Every Option: 1991 Oldsmobile Troféo

Legend has it that the original Oldsmobile Toronado was inspired by a designer’s rendering which was known as the “Flame Red Car” and the resemblance to the first-generation Toronado is unmistakable. This red 1991 Oldsmobile Troféo looks nothing like the original Toronado but in spirit and on paper, it’s hard to deny that it’s related. This one can be found here on craigslist in Lincoln, Nebraska and the seller is asking $2,000 or best offer.

I really like the last-gasp Toronados, the fourth-generation cars, especially the Troféo with its added styling touches. Believe it or not, this car is only eleven inches shorter than a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. It looks absolutely tiny, like a rebadged import Toronado if they would have made such a thing like a Mitsubishi “Dodge Challenger”. But, it’s all GM so at least they kept it in the family. The interior room and overall feeling of the two cars are totally different.

The Troféo came along in 1987, one year into the fourth-generation cars, and between the 1989 to 1992 model years, the Troféo wasn’t badged as a Toronado. Sort of like Elvis or Cher. Ok, it was nothing like that at all. This car has some paint issues as you can see in the photos. The seller provided a good amount of photos overall, but as usual, there are no engine photos which is disappointing. Still, we have come to expect that today which is even more disappointing.

The unseen engine should be Buick’s famous 3800, a 3.8L V6 with 170 horsepower and 220 ft-lb of torque. The seller has done a lot of work on this car, including new “ECM, Coil Packs, Spark Plugs and Wires, Radiator, Starter, Alternator, Serpentine Belt, Every sensor on the motor including timing sensor and crank position sensor.” It makes the $2,000 or offer price sound downright reasonable. Although, they say that there’s an idling issue and they think it may be the fuel pump or a vacuum line.

This was the top of the line for Olds at the time and this car has every option available, including this sweet and probably totally unusable now other than for posing built-in cell phone, and also a new-for-1990 CRT touchscreen which proved to be somewhat troublesome for more than a few owners, but others had good luck with it. The seats look great and if the next owner can figure out the idling issue, this could be a great car. Dare I say, a possible future collectible? (crickets)…

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Comments

  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Tbh I’m kinda surprised the interior’s not red

    Like 4
    • nlpnt

      My uncle had a white one with a maroon interior. Bright red with that maroon would’ve been a little heartburn-inducing.

      Like 1
  2. Argy

    As personal luxury coupes go, the Trofeo represented a massive 25% price jump over the Thunderbird Super Coupe in 1991. Not surprisingly, these are seldom seen today- several have traded this year for more than double the asking price in similar condition, so it definitely seems worth it to someone after an oddball piece of 90s nostalgia. Extra points for the still-functioning VIC touchscreen system!

    Like 4
  3. DonziDon

    I bought a 1991 Trofeo in 1993. Ir was pearl white with a red interior. It was a beautiful car and rode like a dream. Had a ton of cool features and options at that time. Was expensive but there was nothing else really like it at that time. I wish the 3.8 was supercharged as it did lack a bit in the performance dept. IF i came across a clean low mileage one i would buy it . Lots of fond memories in that car. I traded it in for a caddy sedan deville and wished i hadnt!

    Like 3
    • wizzy

      A white over red Trofeo on Daily Turismo today as well. $2400. Nicer colors than this one.

      Like 2
  4. Mark C

    For $2k, this car is actually pretty nice. I’ve owned several cars with the super tough-but-not-exactly-fast 3.8. That cam sensor going bad was a mystery to a lot of mechanics back in the day. Car would be running great and just suddenly stop. It might fire right back up, or it might be an hour. Then, you couldn’t get it to do it again at the shop! Once I got that mystery solved, it was a super reliable engine.

    There’s a lot of 90s GM plastic to behold, but I bet it’s quite comfortable.

  5. Larry Collins

    Looks like a slightly fancy Cavalier/Sunbird to me.

    Like 3
    • Poppy

      Vastly better platform than a Cavalier, and you’ll be hard pressed to find more comfortable seats than those Lear-designed ones in this car.

