EXCLUSIVE: 1969 Oldsmobile Toronado

Of all the front wheel drive cars I’ve had the opportunity to drive, the Olds Toronado still impresses me the most. With so much car and 430 cubic inches of engine, there is a lot happening in the front of one of these, yet they handle surprisingly well and are quite comfortable to drive. Reader Rupert E has already done all the needed work to get this ’69 Toronado back on the road, but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it. He’s asking $16,000, but this looks to be a very nice example and is ready to hit the road. If you’d love to give it a new home, be sure to send him a message via the form below.

From Rupert – This 1969 Olds Toronado is a full-sized front-wheel-drive automobile, it’s wheel base is 119 inches. It currently has 76k miles on the odometer and is an unmolested vehicle. Standard equipment includes: 6-way power seats, power brakes, electric clock, full carpeting, courtesy lamps, power steering, power windows-antenna-trunk-wonder bar radio, Flo-Thru Ventilation and Turbo-Hydromatic transmission.

Upholstery is vinyl. It has new brakes, the engine has been tuned up, A/C works, 6 new shocks installed and a new battery. The 455 cui V8 is equipped with a 4 barrel carburetor. Very tight and solid ride. The interior is in great shape with the headliner, door and kick panels looking untouched as is back deck area. I have done all the heavy lifting to preserve this gem, now its time for someone else to enjoy her.

The Toronado certainly wasn’t the first front wheel drive American car ever built, but it definitely had one of the biggest impacts on the future of automotive engineering. The design saw several evolutions, updates and was downsized, but it survived all the way up to 1992. Sadly, later cars just weren’t nearly as cool as the first generation was.

Honestly, these cars look great and you can’t complain about having 375 horsepower and 500 foot pounds of torque on supply. I know having it going through the front wheels doesn’t sound as cool as having it at the rear wheels, but these things can do some impressive burn outs if that want to!

Special thanks to Rupert for listing his Toronado with us! I for would would enjoy having this as my daily driver, but what about you? And if you happen to have a well preserved classic that needs a new home, please consider listing it with us!

Asking Price: $16,000
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Title Status: Clean
Mileage: 76,404

Contact The Seller

Fast Finds


  1. Cleric

    I wonder what the steering wheel looks like underneath the cover…

    • Lord Humungous

      It’s made of GOLD!

  2. Matt

    There is no 430 Oldsmobile engine. This car would have had a 455. 66 and 67 tornados would have had 425s. The only 430 I’m aware of is a Buick motor, which could probably be retrofitted to a tornado since the transmission had the same bolt pattern and the riviera had a similar frame, but definitely not from the factory. And as best I can tell from the photos that engine is an Olds right down to the paint

    • Rupert

      You are correct, this car has a 455 CUI

  3. Peter

    These Toros had a 455ci engine… not a 430. The original 1966 model as well as the subsequent year had 425ci engines – this changed to the 455 in 1968. I’ve owned every model from ’66 to ’78, so quite familiar with these awesome beasts!

    • Rupert

      You are correct, this car has a 455 CUI

  4. Rustytech Member

    I love these beast, owned several Eldorados and found them great driving cars. This looks to be in decent shape, but I don’t see $16k here.

    • Rupert

      If you like the vehicle let me know what you think its worth. I got my numbers from Hemming’s but willing to negotiate.

      Like 1
  5. RoselandPete

    Jeez, I love those old Toros!!

  6. Phil

    https://youtu.be/S7Lshplx2dM It’s a 68 but close enough !!

    • Rupert


      That was a sinister burnout…

    • Oingo

      TTBMK 68 had a different steering wheel

  7. Tom

    Definitely an olds big block in there, maybe the seller can tell us if it’s a retrofitted 425 or hopefully the original 455? Price is very ambitious…I wouldn’t value my survivor ’70 GT that high… hubcaps wouldn’t hurt either…

    • Rupert

      This vehicle has its original motor which I have learned is a 455 CUI.
      Thanks for the inquiry

  8. Tom

    Not sure how you tell the difference b/t the 455 and 425….

  9. olddavid

    Damn, Tom, talk about a rarity. Car is beautiful. Front and rear sway bars? Disc brakes? The ad car is nice, too. Good luck to seller.

    • Tom

      Thanks olddavid, sway bar in front, none in rear (I don’t think it was ever offered), disc brakes of course. Rare was the bucket seat/floor shift interior, rarer than that is finding intact original floormats, delay off headlights, and 8-track tape player. I love this car…a combination of old memories, an appreciation of it’s engineering, and seat of the pants fun to drive. Agree, this ’69 is nice.

      • olddavid

        After all the advertising space spent to accent the flat floor, I am surprised they offered a console. The 8-track makes me want to listen to Deep Purple.

    • Rupert

      Old David,
      Thanks for your comment. Appreciated by another car guy. Much love to all the car guys…

      • olddavid

        Rupert, I am always on the side of the Angels when a near 50 year old car as complete as yours comes up for sale. As my Father always said – “you cannot pay too much for a good used car, nor too little for a bad one”.

  10. James

    Overheating problem? Was a big issue with these cars. I’ve had four of them.

  11. Ed P

    This generation of Toronado had a wonderful look. Long, low, and wide. I predict some great cruising is in somebody’s future.

