WOULDN’T BE THE first
“THE STARFIRE WAS A 173 WITH A COUPLE OF POTS CHOPPED OFF”
Starfire Four that got chucked in the nearest skip, David. Obviously, there was a bit more to the job of turning a six into a four (a crankshaft with different phasing, just for starters) but essentially she was a 173 with a couple of pots lopped off, just as you’ve described. I wonder why the GM brass wanted to see a mock-up of the engine before giving it the green light for development. And why was it the Repco Bearing Company that got the job of making the, clearly non-operational, dummy Starfire?
Anyway, history will record that they needn’t have bothered, because the thing was just a turkey from the start. Holden would have been much better off sharing the development cost of a new four-cylinder with Toyota. The new engine would have boosted local content for both brands and it needn’t have been an all-new design. A local revamp of Toyota’s existing 18RC unit (which did sterling service in the Corona and rear-drive Celica) springs to mind. Even without any modifications, the Toyota
18RC was making 75kW against the Starfire’s 58 piddling kiloWatts. It was also smoother, lasted longer and was vastly more reliable.
To this day, the Corona with the Starfire Four is the poor relation in Toyota circles and the less said about the four-cylinder Commodore the better. About the only good thing to come out of the whole, otherwise completely regrettable episode, was the Starfire con-rod which had to be stronger to cope with the four-cylinder harmonics and stresses. Those of us old blokes who still mess around with Holden sixes are very familiar with, and fond of, the Starfire con-rod.
“AFTER A COUPLE OF HOURS AND A COUPLE OF FALSE STARTS IT WAS SORTED”
ABOVE A raw Starfire block casting? Now there’s a question...OPPOSITE PAGE Who knew a simple push button could arouse such passion?