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Original Paint: 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado

When a seller provides almost no written information about a car’s background, sometimes the photos can instead convey the story of whether or not that vehicle was either abused or loved and cared for.  This 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado here on Craigslist seems to fall into the latter category, as even after 50 years, this one appears to still be a top-tier survivor.  The Olds is located in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, about 30 miles southwest of Milwaukee, and is priced at what seems like a reasonable $14,900.  Barn Finds reader T.J. spotted this beauty, and we’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you for sending us the tip here!

Although the owner doesn’t offer many specifics about the history here, one thing he does mention is that the Toronado is wearing its original paint, which is significant as it’s an excellent indicator of the level of care an automobile has received if a finish remains this good all these years later.  The seller states that it’s not perfect, but it is way better than good enough for a driver if you ask me, and I have to agree the outside shows nicely all the way around.

Another excellent place to look for tell-tale signs of solidness is underneath, and we do get to see a couple of shots from down under, neither of which seem to show any corrosion issues or raise any red flags about damaged components on the south side.  I’m curious if that may even still be the original exhaust system.  These views are also a fun reminder of how far ahead the Toronado was for the period, as it’s a front-wheel-drive and no driveshaft is present.

Immaculate interior.  These are the only two words we get describing the inside, and looking around in there, I’m not spotting anything that’s making me believe otherwise.  I always appreciate details like the courtesy lights in the door panels still being operational, and with the front bench seat and flat floor, this one looks like it would provide many hours of comfortable travel, even if 6 passengers were crammed in.

Only one engine size was available in the Toronado for ’70, and when it’s a 455 making 375 horsepower in base form right from the factory, that sure seems like plenty.  However, reader David Cook pointed out that there was also a W34 variation available, which pushed HP up to 400.  Everything in the bay looks like it means business, and with just 89,000 miles, there are probably several more good years to be had if the motor has been properly maintained.  I’m just not finding much to find fault with here, how about you?


  1. Avatar photo Nevada1/2rack Member

    Almost too good to be true-a very clean and presentable classic that’ll stop traffic in its tracks selling at a reasonable price.
    Hope it is the real deal and the new owner appreciates it as much as apparently the original owners did and we do too.

    Like 41
    • Avatar photo Kcj

      Looks like it should be in a car museum,it won’t be so sad if some idiot ran in to it

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Fahrvergnugen Member

    This looks lovely – executive coupe style at its best!

    Like 18
  3. Avatar photo Nelson C

    This is a beauty. The ’66&’67 get all the love but I think this is just as handsome a car. Would love to drive to the next big gathering in it.

    Like 17
  4. Avatar photo David Cook

    You are incorrect about engine choices on the 1970 Toronado. There was an available 400 horsepower version of the 455 V8. I remember that models so equipped were Toronado GT’s. The letters GT were on the hood next to the “Toronado” letters. In Oldsmobile literature the engine even had a “W” engine code, like the 4-4-2 W30. 1970 is my favorite year of the first generation “Toro”.

    Like 21
    • Avatar photo Mike Stephens Staff

      Good observation David, I researched this a bit, and yes, the W34 offered larger valves and more cam, resulting in 400 horses. Thanks for clarifying. Has anybody here ever driven or owned a W34 Toronado?

      Like 11
      • Avatar photo Mr Meowingtons

        I owned two! They are pretty quick. Gas mileage was abysmal, as predicted. Around town, 6-7mpg

        Like 13
    • Avatar photo Sal Monella

      Owner doesn’t offer much history and it’s on Craig’s list
      BUYER BEWARE !!!!

      Like 4
  5. Avatar photo Citizen X.

    Amazing condition living in Cheese head land….

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo David Cook

      We are not all cheeseheads in Wisconsin, just like we don’t all live on dairy farms. Some of us live on Swine farms!

      Like 18
  6. Avatar photo william stephan

    Gotta love them Twisters!

    Like 6
  7. Avatar photo Dan

    For a WI car this is impressive, I love that 455 and the price is right, given that the 1970 isn’t as desirable as the 1966-67 due to its more baroque styling. Looks like it can be enjoyed immediately, and it wouldn’t need much to bring this to show condition.

    Like 13
  8. Avatar photo Curvette

    I have never seen the inside of the trunk of a first gen Toronado but I’m impressed you can get two more tires/wheels in there and still carry a spare. Three tires won’t fit in the back of my BMW X5 without folding the back seat down and then it’s a 2 passenger vehicle. This is a great looking car at a bargain price if it’s as nice as it looks.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Eddie Pennsylvania

      When I bought my ’70 Toronado project last year, it had FOUR extra wheels/tires in the trunk, plus some parts AND the dealer-installed tow package frame/hitch. Truly cavernous

      Like 2
  9. Avatar photo Driveinstile Member

    I must say. I’m a bit partial to the 1970 models myself. Mostly because it was the year I was born. And my Dad bought a brand new 70 98 4 door hardtop. I stillhave the brochure for the “Olds escape machine”. I remember the optional 400 horse 455. That must’ve been a monster. Our 98 had the 365 hp 455 and that was plenty. My dad used to actually brag and say he never really even let it open up the secondarys, didnt need to lean his foot into it to keep up with traffic, it was pretty effortless. This Toronado is a great solid find and its great to know there are some really nice clean ones out there. Hope it goes to a great new home and gets pampered the rest of its life.

