Strange Obsession: Nine Oldsmobile Troféos

Oldsmobile-Trofeo-collection

People collect all sorts of things. Baseball cards, beanie babies, stamps, Oldsmobile Troféos… Well, we don’t know too many people who collect that last one, but there is at least one individual in the world who does and he has nine of them! His collection includes five pristine examples for each year of production (1988-1992) and four parts cars. They are ready to move onto something new so the whole lot has been listed here on eBay with an asking price of $75k! Thanks goes to Jim S. for the submission.

Trofeo-line-up

If you are wondering “why on earth would someone collect these?”, you are not alone. We decided to do a little research to try and determine what was running through the owner’s mind. Turns out that the Troféo was a sporty model of the fourth generation Toronado. Sales were down, so Oldsmobile needed to inject some spice into their bland lineup. What they came up with was the Troféo.

Visual-Information-Center

They reworked the suspension, added some styling effects, and installed their best leather seats. Later cars were even available with the Visual Information Center which added futuristic screens and a cell phone. The engineers claimed that they were gunning for BMW and the marketing department announced that they were overcoming boredom. We are not so sure about either of those statements, but obviously the gimmick worked on at least one guy.

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Comments

  1. Darren

    Call me crazy, but I love them! I’ve always loved the Toronado. If I had 75k, they’d be mine.

    • ECW

      OK. You’re crazy! :)

      • Darren

        Probably so, but I still have always loved them!!!

  2. Justin

    a good looking line of bullet proof 3800 Series I engines…

  3. Steve

    Great cars, worked on many, nice driving cars too, seen many with over 200k

  4. curt

    these were very cutting edge in there day, i think the early ones were very nice looking, understated and elegant, super torque y 3800 series II. a truly great front drive engine.

  5. stigshift

    That’s strange, but admirable. In an admirably strange way.

  6. Dolphin Member

    This gets the Clever + Funny Writeup Award of the Month! Congrats, Jesse. I haven’t ever laughed (in a good way) over anything about the Oldsmobile Trofeo until tonight.

  7. Horse Radish

    who would have thunk ?
    The last six of these splendid 70 &80ies glamorous designs of superb plastic and vinyl exuberance gathered under one roof.
    Amazing !

  8. Your Name

    Same car as the Reatta

    • twwokc

      The Toronado, Eldorado/Seville and Riviera were all E-bodies and based on the same platform. The Reatta was a modified version of that platform. While they shared a lot these were not the same car as a Reatta.

  9. Mark E

    I liked the styling and was attracted to a used one back in the day but was scared off by the level of cutting edge electronics & accessories that had a less-than-stellar reliability record.

    Rare, yes, but $75k rare? Hm. I’d rather have a 1984-88 collection of Cimmarons. More quirky, like an Edsel, and you could collect them for waaaay less…

  10. paul

    Well I suppose it could have been worse …..a collection of Mercury Monarchs & Ford Fairmonts.

    • Richard

      Don’t knock a collection of Monarchs (Zephyrs?) and Fairmonts…..in the ’80s era, those cars were little more than Mustangs/Capris with luxury/family car bodies mounted on them. All the performance parts that will bolt up to a Fox-era Mustang will bolt up to those cars just as easily (unless the given parts are body-related). You’d literally have a collection of potential Ford sleeper street machines on your hands…..which I’d take over a Trofeo collection any day of the year!

      • paul

        Interesting comment, Fox- era Mustang, I’m not sure what that is, maybe something on the other side of the pond or down under? Are we talking about the same car I’m thinking here in the US? But to be fair I have a Corvair & many people would laugh that off as junk, so who knows.

  11. Stuart

    You probably should have covered the Pontiac Aztek as well. Save the Ford Mavericks and AMC Gremlins/Pacers for the holidays.

  12. Bryan Cohn

    Proving yet again the old car sales theme of, “There is an ass for every seat”

  13. twwokc

    I was an Olds new car sales manager back in the day. Drove these for a demo. Really quite a car in its day. That 3800 was a great engine and with the FE3 suspension made for a nice driving car. Seeing these,especially especially the white one, brought back a lot of memories.

  14. Derek

    I’ve seen a couple of those at local car shows. There evidently is a following for them.

  15. Paul

    “An opportunity to own one of the nicest Trofero collections”
    That would lead one to beleive that there are others…
    Interesting choice of vehicle for sure, with an offer pending.

  16. Gerry

    I used to go to the Barrett-Jackson auctions in Scottsdale before the buyers turned into insufferable, egotistical bores and you’d see similar situations there. For example, an old guy would bring his perfect, pristine 1975 Aspen sedan to the auction thinking someone would pay him $15,000 for it. You could see the disappointment building as it failed to clear $2500.

    But, every pot has a lid so maybe he’ll get lucky. There were decent cars for that period. I wish him well.

    • Dolphin Member

      There are insufferable, egotistical bores at B-J?

      • Utesman

        Too funny !

  17. That Guy

    I do love the 80’s car phone in last picture. I deeply regret not removing the phone from my ’85 Jaguar before I sold it in 2002. It’s such a perfect period accessory.

    But otherwise, this is one giant WTF!? I can see owning one. But five? Plus four parts cars? That is a really, really odd obsession.

    But this comment comes from a man with six old Rover sedans, plus a bunch of other weird stuff, so I guess it’s a case of “takes one to know one.”

    • Dolphin Member

      I looked at a 1970 Ferrari Daytona that actually had a car phone with a black handset that you picked up from a black cradle like the one that sat on your grandmother’s hall table. $20K in 1975. Sure wish I had bought it, since the phone could have been replaced with a much cooler one like the one in this Trofeo once the ’80s came along. But I didn’t have $20K back then, so I bought a 1970 240Z for $3K instead.

