Twin Turn Signals: 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham – Sold?
January 16, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “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.
1977 was an odd model year in Cadillac and Oldsmobile showrooms. With parent company General Motors downsizing its full-size “B” and “C” body car lines, the front-wheel-drive “E” body-based two-door Eldorado and Toronado personal luxury coupes had the dubious distinction of being larger than the newer, squared-off style cars. Making matters worse was the horrible fuel economy these land yachts achieved. Consequently, finding a 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado such as this example originally listed in December 2021 on Craigslist in Ottawa, Illinois (Chicago) is a rare treat. Family-owned since new, the current caretaker dating back to 1979 indicates he restored the car in 2009 but does not elaborate on what was needed at that time.
Currently offered at $6,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has his Toronado priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $6,100 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $9,400. Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $5,350 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $8,000.
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 in 1971 transitioned from a “GT”-style car into a more traditional luxury car. Unlike the out-of-the-box first-generation design, the redesigned Toronado looked similar to the Cadillac’s E-Body 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. One cool feature of 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 Osborne Tramain YouTube Channel features this 1974 Oldsmobile Toronado commercial:
The seller indicates a few wires have been damaged by mice. It’s unclear where that affects the operation of this 1977 Toronado Brougham, so you’ll need to clarify that with the seller.
Here’s the seller’s description:
Owned since 1979 (the previous owner was my uncle)
Fully restored in 2009
New lifetime muffler
New exhaust system
**Note: new battery and new fuel line with oil change just completed. Found a few (mouse) chewed wires which will need replacing. It’s clean and ready for a new home!“
Show or go: what would you do with this restored 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado? Comment below and let us know!