W34 GT Package: 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado Project

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With the base-model 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado offering 375 horsepower from its standard 455 V8, that sounds like plenty of power, and it was indeed satisfactory for most drivers.  However, buyers had the opportunity to select option W34, the GT package, at a cost of less than fifty dollars more.  Among other things, this fine addition got you larger intake valves plus a more assertive cam, which pushed HP up to an even 400.  The original buyer here decided to tick this rewarding box, and if you’ve been looking for an early-seventies luxury coupe project, this 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado GT is likely worth considering.  Priced at only $2,500, your low initial investment will hopefully leave some capital left over to invest in the restoration.

Numskal, thanks a lot for your great tip here!  Other than the seller telling us the Olds has been sitting for 22 years, we don’t get much more background information, but with both a California registration and license plate that expired in 1996, this one’s no stranger to The Golden State.  It’s presently sitting in Littlerock, about an hour north of Los Angeles.  There’s a lot of debris built up in those dual tailpipes, and it will be interesting to see what and how much blows out once this one starts again.  Those bumper cutouts for the exhaust are also a GT exclusive.

This one’s got enough exterior patina to make me think it may still be wearing the original paint, or if it’s ever gotten a respray, that was probably decades ago.  There are a few areas where some rust is visible, including around the rear window, but hopefully not severe enough that it has overtaken the metal to the point where the panels won’t all be salvageable.  The Toronado also seems complete outside, so hopefully, only a minimum of body parts will have to be sourced.

Most of the interior components are going to need some sort of attention, as what’s not baked is showing wear and tear.  The rear seat has been removed. and who knows how long it’s been out in the elements, but at least it will be included.  I’m guessing the in-dash 8-track player might be an uncommon option, and what a nice surprise if it happens to end up still functional.

There’s no word on whether or not the 455 still turns, and with the thermostat housing gone, the block has likely been dry inside for decades, so it’ll probably require a good going-through.  The car can be seen here on Craigslist, and even with all the work needed here, this one’s got the potential to make a fun and fast cruiser.  Is this 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado GT one you’d consider a worthwhile project?

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  1. BA

    Wow I never knew there was a GT Tornado & a high performance 455 sounds like a great project! Someone will have a great car I believe worth the investment but not for me just a little outside of range in Florida!

    Like 6
    • Nathan

      My sentiments exactly , I also am in Florida . One of my projects was a ’72 455 that I built to W-30 specs , C casting heads , roller rockers , dropped in a 83 Regal with Grand National Interior from factory . Wish I still had that car , along with many others throughout my life .

      Like 0
  2. sparkster

    too many zeros in the price. Old non running cars found in fields are expensive after you get them home.

    Like 6
  3. sparkster

    The W34 Toronado GT Package of 1970 reinforced how effectively the outgoing design could deftly meld muscle car power and styling cues with plush surroundings. For just $47.39, the W34 included a 400-hp 455 with a more aggressive camshaft and bigger intake valves than the standard 375-hp 455, and its dual exhaust poked its tips through cutouts in the rear bumper. The three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic and torque converter were tweaked, and a “Toronado GT” hood emblem and paint stripes highlighting the wheel openings were included.

    Like 13
  4. Jack M.

    Probably worth it for the high performance 455. Sell the rest of the parts to make back most of your money. I’m sure people would line up for that rear bumper.

    Like 6
    • Steve

      No guarantee that’s the original engine though.

      Like 2
  5. Big C

    This would be a good high school auto mechanics project. They’d learn about hi-po V-8 pushrod engines and FWD.

    Like 4
  6. Stan

    ✔️ take that pkg please.

    Like 2
  7. ACZ

    Could be a great project but there are an awful lot of unknowns. The interior is trash and between that and the crap in the tail pipes makes it look like it was under water at some point. Not knowing if the engine turns and seeing the thermostat housing and alternator missing makes one think that without knowing the state of the engine, it’s just about worthless. A real shame.

    Like 1
  8. Utesman

    The W34 drivetrain package was optional from ’68 thru 1970, though the ‘GT’ moniker was only added in ’70. Not well known is that W34 included a a ram-air feature in ’68 only. Of 25,433 1970 Toronados, 5,341 were GTs. It’s heartbreaking to contemplate Olds’ demise when one recalls how vastly creative & performance-oriented that division was over the years! 400hp in all 3 years of this luxo-boat was why it was referred to as ‘the executive’s hotrod’.

    Like 5
    • Nathan

      Long live Doctor Olds !

      Like 1
  9. Dan

    Always wondered why w-30 was rated at 370 hp and toro gt was rated at 400hp?

    Like 0
    • Michael Berkemeier

      That was because of the common practice of underrating horsepower to skirt higher insurance premiums…hence, selling more cars to youthful buyers (the target market for muscle cars). Toronado buyers were not on the insurance companies radars. Stage 1 Buicks and 426 Hemis, like the W-30 Oldsmobiles, all produced way more than the “advertised horsepower”.

      Like 1
  10. ken

    rare piece here.if you are not sure of what this car is then you should be quiet and not slap it down!

    Like 3
  11. Eddie Pennsylvania

    Too much money for that rig, sadly. Code 46 Ming Jade was a Toronado-only color that year. Also, most of these got paired with a green vinyl top and/or all-green interior, which was a bit overwhelming. This appears to have escaped the latter fate at least.
    I am restoring a 70 Toronado (non GT) and many parts are unobtanium (a lot of interior and exterior trim), expensive because they are one-year only and shared with the El Dorado (GM’s other FWD E-Body), and/or have to be custom made at this point (see: leaf springs and fuel tank). unless you are buying just to take the engine and can talk the seller down, this is going to be a labor of love and you’ve made peace with the price of the restoration way outpacing the value of the finished product (this is the road I took at the same price point, but a much better starting point).

    Like 2
  12. Eddie Pennsylvania

    Actually, now that I think about it, you could probably get $2500 for the heads alone, if they are factory-marked “E” heads (someone can double check my memory, but those are prized among 455 engine builders). My Toro has “F” heads, IIRC. Even these are relatively rare anymore, as scammers used to try to alter the “F” heads to make them look like “E” heads.

    Like 2

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