Obscure Orientation: 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado – SOLD!

by | Sep 2021 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

September 23, 2021 Update – We confirmed the seller of this Olds Toronado “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

While filming the undercarriage of the ’66 Oldsmobile 442 that’s still featured on our Rides Still Available page, I admired another gem from the private seller’s extensive Oldsmobile collection: a fully restored gold-over-white 1966 Toronado. When launched, not only did the original Toronado look like no other Oldsmobile, it looked like no other car on the road. With its front-wheel-drive powertrain, it even drove unlike nearly every other car on the road at the time.  That’s why a ’66 Toronado was among the first we ever featured after starting GuysWithRides.com and it’s why we do not hesitate to feature one every chance we get.

Our latest example is this light green 1967 model reported to be a garage find originally listed in September 2020 on Craigslist in Ambridge, Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh) currently offered for $8,500. Not only was the Toronado’s front-wheel-drive power train obscure for a big American personal luxury coupe at the time, but the seller of this example also did not know how to orient the landscape pictures before posting them on Craigslist.  We’ve made it easier for you to review them by orienting them properly.

Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Toronado appropriately priced between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $6,400 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $15,900.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s asking price falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $6,150 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $11,100.

Here’s the Hagerty Insurance Valuation Tool’s synopsis of the first-generation Toronado:

“Sporty, personal cars were all the rage by the early 1960s, and seeing first the Ford Thunderbird and then the Studebaker Avanti, Oldsmobile wanted one of their own. Their hopes were dashed by GM bean counters who nixed the idea of a smaller car. Persistence on the part of Olds did get GM approval for a personal car for the 1966 model year, but on the E-body platform shared by the Buick Riviera and Cadillac Eldorado. While it was a much larger car than they had hoped for, it would at least be packed with ground-breaking technology.

The Toronado as it became known was to be the first American production car with front-wheel drive since the Cord 812 of 1937. And as an homage to that car, Olds designers loaded the 1966 Toronado with styling cues that were reminiscent of the Cord. Unlike European front-wheel-drive cars like the BMC Mini and Citroen Traction Avant, the wheels doing the steering and the driving would also be transmitting a huge amount of horsepower and torque to the pavement. It had never been done before and GM engineers tested the powertrain for over a million miles. The result worked so well that GMCs popular line of motorhomes used a virtually unmodified version of the Toronado drivetrain.

On the road, testers noted that the Toro handled extremely well for a car of its size and that the big 425-cid V-8 combined with a relatively slippery shape gave it an extraordinarily high top speed of 135 mph. Only the brakes let down the overall package and this was remedied for 1967 with optional disc brakes. The first two years are considered to be the most attractive with the original concept getting watered down progressively post-1967. The Toronado is on most lists as a milestone car with solid engineering and fantastic style. As of yet, though, it hasn’t quite caught on.”

The Hagerty Insurance YouTube Channel features this Buyer’s Guide video on what to look for when buying a first-generation Oldsmobile Toronado:

This Toronado appears to be a diamond in the rough with a very presentable original interior and what appears to be slightly patina’d original paint. The vintage Mickey Thompson aluminum valve covers hint this Oldsmobile’s 425 cubic inch V8 may have been warmed over at some point.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1967 Oldsmobile Toronado! GARAGE FIND! Very clean car, the interior is in excellent condition, solid, motor runs great! Transmission shifts smooth and the car rides excellent. This car is ready to cruise 425 Olds Rocket.
The car has been garage kept since 1975.

Restore or Drive As-is: what would you do with this Toronado garage find?  Comment below and let us know!

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