire received a unique grille and Oldsmobile badges, but otherwise it was practically identical to the Monza. So, if youve never heard of it (like this author) but think it looks vaguely familiar, thats probably why. The example pictured here (which is for sale on Facebook Marketplace ) is an even more obscure Starfire Miragewhich, according to Google, was never officially a thing. At least, not an official General Motors thing. Instead, the Chevy Monza offered a Mirage body kit available as a dealer-installed option, but its unclear if Oldsmobile ever offered the same thing for the Starfire. Apparently, some dealerships did, as the seller (whos the second owner) says his car was originally purchased from Gil Lieber Buick -Oldsmobile in Ashtabula, Ohio, with the Monzas Mirage body kit installed, plus the sweet Harvest Gold graphics. Again, given that the Oldsmobile shared its bodywork with the Chevy Monza, it hardly bends credulity to imagine that the Mirage package made its way onto some Starfires back in the day. The Starfire in these photos also features the optional 305-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) V-8, available from 1977 to 1979. Though its now infamous for its power-choking emissions equipment, the 305 V-8 likely was a decent upgrade over the base Iron Duke four-cylinder and 3.8-liter V-6 that was also available. Oldsmobile even offered a five-speed manual transmission on the Starfire from 1976 to 1979, though this example comes with a four-speed manual. Were willing to look past that minor shortcoming for its glorious red-on-red-on-red interior. Another cool Starfire that was officially offered by Oldsmobile? The 1978 Firenza package, which included a special rallye suspension, unique front valance, rear spoiler, fender flares, sport wheels, and special two-tone paint and graphics. Apart from a Monza IMSA race car, the Starfire Firenza might be the coolest-looking H-Body hatch ever made. If youve made it this far, we hope weve instilled in you a newfound appreciation for this lesser-known artifact from GMs badge-engineering past. Wed love to see more of them get the same love this two-owner survivor has received. The post Just a Reminder That the 19751980 Oldsmobile Starfire Was a Thing appeared first on MotorTrend .