The Oldsmobile Toronado was originally intended as a smaller sport coupe. It began as a concept rendering by Oldsmobile designer David North in 1962, then evolved into a full-size 'personal' luxury coupe to compete with Ford's Thunderbird and (internal rival) Buick's Riviera. Since Oldsmobile had been working on front-wheel drive since 1958, it ended up the first practical United states front-drive car since the 1930s Cords, powered by a 385 horsepower 425 cubic-inch V8 driving its front wheels through a modified 'chain-drive' Turbo-Hydramatic heavy-duty 3-speed automatic transmission.
Priced at $4,780 and stretching 211 inches on a 119 inch wheelbase, the 1966 Toronado was 'Motor Trends 'Car of the Year' and received Car Life's Award for Engineering Excellence, among other honors. It shared its architecture with the rear-drive 1966 Buick Riviera as well as the new-for-1967 front-drive Cadillac Eldorado, yet looked nothing like either one. Oldsmobile sales reached 586,381 cars that year, including nearly 41,000 Toronados.Also photographed at :