1970 Toronado AQC Jetway: One Long Wagon!

right rear

The seller says this is a GM built prototype, but it looks very much like the ones built by American Quality Coach Corporation, the AQC Jetway 707. They were 27 Feet long with a 185 inch wheelbase. They were built on leftover 1968 Toronado chassis. Between 50 and 150 were built. They were produced for 2 years before the company failed. There are actually number of these still around. One recently sold on eBay for $3,000. This one is listed on Kijiji for $20,000! Below is a brochure. Some featured 3 side windows in the vista dome top like in the brochure below, others had 5 per side. Thanks to Dustin A., Dean B. and Spencer K. for finding this strange limo!

brocure

In any case, this ruined example in the weeds seems overpriced. Besides, what the heck would someone do with it? It would likely be very expensive to restore. It’s rusting away in Manitoba, Canada. The last two pictures below are of other Jetway limos, just for examples of what it could look like. So what would you do with it?

 

 

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Comments

  1. Jeff

    At the current exchange rate 20k CAD = $1.75 USD (I’m Canadian, I can make this joke…barely).

  2. JW

    What would you actually do with this road barge??? I don’t care how rare it is, the Space Shuttle is a rare find but would I want it sitting in my driveway NO so I’ll have to pass.

    • Cool Cadillac Cat

      I have no interest in THIS one, however, I’d love to own one to occasionally DD…and freak people out, appropriately.

      Pickups have gotten almost this long, so meh.

    • Curtis

      Well I used to take my daughters Girl Scout troupe up to their camp. she’s 39 now.
      I still own it and enjoy it.

      Like 3
      • Brad Stapleton

        Just finished the front end rebuild on mine. Hope to be driving it in the next few weeks.

        Like 1
  3. Walter Joy

    I also heard about some Toronados being converted to car carriers. And a rumor that the GMC campers stole the chassis set up from these is also circulating

    • Cool Cadillac Cat

      The GMC motorhome chassis isn’t a rumor, it’s well-known fact.

      The powertrain was pulled from these, mostly unchanged, and put in 23-27′ motorhomes. I’m pretty sure those were the lengths.

      Like 1
      • David Frank David Member

        This is a homebuilt motorhome at the museum built on the same stock Toronado/Eldorado chassis. The builder toured the country in it. It would seem that chassis can handle a lot of weight.

        Like 1
      • Mac Hendrson

        I think you’re talking about the GMC Motorhome from 1973 to 1978. they were 23′ and 26′ standard.

        Like 1
    • curtis

      Yes Walter, in fact cragislists in Los Angeles has a listing for a unfinished one.
      http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv/cto/5862398592.html. It might be best to just use the trailer and another front end to complete it.

  4. francisco

    I’m curious, what kind of animal is that standing in front of the car?

    • justin

      The animal in the photo is what is referred to as a backside of a dog. lol

      Like 1
  5. That Guy

    It’s cool and unusual, but the market for it has to be miniscule. It’s closer to a bus than a car, but with less scope for customizing. And like an old bus, restoring it to original condition will be mind-bogglingly expensive.

    I think the seller is equating “rare” with “desirable and expensive,” and that formula is unlikely to compute in this case. It’s usually snarky and inaccurate to say “knock a zero off the price and you’re about right,” but in this case I suspect that’s literally true.

    • Bill McCoskey

      There are 3 basic reasons a vehicle is “rare” . . .
      1. It was incredibly expensive when new, and few could afford one.
      2. Few people wanted it when new, or used.
      3. And as in this case, Both 1 and 2 are applicable.

      At about the same time these were introduced, the big 3 automakers took the 1 ton van chassis used for smaller motorhomes & created the 18 passenger people mover vans they still sell today, and they were about half the cost of these AQC Olds. Plus these huge vehicles were difficult to navigate thru busy regional airports, while the vans were far more nimble in comparison.

      I knew the owner of Executive Limo in the Washington DC area. Executive had a contract with both National & Dulles Airports, and made the mistake of buying about 6 to 8 AQC Olds Toronados. They were a constant source of trouble, especially the transmission and front drive axles, along with the air bag rear suspension that was constantly having to change based on different passenger & luggage loads. Unable to take the added weight and rough usage typical airport limos go thru, the transmissions & drive axles were failing so fast that Executive always had one or 2 off the road for repairs. By 1976 all of them were sitting idle. An additional cost was due to their immense weigh. They were in a different classification for the ICC and the yearly road taxes were far worse than the vans that replaced them.

      In 1975 bought a 1955 Chrysler Crown Imperial limo from Executive for $100. It turned out to be a White House limo, but not Ike’s Derham conversion limo, I found that car about 5 years later. The owner of Executive offered me my choice of the AQC Toronados for free if I would tow it out of the lot, as he needed the space. Knowing the costs just to get it towed about 100 miles to my farm in MD, I declined. Sometimes I regret turning down a free [or cheap] rare & unusual vehicle, but in this case I’m glad I didn’t take the bait!

      Regrets include the beautiful & all original 1935 Packard 12 boat tail speedster by leBaron I was offered in 1968 for $4k. I knew it was the Clark Gable car, the owner didn’t. I was in high school, and $4k was a lot of money. My dad refused to loan me the cash or buy the car himself. We both later regretted that decision. I ended up buying the other Packard the guy was selling; a 1950 Deluxe 8 sedan with 1,800 miles showing, for $800.]

      Back to this AQC monster . . . You ask what I would do with this vehicle? Well it’s probably not going anywhere soon under it’s own power, so perhaps if I owned it I would rip out the seats, throw down a dance floor inside, put up a hanging mirror ball, put some stanchions & red velvet ropes leading up to that huge back door, get some Disco music on cassette tapes [the Toronados came with AM/FM cassette radios] , and open up a retro nightclub.

      • Daniel Brooks

        Cool story!! I love hearing really good old car stories from other old car guys like myself and this is a really good one. Thank you so much for sharing!

        Like 1
  6. Mike D

    it would take a ton of work to get this into shape . it looks like it has been under a tree for decades .. if I had the bucks ( I don’t and prob never will) I would ” try” to get this to ” as new” it sure would draw attention !

  7. Mike D

    it would take a ton of work to get this into shape . it looks like it has been under a tree for decades .. if I had the bucks ( I don’t and prob never will) I would ” try” to get this to ” as new” it sure would draw attention !

  8. krash

    that mystery creature pictured above is the elusive coarse-haired Barnfindian.

    .. it has a nose for a good bargain and frequently sniffs out the rarest of finds before anyone else…

    unfortunately, he has a bit of a head cold and mistakenly ended up sniffing out this winner…

    so he’s deciding where to leave his distinctive liquid signature before moving on…

    Like 2
    • Woodie Man

      +1

  9. pontiactivisit

    This is a new one to me. Have seen pix of toronado car haulers and thought they were odd. This takes the cake though. Not sure what someone could do with this. Not sure how the 455 would pull all that weight too.

  10. Brad

    Yep. That is definitely an AQC Jetway. I’d love to know if anyone would give $20,000 for one in that condition.
    I own two of them. And the 455 pulls it just fine!

    Like 1
  11. Matt

    Might be useful for weddings that want a vintage limo.

  12. jeff6599

    Uuuummmmm Matt, 1970 is not a vintage limo, youngster!
    1930s is vintage! Jeff, 73.
    BTW, without a division window, it is not a limo. By definition. Otherwise it is simply a formal sedan or airport sedan or whatever.

  13. Natec

    Make it a quarter mile wheel stander!! Or a jet powered Jetway!!

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