Luxurious Survivor: 1969 Oldsmobile Toronado

1969 Oldsmobile Toronado

Some folks may be turned off by a front wheel drive vehicle, but this big block Oldsmobile Toronado certainly grabs our attention. This beautiful low mileage specimen is clean and original, and recently had a great deal of maintenance performed to make it positively reliable. We even like the “Covenant Beige” color making it seem more like a time machine than a classic car. For $15,000 you could be cruising in this cool space age Oldsmobile. Find it here on craigslist out of St. John, Indiana.

69 Toronado 2

Having just covered 45,000 miles this is a very nice low mileage example. This Toronado was built the same year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  Much time has passed since then and this Toronado makes it look as if it were yesterday. Looking flawless, we don’t have much to say about the excellent condition Oldsmobile. The interior is listed as being white, but some photos would certainly be appreciated. The seller has offered to supply photos for those who inquire. It’s odd how these cars seem so much smaller in photos than they are in real life.

69 Toronado 3

Many of these big Toronado’s are rusty heaps, or have been restored. This original low mileage car is an awesome opportunity for someone! We would certainly enjoy cruising in this big block Olds. Are you a Toronado fan? Would you bring this big Oldsmobile home?


  1. 68 custom

    love these old Toronados. looks like a dandy;

  2. Fred W.

    You don’t realize what a powerful, bulletproof drivetrain it was until you are reminded that it went on to power one of the coolest motorhomes ever.

  3. Jeff V

    455/370 hp I think???

  4. Howard A Member

    Low mileage is right, fuel mileage, that is. With either the 370 hp or 400 hp, the mileage was 6.5 city/10.2 highway. Of all the beautiful colors offered in ’69, this person went with vomit tan. I wonder if this car has Firestone “TFD” tires? Nice car, for a gas station owner.

    • starsailing

      Had a 68, 10-12 mpg city driving normal, 15-16-17 hwy mpg easily. speed limit on hwys was 55 when gas crunch hit. Still went 65-70 anyways. After driving it stock for 6 months, Super tuned it, Distrib curve/timing, carb setup , removed heavy single monster Muffler added Walker continental glass packs, removed spare. Removed air C belt as well. If you have to worry about gas mileage in any car…..Hmmm
      Interior on this one with head rests…I didn’t like headrests….but on long road trips….Pssst…I liked them! No hump on floor board because of Front wheel drive….and was great at drive in Movies because of this feature. Handling superb…faster you go the more it hugs the road, 130 MPH speedo…maxed it quite a few times. Zero complaints except resister wire to distrib went out on Xmas eve in middle of intersection during massive sleetsnow storm….Towed it home mile away with my 58 Impala, was late to my folks, and didn’t drive 50 miles later that night to inlaws…who claimed I wrecked the resister wire on purpose…which made them outlaws forever….and if I wasn’t spending all my money on my son I would snatch this right up. Sleeper muscle car all the way. I would bolt on some wrinkle walls on front and run to nearest dragstrip! Was a green w34 Toro on craigs last month….

      • Utes

        @ starsailing….

        Stories like this are why daily perusal of Barn Finds & Bring A Trailer make my days(s)!

  5. piper62j

    I was a line mechanic at Kason Oldsmobile in Fairfax VA when these were new.. Very smooth riding car and the biggest sales pitch was the missing hump in the floor due to front wheel drive and no rear drive shaft..

    One flaw I remember was the joints on the front axles. They would self destruct after a while.. Other than that, these were great street boats and popular among the white collar workers.. LOL

    • Brian Staff

      Love the terminology “street boat”, I may have to add that to my repertoire. Although “Land Yacht” is an all time favorite of mine. The smooth floor is rather cool. Most folks probably wouldn’t recognize the flat floor off the bat, but the Toronado was very much like having a drivable Lay-Z-Boy sofa powered buy a 455.

    • starsailing

      In 68-69 ..2 hr Auto shop class…split 1 hr before lunch…one after…Principals car was in every week because shop teacher was sucking up to old man wells. Cars that were not torn apart had to be removed at lunch time due to agreed fire code…SOOO I would drive it out (Teacher’s pet) and make it look like I was parking in back lot. Headed to burger shop and raced cars all the way there and back…Smoke those tires down but good. Nothing beat it especially after setting up carb for secondaries to open quick ect. So after one month..7-8 thousand miles on car, rotated tires several times per auto shop teachers request…because tires were bald!!! We had to do alignment on it, teacher did it, rebalanced the tires several times and finally put new ones on…Last week of school had to wax it in class time….Lunch… took it out front of school in front of his office windows…brake stand and lit em up…big cloud of smoke…and you finally creep out…never caught. .Joints on axles fine. Tires…not so!

