Fully Loaded: 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado

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Ford created the Personal Luxury Car segment with its Thunderbird, and by the 1960s, every manufacturer wanted its slice of the fairly lucrative pie. Oldsmobile joined the fray in 1966 with its First Generation Toronado, breaking new ground in design and engineering. This 1968 example is a tidy survivor whose original owner pushes out the boat by ordering it with almost every available option. It has some minor needs but nothing that prevents its new owner from immediately enjoying all it offers. The seller has listed it here on Craigslist in Bremerton, Washington. Simply hand them $12,900, and you could drive away in the lap of luxury. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder MattR for spotting this beauty.

Personal Luxury Cars from the 1960s generally made a bold visual statement, and the Toronado was no exception. Its hardtop body looks low and sweeping, but it has the presence you would expect from a premium model. This one is stunning in Buckskin Metallic with a contrasting Black vinyl top. The seller rates both as a 9/10, which seems a fair assessment. There are no vinyl rips, and any paint imperfections are too small to show in the supplied photos. The panels are straight, and rust doesn’t appear to be a consideration. The seller doesn’t mention issues in their listing, and the images show nothing beyond the occasional spot of surface corrosion in the engine bay. The trim is excellent, including the damage-prone hubcaps. The tinted glass is flawless, and the narrow whitewalls round out a classy exterior.

Oldsmobile offered two versions of its mighty 455ci V8 to 1968 Toronado buyers, and the listing suggests this is the W-34 version churning out 400hp and 500 ft/lbs of torque. However, I can’t state that with certainty, especially considering only 124 buyers ticked that box on the Order Form. Considering how the rest of the car is equipped, I won’t rule it out. While luxury cars from this era invariably followed the front-engine/rear-drive philosophy, Oldsmobile marched to the beat of a different drama. It spent seven years and 1.5 million test miles developing the country’s first front-wheel-drive package since the demise of Cord in the 1930s. It was a marvel of design and engineering, allowing a muscular V8 to feed its power to the front wheels via a three-speed TH-425 automatic transmission. Oldsmobile dubbed it the Unitized Power Package (UPP), and it served faithfully in future models from Cadillac and other marques. This Toronado rolled off the line during the muscle car era, but at 4,515 lbs, it was anything but light. However, the W-34 version could storm the ¼-mile in 15.3 seconds. Even the less potent version with “only” 375hp could complete the journey in 15.4 seconds. Considering the weight and drivetrain layout, neither of which is conducive to trips down the local strip, it is difficult not to be impressed by those figures. Of course, so much power meant torque steer was a significant consideration. Power steering helped isolate the driver from the issue, so it was standard on all Toronados. The seller indicates the car is in sound mechanical health, running and driving well. They say there are no issues whatsoever but then suggest it would benefit from a new power steering pump, brakes, and a tune-up. It would be worth asking questions on that front, although the competitive sale price means the new owner won’t lose money by addressing the identified faults.

This Toronado’s interior is virtually impossible to fault. The upholstered surfaces are spotless, with the back seat in as-new condition. There are no cracks in the dash or pad and no crumbling plastic. Nobody has modified this classic, with a long list of intact factory options. The car features air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt wheel, a clock, a premium AM/FM radio, and an 8-track player.

Changing automotive tastes mean we will probably never see vehicles like this 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado again. The automotive world constantly evolves, and you only need to walk into a new car showroom today to gain insight. Sedans, station wagons, and hardtops are almost extinct. The SUV reigns supreme, with highly-optioned versions filling the niche created by the Personal Luxury Car. This Toronado offers a lot for the money, and its needs seem minor. Addressing them before summer sets in should be possible, allowing the new owner to bask in a glorious ownership experience. The seller’s price looks highly competitive, making me wonder whether we have any readers willing to pursue it further.

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. Maggy

    I think it’s worth it.The repairs are easy and not that expensive.WA state cars are usually very clean.I always liked how they didn’t have the trans tunnel hump.Front wheel drive smoke show.Cool car glwts

    Like 12
  2. TorinoSCJ69

    Agreed on it is well worth $12,900.
    Oh yes, but makes you say What issues am I missing here?

    Beautiful paint – big and bold cruiser!

    This is a gem by appearances and I would love to have it.

    Like 13
  3. normadesmond

    Yes, I am being picky, but when I read a description of something for sale, whatever it is, I take into consideration what’s been written & how it’s been written.

    This seller mentions the car needing “breaks” and that imperfections are “East to fix.”

    Like 7
    • maggy

      He might just suck at typing just like me. I make misquakes all the time.

      Like 14
      • normadesmond

        I understand, I make mistakes all the time too, but if I’m placing an ad for an expensive item I want to sell, I won’t simply type a quick few sentences & press enter.

        I want the reader to be impressed with the item AND impressed with the seller.

        Like 3
    • Dean

      Is this car still available?

      Like 0
  4. Nevada1/2rack NevadahalfrackMember

    The seller lists this Oldsmobile Tornado as an American luxury muscle car, and frankly I always liked them more than the Cadillac El Dorado. As a Olds Tornado it’ll suck the troubles out of your soul as you ease on down the Interstate listening to your 8 track favorites.
    Overall it’s less expensive than my ex-wife’s therapist use to cost yearly and more fun besides!
    What a cool car at a GREAT price.

    Like 1
  5. MattR

    I love the car but I keep looking at that chrome piece above the end of the bumper on the rear quarter panel. What is that?

    Like 4
    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

      @ Mr. Shred and Hollywood,

      You are correct about the side marker lights coming out in 1968 for all cars. Pontiac and Oldsmobile used their respective make design on the rear markers. Pontiac the arrowhead and Oldsmobile the rocket.
      Ford was the only U.S. manufacturer who used marker lights up front and just reflectors in the rear. Never understood the reasoning for that.
      By 1970 you had to have both, a light, front and rear and a reflector, front and rear.

      Like 5
  6. Hollywood Collier

    MattR….i think you are talking about the side marker reflector for the rearend of the car. I think these were just red reflectors on this car and yellow ones up front…..but dont know what year they changed to having bulbs in them and being lit up when the parking are headlights were on. Hope this helps. I have always wanted one of these cars…..just didnt want one bad enough to quit buying hotrods. LOL.

    Like 2
    • MattR

      Thanks Hollywood

      Like 1
    • mrshred

      Illuminated side marker lamps for front and rear were mandated on all cars starting in 1968.

      Like 3
    • Steve

      W34 engines in 68 had a cold air intake system on the drivers side.

      Like 3
  7. terry

    In one sentence the seller states “No issues what so ever” (sic)
    In the next the car “needs a p/s pump, breaks (sic) and a tune up.”
    I don’t trust him. He has shifty eyes.

    Like 5
  8. John Jasper

    I remember the twin engine Toronado that they raced

    Like 4
  9. Ed B

    W-34 was a one-year-only option in 1970.

    Like 0
    • Steve

      Excuse me, I meant the 400 hp Toronado option in 68.

      Like 0

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