Bottom Breather: 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado 23K Mile – SOLD!

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

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April 3, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “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.

March 21, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the private seller just lowered their asking price by one thousand from the original $17,900 to $16,900.

Oldsmobile elected to use much more conservative styling when it launched the second-generation Toronado for the 1971 model year.  Despite this, the car did feature two key innovative trends.  One was the extra pair of brake lights positioned just below the rear window. The second was the lack of a front grille; the engine relied on air intakes incorporated into the lower front bumper. With only 23K original miles, this 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Witchita, Kansas may be the lowest-mile survivor in existence. The seller reports that with the exception of tires and battery (and we hope fluids), their well-optioned Toronado is all-original.

Currently offered for $17,900, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Toronado priced above this guide’s #1 “Concours” estimate of $15,800.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is well above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of $13,500. The premium requested here is for the exceptionally low-mileage, like-new example.

In an attempt to increase sales, Oldsmobile designers opted for more traditional person luxury car styling for the second-generation Toronado.  The front end utilized a novel air induction system, splitting the airflow from below the headlights, in a bottom breather fashion. In addition to several other styling cues borrowed from the Cadillac Eldorado, the overall size of the second-generation Toronado increased.

Engineers increased the car’s wheelbase from 119 to 122 inches. Additionally, engineers replaced the subframe design of first-generation Toronados with a more traditional body-on-frame design. While the new frame still utilized a front torsion bar suspension, the Toronado’s rear end now featured coil springs. Shared with Buick Riviera, Toronado introduced two high-mounted taillights above the trunk and below the rear window.  These taillights mirrored brake and turn functions of the normal taillights, but not the nighttime taillights. In addition to front disc brakes becoming standard, an early form of rear-wheel anti-lock brakes became optional.

Oldsmobile’s 455 cubic-inch Rocket V8 continued as the standard Toronado engine, the only difference being the engine’s use of a lower compression ratio to meet GM’s new edict that all engines had to run on lower-octane regular leaded, low lead or unleaded gasoline to meet increasingly more stringent Federal (and California) emission control regulation. The reduction from a 10.5:1 to 8.5:1 compression ratio lowered the engine’s gross horsepower rating from 375 in 1970 to 350 for 1971.

The Osborn Tramain YouTube Channel features this 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado commercial:

They are only original once, and this 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado has the potential to win at least an Antique Automobile Club of America (“AACA”) Junior Award in Preservation Class, Original Features judging so the next caretaker choose to do so.  The seller reports the only two items not functioning are the passenger power seat and the A/C needs a recharge.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Investor/collector selling a 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado with 23K original miles and of course front-wheel-drive. Purchased from the second owner/private collection. This car is completely rust-free and has been garaged its entire life as evidenced by the photos. With exception to the tires and battery, this car is all original including the spare tire which has never been down. It has a 455ci motor, power windows, locks, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise, dual power seats, A/C, and remote trunk release. To my knowledge, this car does not have any leaks. The only items not functioning is the passenger side power seat and A/C will need to be charged. This car is very tight and drives like the day it rolled off the showroom floor. 1971 was the first year for this body style making it even more sought after. This is a gorgeous car that would be an asset to any collection. Asking $17,900”

Do you have an Oldsmobile Toronado story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!


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