    Like 10
  10. Avatar photo Malcolm Greer

    I didn’t see a radio antenna. I know a lot of GM cars of that era had the windshield antenna (a “t”-shaped set of wires embedded into it, and hooked up to the radio). If that’s the case, I wonder if it still has it.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Driveinstile Member

      Our 70 had an AM radio ( with the optional rear speaker) and ours had the windshield antenna. Nothing else

      Like 9
    • Avatar photo Tman

      Beatiful car! I had 2 1970 Plymouth Furys. Both had the antenna in the windshield. In the mid 70s Drive Inn movie theaters had a suction cup device to put over the wire and get better sound from your car speakers.

      Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Bub

    Beautiful car. The gas pedal looks like it’s lifted from a Greyhound bus. Question -what is the small metal box on the driver’s side fender between the brake reservoir and the washer fluid pot? Delay wiper management system?

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Mitbar

      Cruise control!

      Like 4
    • Avatar photo Rixx56 Member

      I believe it’s for cruise control…

      Like 5
  12. Avatar photo Frog

    Here’s another example next to the El Dorado where 4-6 guys could sit and man spread without any problems.

    Like 3
  13. Avatar photo Mark

    My grandparents bought a new Tornado every two years. They added 2 feet to their garage to fit the new car in, the next year the Toros got slightly smaller. They had a 70 or 71 gold car just like this one. I thought it was a Battlestar, with A/C, comfy seats and an engine that would pull you back in the seats every time. We lived in the Adirondack mountains and these cars were very good in the snow. My grandmother would do 60 in 6 inches of snow without batting an eye….

    Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Angel M Gonzalez

    I have to agree with Sal.. Craigslist for some reason always presents a red flag on my searches.. For some reason few if any description, just pictures…. This might not even be the real car.. Looks to nice for the asking price.. Definitely need to have it inspected before putting any money on it.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Michael Berkemeier

      But, you were gonna buy it, right…I mean, if it wasn’t a fraudulent listing, you’d be buying it, for sure, correct?

      Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Chip

    The car looks like a great car, but when guys try to spray the top of the motor so it looks brand new and they leave all the overspray on the exhaust manifold that will make me not buy the car. Looks like a cheap cover. Up

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Kevin Koressel

      I don’t believe that is overspray on the manifold that you are looking at but actually the head, the exhaust ports are extended compared to most heads.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Mark

        Hard to tell from the pic provided here. But it is a clean engine compartment!

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Poppy

      Looks like a proper engine detail to me. There are no photos of the underside near the engine, but the color blue is correct or nearly so, the front cover components are all painted. My guess is the engine was pulled or at least all the accessories were removed to give a proper respray. I think it looks great, not a cheap rattle can coverup as you suggest.

      Like 2
  16. Avatar photo mick

    My uncle Ken bought a 1970 Toro off the dealership floor. It was a very nice car. I had occasion to be a passenger in it when we needed to pick up my grandmother. It was always a short, pleasurable trip, sedately driven. But, it was just uncle Ken’s car. In 1973 my buddy Rob bought a used 70 Toro. It was crazy fast but made a lot of (tire) noise going through turns. It was a blast! The next time I had the chance to ride with my uncle, I told him his car could go a lot faster than he realized – a whole lot faster! Without taking his eyes off the road, and with a smile on his face he said, I know!
    He never really floored it but after that his driving did become more spirited.

    Like 2
  17. Avatar photo Utesman

    The 400hp/455 for the Toro was 3-year (’68-’70) optional motor. In 1970, Oldsmobile built 5,341 W34s.

    Like 1
  18. Avatar photo Steve

    That engine compartment is cleaner than my 70 Toro was after detailed when bought in 73 when I traded my 70 GS for it.

    Like 2
  19. Avatar photo sixone

    If this is a legit recent photo – it looks it – it’s a very clean and regularly used used car. Just straight and nice, period! Just from the photo alone, I’d almost buy it straight off the internet.

    Like 1
  20. Avatar photo Christopher Wenz

    At the asking price I would hope it comes with its own dock.

    Like 1
  21. Avatar photo TRUTH

    Worth every penny. Outstanding car all the way around.

    Like 0
  22. Avatar photo Steve

    Trivia: 70 Toro high beam indicator was reflected into the windshield, early heads up display. Mine also had rim blow horn, nice feature in my opinion.

    Like 0

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