1966 Oldsmobile Toronado news, pictures, specifications, and information
Deluxe Coupe
A Truly Pampered 'Car of the Year'
Oldsmobile's all-new Toronado - priced at $4,617 without options and placed at the top of the Olds line - was the first mass-produced front-wheel drive American car since the 1937 Cord 810. In tribute to its coffin-nosed predecessor, this stunning design featured a horizontally-lined grille, hidden headlamps and massive styled wheels. In its first year, sales of the 385-hp V8 Toronado exceeded the 41,000 mark.

The new Toronado from Oldsmobile was the talk of the industry and motoring press at its debut and was selected by Motor Trend magazine to be the publication's 1966 'Car of the Year'.

The Toronado displayed here has traveled just 1,200 miles in 41 years. It is an absolute original, right down to the T-FD thin-white-stripe tires that were specified by GM Styling for this model. The previous owner kept the Toronado for decades in a small garage, and cut a 2x4 hole in his living room wall so air conditioning could get to the Toronado sleeping in the garage!
Chassis Num: 396876M520051
Sold for $41,800 at 2006 RM Auctions.
Sold for $68,750 at 2009 RM Auctions.
Debuting in 1966 was the most innovative Olds in a generation. The Toronado was an intriguing front-wheel-drive hardtop coupe which represented a clean break with the past and a commitment to front drive that would be corporate-wide for GM by 1980. The 425-ci V8 came from full-size Oldsmobiles, and delivered 385 horsepower. It was teamed with a 'split' automatic transmission, wherein the torque converter was mounted directly behind the engine, and then a Turbo Hydramatic transmission located under the left cylinder bank was driven by a chain drive. This design allowed for a much more compact package that would have otherwise been possible, and allowed the engineers to locate the engine directly over the front axle centerline. The Toronado was unquestionably the most outstanding single Olds of the 60s, and would prove to be the last truly innovative product that Lansing could call its own.

This example is a highly optioned, deluxe series Toronado. It is a black plate California car that was professionally restored in the original Cranberry paint and fitted with a new matching Cranberry leather interior. The cost of the restoration exceeded $50,000. Since the work, the car has only accumulated just 663 miles.

In 2009, this example was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $25,000 - $35,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $68,750 including buyer's premium.
Oldsmobile's all-new Toronado - priced at $4,617 without options and placed at the top of the Oldsmobile line - was the first mass-produced front-wheel drive American car since the 1937 Cord 810. In tribute to its coffin-nosed predecessor, this stunning design featured a horizontally-lined grille, hidden headlamps and massive styled wheels.

In its first year, sales of the 385 horsepower V-8 Torondao exceeded the 41,000 mark.

The new Toronado from Oldsmobile was the talk of the auto industry and motoring press at its debut and was selected by Motor Trend magazine to be the publication's 1966 'Car of the Year.'

The example displayed here was built May 27, 1966. It was acquired 34 years ago from the original owner.
Chassis Num: 396876M519254
Sold for $22,000 at 2010 RM Auctions.
This Toronado has been given a high quality, body-on-frame restoration. It is painted in glossy black finish and a brand-new matching interior restored to OEM specifications. There is a rebuilt engine under the hood and is highly equipped with virtually every factory-available option for 1966, including air conditioning, an AM/FM radio with a power antenna, cruise control, power door locks, power windows, and a power trunk release. The engine has less than 30,000 miles. There are new tires and flawless hubcaps.

In 2010, this Toronado was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Meadow Brook event presented by RM Auctions. The car was estimated to sell for $30,000 - $50,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $22,000 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
Deluxe Coupe
Chassis Num: 396876M538074
Sold for $45,100 at 2010 RM Auctions.
This 'Deluxe' version has many power amenities including the brakes, locks, seats, steering and trunk release to the antenna. There are Deluxe seats, thermostatically-controlled heating, air conditioning, and cruise control. The 425 cubic-inch V8 engine with single Rochester four-barrel carburetor produces 385 horsepower and is mated to a three-speed Turbo-Hydramatic automatic gearbox. At all four corners are hydraulic drum brakes.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
This particular vehicle is the first Oldsmobile Toronado ever built. The Toronado was the first domestic, practical, front-wheel drive automobile since the Cords of the 1930s. It was Motor Trend Magazine's 'Car of the Year' for 1966.

Standard equipment included Turbo-Hydra-matic transmission, V8 engine, dual exhausts, power steering, power brakes, full carpeting, electric clock, deluxe lighting, and a rear view mirror.

Oldsmobile sales reached 586,381 cars for 1966 and almost 41,000 were the new Toronado.
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.
The Toronado was introduced in 1966 amid much fanfare - Motor Trend magazine named it Car of the Year. It was the first production front wheel drive automobile built in the United States since the legendary Cord of the 1930s.

Powered by an Oldsmobile V-8 motor that produced 385 horsepower from 425 cubic-inches, the Toronado contained many engineering innovations.

This is an unrestored car, showing only 19,600 miles on the odometer. It was purchased new at Cy Mack Oldsmobile in Cleveland, Ohio by Marshall Puckett.
Push Vehicle Coupe
This Oldsmobile is a specially modified Toronado that was used in the Oldsmobile Factory and parking lot. It was in use from 1966 through 1972. This one-of-a-kind car has a 3-inch thick hard maple bumper covered with rubber. It weighs nearly 400 pounds more than a standard Toronado at 4,500 pound. This additional weight helped greatly when used to push cars in the parking lot.

It was discovered during a heavy snow winter that the front-drive Toronado was excellent for pushing anything through deep snow. So Oldsmobile engineers created this chopped version and nick-named it the 'Mini-Toro.'
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2016
The Oldsmobile Toronado was the first front drive automobile produced in the United States since the 1937 Cord. It was GM's first subframe car, a design subsequently used on the Firebird and Camaro in 1967, and later, many other car models.

The longitudinally mounted V8 engine was coupled to a 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic transmission (TH425). The transmission was unique in that the engine mounted torque converter was separated from planetary gear set and linked by a 2-inch wide silent chain. Then transitions was mounted beside the engine. The overhead valve V8 engine displaced 425 cubic-inches and offered 385 horsepower. The car rested on a wheelbase that measured 119 inches. For 1966, production reached 34,630 examples.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 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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