November 2020 Update – We’re busy updating our database to accurately reflect the status of every car we’ve featured since starting GuysWithRides.com. This Toronado we first featured in July 2019 has since sold. This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.
We found this dark red over dark red striped cloth 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham on Craigslist in July f 2019 in Fairport, New York where the private seller has it listed for $6,000. Based on the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Guide, the seller has his car $800 below the #3 “Good” level of $6,800.
Oldsmobile stunned the automotive world when it launched its new front-wheel-drive Toronado personal luxury car in 1966. While we take the powertrain layout for granted today, in ’66 the Toronado was the first U.S.-produced front-wheel-drive car since the 1937 Cord. GM called the front-drive powertrain the Unitized Power Package (“UPP”) as its goal was to fit both an engine and transmission into an engine bay no larger than one for a then conventional rear-drive car. The UPP relied on modified TurboHydramatic components and a HY-VO silent that proved to be so well-built that GMC later used the drivetrain in their innovative motor home. While better traction in foul weather was a benefit of the new front-wheel-drive system, Oldsmobile touted the completely flat floor as a more comfortable experience for middle seat passengers front and rear.
Unfortunately, in GM’s infinite wisdom, the second generation Toronado debuted for 1971 transitioned from a “GT”-style car into a more traditional luxury car. It was now more similar to the Cadillac Eldorado than the Buick Riviera, with styling taking several cues from the 1967–70 Eldorado. Like it or not, sales increased dramatically. By 1977 when the example here was made, it featured a smaller 403 cubic inch V8 but was now the largest Oldsmobile as the full-size models were downsized that year. The coolest feature on this generation of Toronados was the duplicate turn signal and brake lights mounted under the rear window. While a styling exercise on these cars, they foretold the advent of the third brake light or “CHMSL” that became a Federal requirement in 1986.
The seller of this ten thousand mile time capsule does not provide much of a description other than to say, “1977 Oldsmobile Toronado only 10,000 original miles. Just inspected. All mint except vinyl quarter roof dried out and cracked over the years. New shocks, fluids, hoses, filters, plugs. Interior and engine mint condition.” Candidly, we’re fascinated by what would cause such a low mileage car’s vinyl roof to fade like that when the balance of the car appears to align with only 10K miles driven. Even more surprising is how that faded yet the front and rear bumper panel fillers (notoriously famous for fading and cracking) appear to be in excellent shape. The roof suggests this Toro’ may have spent much of its life stored outside and given it rides on a 122″ wheelbase and boasts an overall length of around 19 feet, we could understand why. That’s a story you’ll have to confirm with the seller. We hope the next caretaker spends the money to have the half roof replaced as this car and it’s glorious striped velour interior will be a hit at any car show you comfortably drive it to. Good luck with the purchase!