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Update: 59K-Mile 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado

UPDATE – This 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado is listed for sale again, this time here on craigslist, and it’s located in the Ojai, California area. They’re curiously asking $8,249 which they say is a price reduction but that’s almost $2,000 higher than when it was listed on eBay back in March. Please check out the new photos and let us know your thoughts on this front-wheel-drive beauty. Here is the original listing and thanks to Pat L. for sending in this updated tip!

FROM 02/04/2022 –

The seller says that this 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado is rust-free underneath and has just a couple of spots of surface rust. I only mention that as I’m watching winter move past us finally and thinking that a front-wheel-drive car like this would be a good winter car. They have it listed here on eBay in Simi Valley, California and they’re asking $6,500.

I’ve mentioned before that we had a light green 1970 Oldsmobile 98 sedan with a nice green brocade interior when I was a teenager. Growing up in the upper Midwest with six months of snow on the ground every year, I always wondered how a Toronado may have been a better car in the winters there. It would be a shame to drive a car this nice in the snow now.

The second-generation Toronado was made from 1970 for the 1971 model year until 1978 and they were quite different from the sleek and smaller first-generation cars that came out for the 1966 model year. Here is one of the areas that the seller mentions has surface rust, on the front of the hood. Hagerty’s #4 fair condition value went up 75% in the last quarter of 2021 and now stands at $6,300. The #3 good condition value is $11,000 so if a person could get this one for a good price they may not be underwater right away.

The seats appear to be in great condition but they may be a little faded from the hot California sun both front and rear. A nice feature of the instrument lights is that the switches, radio dial, and clock basically pop out and back in again from the passenger compartment to make changing burned-out bulbs fairly easy. The seller bought this car 23 years ago from the original owner and they think that it has an actual 59,000 miles on it.

The engine is Oldsmobile’s 455 Rocket V8 with 275 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. It has a new fuel pump, sender, fuel lines, and filter but the carb hasn’t been rebuilt. Apparently, the original owner, “an old lady” (not the nicest term, eh?) had the car repainted and the current owner replaced the vinyl top. How much would you pay for this Toronado given the current values?

Comments

  1. Stevieg Member

    I had a ’77 or ’78 Eldorado for a winter car (same chassis) many years ago. I swear, you could put a snow plow on that big old girl, and she would have done the job wonderfully!
    I love these big tanks! I can’t wait to get another.

    Like 12
    • Jack

      My dad used to run the car over the drive way on heavy snows before taking the tractor out to plow. LOL

      Like 5
    • joenywf64

      & with the 455 & 2 tons of weight, today’s gas stations can’t wait until you do, either. lol

      Like 2
      • Stevieg Member

        I wouldn’t use it as a daily driver. No way could I afford that lol.
        But I just filled up my car a couple days ago, got gas for the “bargain” price of $3.76 a gallon, so we are not getting hit here as hard as other places.

        Like 1
  2. Billyray

    Saying “under water” based on price is misleading. It refers to “money owed exceeding the value” Assuming one is not taking on any debt when buying a classic car, there is no “under water.” But if the meaning is not putting more money into the car than it’s worth, that’s another matter.

    Is a price “guide” gospel? Market depends on a buyer and seller agreement. Does anyone NOT spend more than he can sell for? I did it once, but that car was the exception.

    Like 3
  3. Brian Bray

    I owned a ’73 Toro when I lived between Cleveland and Toledo on Lake Erie with plenty of snow. The car was great in snow. If you got “stuck” you could turn the steering wheel either to the extreme right or left and both front wheels would engage. You could then turn the steering wheel to the opposite and the wheels would lock together again. Doing this repeatedly would allow you to “walk” the car out of almost any snow situation even high road drifts.

    Like 7
  4. Glenn Hilpert

    I emailed the owner several times for more info on the car and he responded by stating the car runs good but would need tires replaced, fluids changed etc; before making a safe and roadable vehicle. The rust chips on the front facia below the hood are rock chips he said but appear to be actual rust specs itself. Everywhere else appeared to be just surface rust.

    The car has been 4-sale for awhile now and am surprised it has not sold. He asked me if the price was too high. I told him I’m not an expert on these cars and the price seemed reasonable. It all depends on personal preference with these vehicles. Start your bidding lower and see where it goes. Apparently it didn’t go anywhere and is still at the original BIN price.

    Like 4
  5. Lance Platt

    Toronado is not bad for a 51 year old model. Rust and aging parts do combine for a double whammy of expensive repairs for a collectible car enthusiast. The sheer bulk of the Olds would make finding urban parking spaces require the use of a ground crew with orange flashlights on loan from the airport for guidance. For those intrepid souls, the Toronado offers beautiful lines, a big torquey engine, luxury car options and the traction of front wheel drive which was a rarity in 1971 domestic autos. It would stand out at a car show from a sea of aging pony and muscle cars and prewar classics from great great grandpa’s youth. It will be take some work and the right wrench turner to make this flagship from a defunct GM division great again.

    Like 2
  6. Reg Bruce

    @ Brian Bray: Never owned a Toro but I’m trying to figure out why / how the front wheels would “engage” when at full lock. This model was a little bit early for ABS/TCS so can any one enlighten me as to how this was accomplished and whether it was a designed-in feature or it just turned out that way?
    Incidentally, the best car for the snow that i ever owned was a 1978 AMC Pacer! With a manual transmission, a good set of snow tires and all that glass weight over the rear wheels it could go almost anywhere in the winter.

    Thank you.

    Like 3
  7. Glenn Hilpert

    I am not a front-wheel drive expert so I have no answer to your question. My friend had a front-wheel drive Cadillac Eldorado with FWD in the early to mid 80’s and we were in some pretty good snow, but his car did not handle well with the fwd set-up for some reason.

    Like 1
  8. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: the seller has lowered their price to $6,000.

    Like 1
  9. Dave

    I happen to think the 71 is the nicest looking of these model years. I owned a 73. They are not worth much, but are a nice car. Rather have a riviera

    Like 2

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