1967 Oldsmobile Toronado

This was the second year of production for the Oldsmobile Toronado, which was the first American production vehicle with front wheel drive since the Cord.

This car spent its entire life in the Phoenix, AZ area. It sat from 1996 to 2004 in the previous owner's driveway. The car was offered as a package with a 1966 Toronado in Hemmings. A body-on restoration started in 2005. Body-on for there was no rust anywhere; t he engine, transmission, suspension, air-conditioning, and interior were re-done as well. The original color of Sand Beige Metallic was matched with a 2005 Porsche color.

This car has 25,000 original miles and is driven year round on nice days in Michigan.
Chassis Num: 394877M602893
Sold for $18,000 at 2016 Mecum.
GM's Oldsmobile Division introduced its all-new Toronado personal luxury car in the fall of 1965. Its introduction was very significant for the company, ranking (perhaps eclipsing) up there with the launch of the Hydra-Matic automatic transmission in 1940 and the release of the 1949 'Rocket' V-8 models. The Toronado was the first front-wheel drive production vehicle from General Motors and the first such American automobile produced since the Cord 810/812 of the 1930s. Among its many accolades were Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 1966.

General Motors had been experimenting with front-wheel drive since 1958 and the plan had been to use a front-wheel drive system in the F-85. However, Oldsmobile management wanted it in something more expensive and larger to offset the development costs incurred.

The Toronado came equipped with the Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission mounted under one cylinder bank of the 425 cubic-inch V8 engine, and a chain-drive from the torque converter. Even though it weighed nearly 5,000 pounds, it offered nearly perfect weight distribution. The 375 horsepower was suitable enough to carry the Toronado to a top speed of 130 mph.

It had subframe construction, with the drivetrain and front suspension being bolted to a frame that extended only about to the firewall, the rest of the body being unitized.

This particular example is an unrestored example that has been driven just 28,100 miles. It has its numbers-matching 425/385 HP V8 engine, and an exterior that is finished in Riviera Red Metallic with a black vinyl top and interior. The car is well equipped and fitted with tinted glass, an electric clock, power antenna, air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, a lighted hull compass and a vacuum operated deck lid control mechanism.

The interior featured a dashboard that held a cylindrical speedometer that spun and a steering wheel reminiscent of an airplane. The fastback styling featured elongated flush tail lights and hidden headlights.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2016
The Oldsmobile Toronado was sold from 1966 through 1992. It was built as a low-priced luxury car with excellent performance and a revolutionary design. The name Toronado has no meaning; it was made up for a 1963 Chevrolet show car.

The American automobile manufacutrer Cord had created a vehicle in the mid-1930's that used front-wheel drive. Since that time most American automobiles used rear-wheel drive. The Toronado, a full-sized American car using front wheel drive, is credited with revolutionizing and stimulating the industry to use the front-wheel design. A few European manufacturers, such as Morris/Austin with the Mini, had been utilizing the benefits of front-wheel drive. For the American Automotive Community, it was a risky concept. The front-wheel design was viewed as a reason why Cord had gone bankrupt. Many were skeptical of having the front of the vehicle handle most of the weight, be responsible for steering and braking, and drive the car.

GM's design chief William L. Mitchell was tasked with creating the Toronado. The styling was bold and the V8 engine was powerful. The engine was placed behind the front wheels to address the problems of front-drive designs such as weight bias. With 385 horsepower and 54%/46% front/rear weight distribution, the vehicle was fast and the handling was excellent.

During the year of introduction, it was awarded the coveted 'Car of the Year' by Motor Trend. The 'Car Life's Award for Engineering Excellence' was also bestowed up the Toronado.

When it was introduced, it was available as a two-door hardtop coupe. The only engine available was a 385 horsepower, 425 cubic-inch V8 engine. 34,630 examples were produced.

In 1967, the Toronado received minor aesthetic changes. The 425 cubic-inch V8 was the only engine available. Over 20,000 examples were created.

The big news for 1968 was the introduction of the 455 cubic-inch V8 rated at 375 horsepower. Minor aesthetic changes were made to the front of the vehicle including the fenders and grille. Over 26,000 examples were created.

For 1969, a vinyl top became optional equipment. The 425 and 455 engines were still available. The rear of the vehicle was updated to offset the changes that had been made to the front of the vehicle.

1970 was the final year for the first-generation Toronado. A GT version was introduced. The GT featured dual exhausts, a nugget-gold metallic, a GT hood badge, notched rear bumper, and 400 horsepower from the 455 cubic-inch V8. With a zero-to-sixty time of only 7.5 seconds, the Toronado GT was sneaking into muscle-car territory. Only 5,341 GT's were created, making it a highly collectable and sought-after vehicle. There were over 20,000 examples of the 2-door coupes for 1970.

In 1971, the second generation Toronado was introduced and lasted until 1978. The vehicle was more luxurious and less sporty then its predecessor. It is also recognized as being one of the first vehicles to use high-mounted auxiliary brake lights. From 1974 through 1976, General Motors equipped the vehicle with airbags, another safety innovation that was foreign at the time.

In 1977 and 1978 the XS model was introduced. It featured a hot wire 'bent-glass' rear window.

Due to increasing safety and government regulations, and fuel shortages the entire industry was down-sizing the output of their engines. The 455 V8 engine was replaced by a 403 cubic-inch power-plant.

The third generation ran from 1979 through 1985. A variety of engines were offered during this time including diesel, gasoline, V6, and V8 flavors. All were seriously de-tuned and offered fuel-economy over performance.

Independent suspension was placed on the rear of the vehicle. This not only improved the performance of the vehicle, but also the quality of the ride.

The fourth generation of the Toronado was introduced in 1986 and lasted until 1992. The vehicle continued to decrease in size and sales. The only engine available was the 231 cubic-inch V6.

On May 28, 1992, the final Oldsmobile Toronado rolled of the Hamtramck, Michigan assemble line. After a long and successful production life span, the vehicle was no longer produced.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2007

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