Auto Monday – Olds Toronado

toronado logoThe Toronado was a two-door coupe produced by the Oldsmobile division of General Motors from 1966 to 1992. The name “Toronado” has no meaning, and was originally invented for a 1963 Chevrolet show car. Conceived as Oldsmobile’s full-size personal luxury car and competing directly with the Ford Thunderbird and Buick Riviera, the Toronado is historically significant as the first front-wheel drive automobile produced in the United States since the demise of the Cord in 1937.

The first generation Toronados (’66-’70) seemed to set the standard for cutting edge styling and luxury design. The second gen Toronados (’71-’78) seemed to get sucked into the black hole of overly large sizes. By the third generation (’79-’85), the tanish was starting to show and by the early ’90s, the car just blended in with all the other vehicles on the road. GM pulled the plug on the Toronado after the ’92 model year and ironically, pulled the plug on Oldsmobile itself in the early years of the 2000s.

The Olds Toronado will hold a place in automotive history based on its first generation of cars alone.


We have a nice Toronado gallery coming up next.

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2 Responses to Auto Monday – Olds Toronado

  1. fretwalker says:

    Toronados always bring to mind an article in The Complete Book of Engine Swapping, sometime in the ’70s from Petersen Publishing (Hot Rod magazine) If featured a Porsche 911 with a Toronado drivetrain in the back seat.

    I couldn’t find more than a passing mention of that swap online, (surely I still have the book around here, somewhere) but I did find… the TORVAIR!

  2. fcgrabo says:

    I remember at a Corvair rally years ago, one guy had an early model Vair with a Toronado engine in the back. The drive axles weren’t shortened and the wheels stuck out like sore thumbs. It sure was fast, though.

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