72k Original Miles: 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado Deluxe

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Vehicle manufacturers walk a fine line when introducing a new model. Their latest offering must look good (or at least inoffensive) and possess a reliable mechanical package. They tend to adapt existing drivetrain components to achieve that second aim, but Oldsmobile threw that practice out the window when it introduced the original Toronado. It was bold and daring, and the experiment proved successful. This 1967 Toronado Deluxe is an original survivor that presents well for its age. It has a genuine 72,000 miles on the clock and is ready to find a new home. It is listed here on eBay in Castalia, North Carolina. Bidding sits below the reserve at $2,850, but there is a BIN option of $13,500.

Oldsmobile introduced the First Generation Toronado in 1966 as its entry into the Personal Luxury Car segment. The styling is distinctive, but I’m unsure whether I am the only person who views it in hindsight and sees traces of the early Second Generation Pontiac Firebird in its admittedly larger profile. This car is a genuine survivor, having emerged from a museum in 2008. Its Turquoise Frost paint isn’t perfect, but the shine and lack of significant defects mean it would still be acceptable if the new owner chooses preservation over restoration. The panels are straight, and the gaps are consistent. The trim and hubcaps are in good order, and I see no issues with the tinted glass. There are a few challenges for the buyer to consider. The headlamps don’t operate correctly, with the seller leaving them in the raised position for practicality. They admit there are some rust issues on the insides of the door frames and trunk, but they suggest it is minor. However, since some of it appears to be in the lower A-pillars, it may require an experienced hand to address that problem effectively. The floors and frame are solid, and the exterior looks clean.

The Toronado’s interior makes a generally positive first impression, trimmed in Turquoise cloth and vinyl. A closer inspection reveals a few shortcomings requiring attention to lift the presentation to a higher level. The front seat sports some heavy staining on the driver’s side, which may require specialist attention to reduce or eliminate the negative impact. There is also a small split on the seat’s edge. However, this might prove repairable with a blind patch. The carpet is new, although the fit around the driver’s feet looks slightly off. The wheel is cracked, and the seller states that the power windows are inoperative. Some bright trim pieces are slightly oxidized, but most look pretty good. The air conditioning is inoperative, but the indications are that the remaining interior features work as they should.

Lifting the hood reveals the Toronado’s 425ci V8 that sends 385hp and 480 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission. Power assistance for the steering and brakes cement this car’s luxury credentials. There doesn’t seem to be anything extraordinary about the specifications…until we dig deeper. Traditionally, vehicles of this type send the power to the rear wheels. However, Oldsmobile expended a lot of engineering time and effort into developing what was known as the Unitized Power Package (UPP). The process produced an engine and transmission package that fitted effectively into a standard engine bay but sent its power to the road via the front wheels. The plan was bold and daring and, ultimately, successful. History shows that General Motors didn’t restrict the UPP to the Toronado but adopted it across numerous models within the Corporation’s product range. Conventional wisdom has held that sending more than 250hp to the front wheels can make a car difficult to drive, but the Toronado received universal praise for its driving and handling. The seller rescued this classic from a museum in 2008 with 60,000 miles on the clock. They have clocked an additional 12,000 miles since, stating that it runs and drives well. It is a turnkey proposition that the winning bidder could drive home.

The Oldsmobile Toronado was a bold and daring feat of engineering that brought the buying public the first American front-wheel-drive passenger car since the demise of Cord in the 1930s. The revolutionary drivetrain allowed the company to produce a vehicle with flat floors and more efficient space usage to improve passenger comfort. This one needs work, which may account for it only receiving five bids. Spotless examples consistently sell for over $20,000, leaving some room to move at the BIN price. Do you think it is enough to ensure this project remains financially viable?

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  1. RandyMember

    Beware – I just spent $6,000 getting the AC to work on my 66 Toronado.

    Like 11
    • Harvey HarveyMember

      You got ripped off.

      Like 13
    • Philip

      Wow, I spent $1,600 in 2010 getting my C2 Corvette AC restored and I thought that was expensive. Hard to imagine yours was that bad?

      Like 0
  2. BILL

    what makes it a “DELUXE”

    Like 4
    • Cman

      For one thing there are inside door release handles accessible by rear seat passengers.

      Like 6
    • Panther1000

      Bench bucket seats, rear door release handles, telescopic and tilt steering….

      Like 3
  3. Driveinstile DriveinstileMember

    I could be wrong, but it looks like the huge Oldsmobile gas pedal is missing. I honestly think they had one of the largest gas pedals of any car in the mid 60s to 1970.

    Like 6
    • JoeNYWF64

      Some “modern cars” today have brake pedals almost as small as those on manual trans ’60s cars! & on many cars, the brake pedal & accelerator are too close together! – no wonder vehicles today wind up inside restaurants, etc. I can actually press on both pedals at the same time with my right foot on 3000gt.

      Can i assume aqua colored carpet & steering wheel are hard to come by today for these cars?

      Like 0
  4. hatofpork

    Hope someone saves this lovely lady but that A pillar looks expensive. GLWA, seller!

    Like 4
  5. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    “The panels are straight and the gaps are consistent.” Adam writes this about every car, and it’s getting old. If you’re not seeing the car in person, how can you say this? Especially with these photos, which aren’t that detailed.

    The hood isn’t latched except in one distant photo, and it appears the driver’s side front bumper “gap” is a little wonky. I would not stick my neck out and carte blanche offer such a description of someone else’s car for sale.

    On the positive side, at least there were no useless 1/4-mile times quoted.

    Like 8
  6. Fran

    WOW! A museum for rust buckets? That’s not just rust, that’s rot! What is that defect in the passenger rear quarter? Bodywork? Maybe the museum was not fussy? AND that moldy??? Steering wheel and dash????? Thought is was a buy, but clearly a PASS

    Like 4
    • RIX260

      The Museum likely found a better example with no rust and therefore sold this rusty one to the seller.

      Like 0
  7. Dennis Bailey

    Seems like this car went from a museum to parked outside for the next 15 years. Cracked steering wheel, water stained seats, falling headliner, rust? I don’t think it went into the museum looking like that, but there are all kinds of museums….

    Like 0
  8. Rich

    Why does the driver’s seat have what appears to be a major water stain? And then rust in the doors. Did someone leave this car outside for days on end during the rainy season? I’d run away from this one.

    Like 0
  9. douglas hunt

    when I was a pre teen, my uncle lived just outside of Detroit [Ecorse] and was a GM long time employee. He drove one of these, often making the trip to visit us in WV. I always liked this style Toronado very much

    Like 0

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