      • Utes

        Don’t we all fondly recall those halcyon days…..though then I happened to be about 7,000 miles west, killing mosquitoes & trying to survive for 13 months, having graduated in ’65.
        I thought I’d share this pic of a ’68 W34, of which either 111 or 124 (source of info.) were built.

  6. Fred W.

    Wow Howard, if the car got 6-10mpg, what the heck did the motorhome get? X gallons to the mile? Never mind, just Googled it…owners reporting around 11mpg hwy. Not bad for a big bus.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Fred, I think the 11 mpg figure came from the later years, when the 403 was used in the motorhome. With the 455, into a stiff head wind, despite the aerodynamics would still be like Niagara Falls. Didn’t matter, at the time, this is what it cost to “See the USA”, and the GMC was a nice unit. One of the few motorhomes that didn’t ride like a truck ( which, at the time, most motorhomes were based on truck frames)

  7. DENIS

    I owned lots of Toronados from ’66s-’79s….great road cars and would haul ass. This looks like a nice one although the color and the price would put me off. I personally think it will take a long time for it to appreciate to that number, but it only takes one buyer and there’s an ass for every seat and vice-versa. Those unusual colors sometimes bring more $$.

    • starsailing

      Dark colored Toro paint jobs didn’t stand sun for too long. Maroon/black..That dark cranberry color interior was nice looking when new….The light color interiors lasted much better. The 68 Toro I had I bought instead of a Pantera!!! I had a 66 442 I street raced prior…When I got married…I sold the 442 to prove I loved her more than the car…was a toss up…now I loved the 442 more….Anywho…salesman did not think a long haired guy, Fu Manchu, in red white and blue clothes…was serious about buying the red Pantera…His loss….Changed our minds..bought the 68 Toro to pull horse and trailer…started showing horses again…Meanwhile she thought I could not make the Toro faster…I got away with it til she raced some guy in a 67 Goat, and when she floored it, modified air cleaner let the carb honk pretty loud. So she was happy that she beat the Goat…but mad because I super tuned the car…I claimed better MPG and torque for pulling the horse around. PERFECT for towing….better than a pickup!

  8. whippeteer

    The Cortez also used the same drivetrain. It got about 10 mpg.

  9. Paul R

    Like it, but the 1966 model looked the best to me.

  10. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    My cousin had a 1966 red on red with a 455 and man oh man would that thing go! Was fun watching him burnout and then see the nose come outta the smoke as he took off.

    • starsailing

      There are a few videos on You tube…smoke all around car, windshield no view….and coming out of the smoke…mystical and religious experience!

  11. ccrvtt

    Once again Barn Finds comes through with a family nostalgiamobile. My mom had this car, but in deeper mink brown (much less offensive). Definitely a ‘street boat’, it sounded like a Chris Craft with the windows down on a hot summer night burbling through the McDonald’s parking lot. That car was so cool I didn’t even care if girls were impressed.

  12. Tom Driscoll

    Lifelong Toronado fan here, looks like a nice car and values finally seem to be coming up on these. I too like the design of the early cars, but suspension and brake improvements made the later model a much better driver. I’ve had my 400hp ’70 GT for years, and it remains one of my all time favorite driving cars. And no, it’s not a lazy boy ride, mildly stiff and very controlled well into triple digits.

  13. Tom Driscoll

    Buckets were a no cost option…

    Like 1
  14. Utes

    @ Tom Driscoll…..

    Wow! You’ve got 1 magnificent W34 there! W/buckets & console no less!
    If there EVER was an unsung hero car…Toro GT’s (& the prior 2 year W34’s) were the one. Actually the swan-song-styling of ’70 GT’s takes the cake!
    The W34 was such a “giveaway” option in ’70….

    • pete hauk

      I have a 1969 olds. toronado but doin’t know where to look for the location of tag – or what ever ! any help would be helpful!

  15. Utes

    @ pete hauk…..
    When I “obtained” the cowl tag (body plate) off a ’68 W34-equipped Toro, it was mounted on the cowl (firewall), below the passenger wiper apparatus.

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