      Like 3
  6. Poppy

    Check the IAC valve for the idle issue.

    Like 2
  7. Todd Fitch Staff

    I was intrigued at first but can’t stomach the bazillions of GM light gray interiors from that time frame. It took me forever to find myself a used 2002 Buick Regal GS with the dark gray interior. The Regal makes me wonder how hard it would be to drop a Stage 2 L67 (supercharged 3.8L) in a Trofeo and keep the cool electronics. Thanks, Scotty for another well-written blast from the past. These are very unique. Best wishes to seller and buyer!

    Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      Just GM? Didn’t Honda start the ready for the black & white twilight zone “colors” even earlier?
      I would be looking for an all blue or dark tan or maroon interior – not sure when those stopped inside GM cars
      Inside i still can’t stomach grey of any shade or the silver inside old anniversary t/a’s or vettes.
      & as opposed to acceptable fading laquer or enamel exterior paint, peeling clearcoat is as bad as peeling from sunburn – avoid being seen!

      • 8thNote 8thNote

        I daily a 94 Chevy 1500 and the interior is as Maroon as Maroon can be. Evrything except the steering wheel and column is maroon. Even the seatbelts are maroon.

        Like 1
      • Poppy

        I would say the late ’90s is when GM dropped the non-neutral interior colors. The last Olds Regencies in ’96 and their Park Avenue cousins still offered medium blue and garnet red leather interiors, but the Auroras and next generation PAs that replaced them all wore gray, tan, or graphite interiors, I believe. My ’70 Cutlass Supreme has a gold vinyl interior that looks great against its Bamboo exterior

    • RacinRob4

      Todd even though this car is OBD1 dropping in a Stage 2 L67 is highly possible. TBH it’s really quite simple as people are putting them in all sorts of card these days. Fiero’s, Montana mini vans heck I have a buddy that built an 80’s Jag XJ-6 with a mildly built L67 with a really small pulley on a race gas/pump gas mix and backed by a T-5 from an S-10 with a Camaro tail shaft riding on BMW X5 wheels. So if u wanted to pull the 170 hp 3.8 out abd drop in an L67 its very easily done and can go into many ,many platforms.

      Like 1
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        RacinRob4 – that sounds like good fun! I remember dusting off a Genesis 3.8 in my Regal. He had to get two doses to believe it, then (from behind me) he shook his head and gave me the thumbs up. Thanks!

        Like 2
  8. AndyinMA

    She’s beautiful. Drop a Tesla drivetrain in there and go!

    Like 1
  9. Robert May

    I worked at a Buck/Cadillac dealership when this gen Eldorado/Riviera/Toronado’s came out. To see the new Riviera next to the previous year model was a sight! To top it off, the Riviera was the first consumer application of touch screen technology. Radio and climate controls were on a screen! In 1988! A balky one at best, though. My boss got a Riviera demo and I made a few deliveries in it. I recognized the potential hazards of being distracted by a screen to do anything. It was a big leap for GM to roll out the technology in such a high profile redesign of a revered model. It was interesting too that the screen assembly had it’s own part number and diagram page in the parts book.

    Like 3
  10. jf85tr99

    The epitome of late 80’s early 90’s Knightrider buttons only maybe outmatched by an 8series BMW.

    Like 3
  11. Dragonman6

    Definitely drop in the 3.8/SC, might want to also get the HD Hydramatic along with it. My ‘01 Regal used to dust Camaros and Mustangs regularly back in the day, donated the car last year, engine still strong at 240,000 miles. Now replaced with a faster Mustang, lol. A friend’s mother had a twin of this new, gorgeous car.

    Like 1
  12. M_Wolf

    I had a 1988 Toronado Trofeo. It was a nice car, actually. Comfy seats, and features that weren’t common until fairly recently, like inflatable lumbar and bolsters on both front seats, heated rear view mirrors, full fuel data, oil life monitor, and a few other goodies. It got plenty of looks (I kept it clean and shiny), and I was completely satisfied with it.

    Like 2

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