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FWD Beast: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Front wheel drive cars don’t normally do anything for me. One that I wouldn’t mind having though is a first generation Olds Toronado. They are handsome in their own way and having a big block hooked up to the front wheels has got to be interesting. This one has the 425 cubic inch Super Rocket V8! With a name like that you know it is putting out some serious power – 385 horsepower and 475 foot pounds of torque to be exact. That’s a lot of power to put to the front wheels, but somehow GM managed to build a robust and compact package that got the job done. This particular example has been parked for the last 12 years. There’s some body damage and a little rust, but it does run and drive. So, as long as bidding here on eBay doesn’t get too wild this might be a good buy for someone who is okay with doing a little bodywork. Just think of the crazy burnouts you could do with this beast! Thanks goes to Jim S. for the tip!


  1. Dan Farrell

    Beautiful car and it set some records going up Pikes Peak when the roa was mostly dirt as I believe.


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  2. Peter

    In 1966 I was working at the local Olds/Caddy dealership while attending Franklin Institute in Boston. My career there spanned from Fall of 1965 until July of 1970, a perfect time for a teenager to work and drive muscle cars and big boats such as Toronados.

    I think that this car might be a special edition. I have a vague memory of this unique Fire Mist color with chrome wheels being a “one per dealer” build as a sales promo to build interest in front wheel drive.

    The part of my memory that is not vague is the time that I took a winter spin in this rare model on the local Interstate to see how fast it really was. As I sped down an almost straight exit ramp that ended on a busy city street, I skidded on the ice at the bottom and slid between cross-traffic. Fortunately, there was an entrance ramp in front of me so back up on the highway I went without a scratch or a dent on this Toronado. Just another adventure in my lucky life!

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    • Mike P

      Did you have a clean set of underwear back at the shop?

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      • Peter


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  3. Rick

    Back in the early 80s I had a 1970 El Dorado Cadillac which was also a front driver like the Toronado (same or similar platform) anyhow that beast came from the factory equipped with 500 cubic inches, and talk about crazy burnouts! I’m sure the neighbors must have been tired of all the giant clouds of tire smoke. I had trouble keeping tires on the front of that thing, not to mention keeping gas in it, even if you kept your foot out of it, you were lucky to get 10 mpg

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  4. Ed P

    Just do not change the color. It adds a bit of class to the overall package.

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    • Jason

      Says AUTUMN BRONZE POLY but looks purple?

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  5. Dolphin Member

    I like the idea of the 1st gen Toronado, from the name, to the handsome body design, to the way GM engineers made FWD work in a car this large with so much power—all without traction control.

    It was a way to do FWD Detroit-style: BIG car, VERY big engine, NO compromises. And that interior is so special that you can’t not like. Even the wheels are special.

    Still, I would have a problem owning a car that big, with that really big front overhang. So unfortunately I will never be in the market for one of these, but I do hope that someone buys this one and does the right thing by it. Toronados are so handsome and unique that they will never deserve to be sent to that great junkyard in the sky, especially in the color that this one wears.

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    • Chris

      Well said. As a mechanical engineer, I find it amazing they went to all the trouble to build this car. It is very special indeed. one of my cars is a 442 and Oldsmobiles have a crazy cult following. Someone will kept this one alive.

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  6. Blindmarc

    When I was 14 I traded a neighbor in the apt. Complex I lived at, an old handmade carpenters toolbox for a rusty green, but well running one of these. It needed tires an older friend had a set of desert dog truck tires that just barely fit on the rims. Has to park it across the street from my jr. High so no one knew I was doing it. Got up one morning and it wasn’t there. Ran back to our apt. And my father casually says ‘ I sold it’ . I was pissed. He did that to me on three different cars. And yes it did wicked burn outs!

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  7. Alan (Michigan)

    There were just a couple of these put together with double drive-trains.

    Yep, a second power unit installed in the back, same as the front one. Can you imagine the punch that would have? Handy if one engine has issues, you could just drive on the other one.

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  8. blindmarc

    Can’t believe that there are no bids on this! Only 10 hours to go.

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  9. Blindmarc

    Unsold, not even one bid! Damn I wish I would have had $4k! Love these cars.

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    • Jason

      It’s friggin’ purple metallic! And eighteen feet long. No wonder there weren’t any bids.

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