  12. Rupert

    It can be yours if you make a reasonable offer.


    • Ed P

      I wish I could.

  13. Oingo

    Makes me wonder why Josh is trying so hard to sell it. Daily driver? 8-10 mpg not an issue?

  14. Ken Nelson Member

    Are the front tire bills as bad as I’ve heard? Helluva a heavy anvil on those front wheels going around a corner…..but love the first yrs design – not so much this iteration. Those knife-edge front fenders on the first yr were amazing – sort of like the bad guys in the Starwars movies, driving those solarpaneled edged spheres……
    From what I heard from the Hydramatic guys I worked with, GM took their bulletproof autotrans (700-4R?), sawed it in half, flipped the planetary end 180 deg., connected the TQ to the box with a Morse HyVo chain, and the rest is history. Thought it a bit hilarious that they built a tunnel thru the oilpan to get power to the RH wheel! But that’s GM – the best of them started as Woodward Avenue hotrodders – dragracing at every stoplight on the first freeway in the world.

  15. Miguel

    I have only had a couple of 1967 Eldorados and one 1966 Toronado, but they all drove great as I am sure this one does.

    You can’t beat the room to sleep four in these cars.

  16. ClassicCarFan

    Quote – “The Toronado certainly wasn’t the first front wheel drive American car ever built, but it definitely had one of the biggest impacts on the future of automotive engineering.”. I love these cars, think they are way under-valued classics and would really like to own one some day, but I do find comments like this above to be a bit over the top whenever These big front-wheel-drivers are featured on sites like this….

    The idea of a big American V-8 mounted longitudinally driving the front wheels was certainly unique, and the GM engineers achieved much to really make this idea work, but to suggest it had a great impact on the automotive world is a bit of a stretch. They weren’t a huge sales success, GM did not adopt the concept for its other platforms and it was eventually dropped. The “UPP” did find a (motor) home in the niche RV market, but I would view it as a magnificent evolutionary dead-end.

    The configuration that would truly take over most of the automotive world was the transverse mounted FWD layout pioneered by the “Mini’ and family of similar BMC/Issigonis… just look under the hood of 99% of all small to medium sized cars these days…..

    Still a fascinating car, I’d love to have one !

  17. Larry Boring

    Beautiful car unfortunately I don’t have the $$,$$$ but I do live about 35-40 minutes from cedar rapids

  18. John

    My mother had a white 68 Tornado. Beautiful car. As I recall, the 455 ran on “leaded” gas. I’m guessing this one has been converted?

    • RoselandPete

      As I recall, back then they all ran on leaded gas. I never heard of any conversion required to run on unleaded. The earliest mention of unleaded that I can think of was in small print towards the back of the 1971 Camaro brochure that read (and I’m paraphrasing here) the engines were now designed to also run on low-lead or no-lead. My biggest pet peeve which still rankles me (even as I write this) is the ethanol they put in gas. Jeez–how I hate that stuff…and the politicians who allowed it then and still allow it now. If any conversion is/was needed, it was to change to new rubber parts which are not affected by alcohol. When the Shell station near me finally switched to ethanol back in the 90’s, they had a brochure on the counter stating that older cars could be “sensitive” to the ethanol gas. Shell never mentioned that the ethanol would eat the rubber–just “sensitive.” Jeez–how I hate that stuff!!

      • Ed P

        Valve seats are now hardened due to unleaded gas

      • Tom

        I believe this engine has valve rotators as well.

  19. Ed P

    I remember my high school driver’s ed teacher saying fwd handled funny and was not safe! Since most modern cars are fwd, why are we not dying in droves on the highways?

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Ed, ol’ Mr. Watson might have been on to something. Early FWD cars had what’s called “torque steer”. If one was not careful, it did take a newbie by surprise. My old man was the LAST person on earth, to have a FWD car ( Chrysler minivan) when he couldn’t get a RWD car anymore. Took a while for engineers to figure it out ( something about unequal length driveshafts) This car has “chain drive”, a double row hy-vo chain, connecting the trans, to the differential, that was strong, yet flexible, and I think that helped combat torque steer some,,,,that and this car weighed almost 5000 lbs. http://cliff.hostkansas.com/pffimages/drive_chain.JPG

    • RoselandPete

      Before I got my 80 Toro, I also remember reading articles about FWD cars handling funny so I was a little apprehensive about buying the car. I shouldn’t have been–it was one of the nicest cars I’ve owned.

  20. Rupert

    Thanks for the link and the very informative article on the Toronado. I had no idea that so many people were this caring or knowledgeable about this vehicle. To all that have made comments on Toronados, I’d like to thank you for your comments. I’ve learned a lot form you. Again, Thanks Tom and fellow Toronado lovers.


    • Tom

      Happy to share, as I learn so much from these forums from the knowledge others have on all cars.
      Btw, if you check out the (June I believe) new Hemmings Muscle Machines mag, there is a write up on a ’70 Olds Toronado GT.

  21. Tom

    Really? This car takes me back to my youth when you could find a wrecked up muscle car in someones backyard, buy it for $300 bucks, put some used oil in it, and go out and ruin your driving record! Honestly, if the car had mileage proof, a salvageable interior, numbers matching important stuff (and a frame), I’d consider it a fair price!

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