    • paul

      Six old Rover sedans, well we know what you are, a masochist…. Do you have any with those wonderful 215 cu in aluminum Olds motors?

  18. twwokc

    My boss drove an 88 or 89 with that phone set up. The console lid flipped forward and the keypad was on the bottom of the lid. Also seems like there were speakers built into the headlner for hands free use. $2500.00 option,
    Wish this guy would break them up. Might be interested in the maroon one.

  19. twwokc

    In 1986 the Toronado was radically downsized. About half way through the model year Olds offered a 20th Anniversary Edition. Think we were allocated one. Try finding one of those today.

  20. Jamie

    These were awesome cars.. I’ve owned 2 in the past and am refurbishing one right now.. Pearl white with tan interior. The trofeo’s all had galvanized bodies.. the base toronados did not. In 1992, they ran out of galvanized hoods and trunks and had to use base pieces which ended up rusting at the front edges. Each year of these cars sales dropped. all around 5,000-6,000 per year. They are ridiculously rare and the cash for clunkers program made them SCARCE. In their day, the Trofeo cost more than the best Cadillac. Had more options than ANY car on the market. First car ever to have a touch screen in the dash. Corvette inspired suspension, seats that make it VERY difficult to stay awake on a long drive.. These cars are worth saving.. seam sealer everywhere.. Take forever to get any rust. All the electronics in these cars are easily repaired by a multitude of services out there. And they are extremely sexy for their time.. They actually are lumped in with the Delorean as far as stature goes. And no.. these cars are not like the Reatta.. The Reatta is a 2 seater car. Shares the same engine, but so does the Bonneville and a hundred other cars which also don’t compare. A simple upgrade to a supercharged 3800 is worth the effort. There’s a few of these with Northstar Cadillac conversions as well.. I have for YEARS wanted to make a Rear Wheel Drive version of one of these cars too. Come join our Facebook page if you are a fan of these cars.

    • bob Woolery

      rear drive by moving the engine/transaxle to the middle of the car?

  21. Jim

    A 1968 Big Block Shelby Convertible gets nothing but hated reviews but these turds get fawned over ????

  22. Jim

    I was an Oldsmobile new car sales manager when the downsized non Trofeos 1986 Toronado’s came out. The car was not well received and in the early 86’s they had many mechanical and electrical issues. In 1988 when Olds introduced the Trofeos is was longer and face lifted which helped sale somewhat but not enough. I remember in 1986 the way I finally got rid of the leftover’s was to give a choice of a Rolex, a high end entertainment system or a 10 day cruise. Oldsmobile had given the dealer’s 5 grand in dealer money to get rid of the remaining inventory. The promotion brought in a lot of Tornado traffic and we sold the remaining Toronado’s using the 5 grand to add on to the discount plus payed the salesman a flat 500 dollars. They were all gone in a week.

    • twwokc

      Glad to see someone else lived through the downsizing nightmare of the mid-80’s. You are right, those 86’s were not very good, too expensive and too small. Plus they looked like a Calais.
      We were across the street from the L-M store and we lost some sales to the Mark. Just like we did to the TC when the downsized the 98’s.
      Good way to move them with the Rolex,trips,enterainment systems. We ADDED to cost by adding sim-con tops or landau tops.People loved that and bought them up. By 90, when they restyled them they were good cars. Like to have one today…just not 9 @ $75,000!

      • Jim

        Other than the Tornado’s being downsized we had good results with the 88’s and 98’s, but the 98 especially had transmission problems. I personally leased a new front drive 98 in 94 and never had a problem, but 2 co workers both had their transmissions fail. We also lost sales to the L/M dealer down the street, especially to the rear drive people.

  23. Jamie

    My understanding was, they hit the market at a terrible time. The minivan and SUV craze was kicking in full bore and the desire for a luxury car was dropping. A guy on our page though has one that when turned on, the screen pops up with the welcome message and the name “Brett Farve”.. They were very expensive cars.. Today’s equivalent cars are the Audi A-8 and the Cadillac CTS-V..

    • twwokc

      The size and price also did these cars no favors. Luxury coupes in general were on the skids about this time too.Dont know if they are equivalent to an A-8 or a CTS-V. Work in Cadillac store now and that V is some kind of different animal.

  24. John b

    An odd collection yes, but I think it’s disrespectful to claim the collector fell for a gimmick.

  25. DJ

    I worked for GM at when these came out. They were great cars but had the first body computers that controlled everything. I was at the dealership where I used to work a few weeks ago and there sat a white one. The body computer had gone bad and they couldn’t find one for it. It had 50k miles on it and the owner wanted $1500 for it since he couldn’t get the parts to fix it.

  26. Chris H.

    That’s at least $68,000 more than the whole lot is worth.

  27. Jim

    In mentioning the 3800 V6 engine, that engine was bullet proof. I saw a 86 Olds with 290000 miles on it still running and the heads had never been off. Not only was it durable but it was fast and powerful. I think what killed it was emission control standards of the early to mid 90’s.

  28. al burns

    I still commute to waork everyday in my 87 FE3.it has climate control a/c stereo electric seats digital dash and velour interior.it drives great and has 180,000 miles on it I have grown to love this car more than any car I have ever owned,getting parts can be tricky but nothing ever goes wrong with it.it will still go over 100 mph,and I get many thumbs up and waves driving it.then again it does have a mirror like black paintjob done by yours truly.it makes the polished aluminum rims jump out at you.polished to a chrome finish.it is a head turner,im about to drop a supercharged motor out of a cutlass supreme in it this winter.and redo the suspension while motor is out.i would have posted a picture but it is torn apart right now and is less than glamorous.but will in the future when done.i have the whole body masked off to protect the paint so there isn’t much to see.

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