Cheap Classic: 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado

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These are some of my favorite posts, where we show how you can find a running, driving classic car for less than $2,500! This particular example of one of the largest front wheel drive cars ever to come out of General Motors is located in Ozone Park, New York and is listed for sale here on eBay. The buy it now figure is only $1,950, so that leaves you with $550 to make improvements and still stay under our self-imposed limit!

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That’s a lot of car for less than two grand! 220.1 inches of car, to be exact! This is the best side, and although some minor body issues can be seen, the craigslist quality photos don’t show a lot wrong. Thankfully the seller attached a lot of them to the listing, including one that shows rust beginning along the edges under the vinyl top. You’ll eventually need some work there if you keep the car long enough. And just look at those huge rear bumper guards in back! I wonder if those are vintage JC Whitney or if they were a dealer add on?

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When you look closer at the rear bumper, you discover probably the worst rust on the car. Bumper alignment leaves something to be desired as well.

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When you look at the other side, you’ll see a pretty decent crease in the door and more surrounding damage in the fenders. While you might choose to live with this for a while, if you end up repainting the car it might be worth finding another door shell rather than trying to fix this large of an area.

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The interior looks livable for the moment, and is almost certainly original. I wonder if that fluid stain will come out of the front cushion with some work? The rest of the interior looks dirty but intact, including the aftermarket AM-FM-cassette stereo. The seller tells us there are just over 100,000 miles on the car, which is probably at least close to correct.

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Here’s the Toronado drivetrain, very similar to the Cadillac Eldorado of the time. There’s an awful lot under there; this sight reminded me that in 1971, the big three were first having to deal with emissions controls and increasing regulations. Lots of vacuum lines and wires going all over the place. The seller tells us that the Toronado runs and drives, has new brakes, new axles and a rebuilt carburetor that still needs adjusting. So what do you think–is this a good sub-$2,500 classic? I sure think so!

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Comments

  1. Don

    I remember the first time that I seen a guy smoking the front tires / I was a kid and thought that was so weird but cool

  2. rmward194 Member

    Decent Toronado for the money. Just wish it was closer and I had a place to store it.

  3. grant

    To me, these cars are like Kim Kardashian’s butt. Oversized and kind of gross, but attracting great attention from a lot of people who think it’s beautiful.

  4. nessy

    For only 2g, how could you go wrong unless maybe the floors and frame are rusted? I dig all Oldsmobiles.

  5. Larry K

    The a$$ end looks just like the front end of a 71 Marquis I owned.

    • Larry K

      Nah, not so much.

  6. Chebby

    Ugly, but great GM tech at a no-brainer price. I like.

  7. Marty Wilke Member

    Yeah, but not -too- similar to an Eldorado. This engine is all Oldsmobile, baby!

  8. Joe

    Sure is a big mean ugly looking front end! Don’t see many Toronados of this body style. Love it.

  9. John Perry Member

    I’ve had 3 Toronados over the years. 1967, 1974. and 1981…each one unique in it’s own way. Loved each one, a pleasure to drive and never saw many on the road so you didn’t see yourself go by so to speak. Restoring them can be a bit of an issue though, parts, especially trim items can be tough to locate.

  10. MikeH

    My father bought one of these new. The build quality was horrible and the interior filled with cheap plastic. I’m sure they haven’t gotten any better.

  11. George G

    455 Olds engine, 500 in Cadillac, same tranny.

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