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Look Ma, No Hump: 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado

1967 Oldsmobile Toronado

“Front wheel drive” and “muscle car” are not phrases that you normally hear together, but Oldsmobile combined the two when they created  Toronado. The whole concept may have been born out of a need for production efficiency, but the result was a handsome car that could some crazy front wheel burnouts. This particular car hasn’t been burning rubber for a few decades though. It was parked in 1986 and is going to need a lot of work to make it driveable again, but with the bidding starting at $200 and no reserve, this project Toronado may be worth picking up. It’s listed here on eBay and is located in Anderson, California.

Toronado Interior

Unfortunately, the inside looks as crispy as the outside. By the looks of it, this car was fitted with the deluxe interior which added full length arm rests on the doors, a center arm rest, and a unique button tuck pattern. There are a few companies out there reproducing parts for these, but I wasn’t able to find anyone making upholstery kits, so you will want to find a good shop who can use whats left of the interior to stitch you up a new one. Look ma, no hump!

Super Rocket V8

The use of a front wheel drive system may have made things a little tight up front, but it made more room inside the cabin. Without a drive line to worry about, the floor could be flat. When most of us think about FWD, we normally think about efficiency. There may have been some production efficiency at work here, but the 425 Super Rocket V8 was far from (fuel) efficient. That isn’t what the Olds guys were going for though. They were shooting for a higher end car with plenty of power regardless of which end it went to. That engine tranny combo may not have lasted long in a car, but found its way into countless motorhomes for decades to come.

Toronado Taillights

This Toronado is going to need a lot of mechanical and cosmetic work before it’s going to be presentable. In classic Barn Finds fashion though, I’d focus on getting it running first. Then, after getting it moving, turning, and stopping well, I’d turn my attention to the interior. Once that was done, I’d drive this toasty Toronado around just to see how people would react. I can hear it now, when are you going to paint that thing!


  1. Van

    In the early 70s a guy put a second drive train in the back of a tornado. Twin 455 maxed out.
    Showed up at the track with four cheater slicks. That car did great circles but never bid make a clean run down the strip.
    Can’t you just imagine the smoke from all four tires.

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    • Brakeservo

      Tommy Ivo probably outsmoked you with his four Buick engined Showboat and it never won a drag race either.

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  2. PandaMSP

    I’ve wanted one of these for almost as long as I can remember! I mean I’m only 32, but yeah. If I get the chance I’ll have either one this generation or a Trofeo or maybe both? I’m kind of an Oldsmobile fanboy anyway, but I’d way rather have one of these than a Riviera or Monte Carlo the same vintage.

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  3. Kevin

    Love this generation of Toronado, none of the generations after it ever had the same sleek, classy, agressive styling of the first gen. I wouldn’t really consider them muscle cars, more along the lines of a good GT car I’d say. Similar to an Eldorado, Luxurious, powerful, and smooth.

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  4. Terry J

    “425 Super Rocket V8 was far from efficient”. Haw Haw Haw: Jesse, I suppose your meaning refers to gas mileage. You must be a youngster. Back in 1967 that was not the issue. It was POWER, and the 425 was a great engine. They all had forged cranks and were “under square” (stroke smaller than the bore). The 455s were the same bore with a longer stroke (over square) and had cast cranks. The 425s (and 400s) would really wind up. The early Toronados were very exotic looking but of course in due time GM made them look like everything else. My dear departed mom in law had a dark turquoise ’67 in circa 1971 . Sylvia was quite a gal and didn’t spare the horses in that car. In Oregon farm country, the 2 lane black top County roads often follow the borders of the large fields. That means they commonly were a series of 90 degree corners, and you couldn’t just drift around there because you could encounter a tractor or truck in the other lane. Riding with “Green Eyes” (her CB handle) was a thrill. She would smoke those corners, hard and tight (and FAST) in that big car. I loved that Toronado (and her). :-) Terry J

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  5. Dan Farrell

    As a teenager back in the 60’s I visited McCulloch Corp. in W. L.A. One of the product Mgrs. had a beautiful black Toronado with really big Michelin radails. The first time I ever wanted an Olds.

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  6. John Norris

    When I was in high school I worked at a gas station that washed cars for one of the local businesses. They had a Toronado. After washing we were required to drive the cars around the block to blow the water off. Imagine a 17 boy with 455ci under his foot, front wheel drive and wet tires!! I still remember grinning as I was watching the smoke from the front tires go past the the side window!!

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  7. Jeff

    Those terms are mixed up. Oversquare is a larger bore than stroke. Undersquare is a smaller bore than stroke. All; of those engines would really wind up, to the same RPM, about 5400, due to the limitations of the hydraulic lifters they all had. Thank Ransom for his great ideas.

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  8. Terry J

    Yes of course I meant Oversquare 425. Never knew a long stroke 455 to be a high winder, though of course that’s a relative term. The effective difference was only several hundred RPMs, hydraulic lifters notwithstanding. Terry J

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  9. MattB

    I just like the license plate. Truth in advertising, 1DIY, which I’m sure it will need a good bit of. :)

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  10. Leroy(Canada)

    Looks like a tornado ripped through that interior. I wouldn’t paint it either until I’d had some fun with it.

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  11. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    Always loved this car’s lines.

    If I remember correctly this platform is pretty special. Hemmings ran a great story on this. Apparently the Olds shared this platform with another GM vehicle, the big deal being…….one of the cars is FWD the other RWD, same platform.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I find that absolutely amazing and wonder why that is not being done currently.

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  12. Jeff

    So what is fun? Can’t drag race it, not fast enough; can’t drift it, too heavy, can’t oval race it, FWD; might as well restore it and make some money on your own labor.

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  13. Jeff

    The other vehicle shared with was Cadillac, also FWD, not RWD.

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    • CarNut from Winnipeg Member

      The OTHER other in the Hemmings article was the Buick Riviera, that was rwd thru the mid 70’s

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      • Ross W. Lovell

        Greetings All,

        CarNut from Winnipeg, Thanks, knew what I read!!

        I still think it amazing to think they had a RWD and a FWD that shared the same platform. Just learned that Riviera or forgot that the Buick started as a RWD platform before changing to FWD.

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  14. Brakeservo

    I’ve always thought that the Toronado designers looked long and hard at the ’36 Cord 810 and simply envisioned what 30 years of evolution would look like. Even the wheels are an update of the Cord look.

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  15. Jay

    Had a 69, when new, but it wasn’t what I wanted! My dad bought it and since it didn’t have a stick, I never really liked it! Went to school in the city so my dad ended up with the car, and it’s still in the barn (believe it or not) where it has been parked for a long, long time….

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  16. George

    20 years for a drivetrain combo design isn’t that short.

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  17. Pete Kaczmarski

    It took me 35 years to find the right one…..

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  18. Jose Delgadillo

    That last picture shows how dramatic this original generation was. Unfortunately GM watered down the design in hopes of increasing sales. Besides the blade fender was a tough design to make conform to up coming impact and safety regulations. The FWD set up was supposed to be “high tech” and from what I’ve read, it made the car safe and stable in snowy and rainy weather conditions. You could drive anywhere under any conditions. This would be very attractive in the Northeast where contemporary high powered cars would struggle for traction in inclement weather.

    Like 0

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