Friday, May 11, 2018

Golden Oldie: 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Oldsmobile Toronado was a groundbreaking car for a number of reasons -- but it wasn't the first front wheel drive 'Murican car there was a Cord 810 back in 1936...nor was it the first car with a rotating drum style speedo, (although the Toronado and Riviera both used the drum with the miles/hr written on the drum, but look at all those old speedos that use a 'sliding bar' display, like the 1957 Buick etc. It is actually a painted drum as wide as the display with a diagonally split red/white surface.  As the drum rotates and the 'window' is a slit, the display appears as  a bar/ribbon which grows from left to right).  It also wasn't the first car with side marker lights, or shoulder harness for safety belts.. see every 1968 GM product as well as those pesky FMVSS Regs....BUT the Toronado did have a sweet hidden headlamps and a body shape that is wicked, so this car still gets three thumbs up.  Find this 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado offered for $7000 in Austin, TX via craigslist. Tip from Jeff.

From the seller:

A uniquely american car. Runs well! Perfect lines and gaps. Relaxing rumble.
Serious buyers only please.

A first in US cars:
1.) Front Wheel Drive
2.) Rotating Speedometer
3.) Side market lights and shoulder harnesses for safety belts

It's got that beautiful engine rumble you remember.
Nice chrome trim, whitewall wheels and factory hubcaps.
Gold color / Tan interior
58,000 miles
Only 2 owners, always located in Florida or Texas.
Clean title; Registered in Wisconsin because that was my permanent address at the time. Is not registered in Texas.
Original Bill of sale and a bunch of extra parts for future maintenance / repairs.
AC DOES NOT WORK, driver's side door missing an armrest, and the automatic retractable grill for using headlights does not work. They are bungeed open.

Tags: classic, muscle, 1968, 1969, 1967, 1966, 1970, V8, Olds, caddy, caddie, cadillac, luxury, boat, big block, 455, rocket

 See a better way to drive bronze and NOT come in third?


  1. hydrogen-drive replica Toronados used as cop cars in the movie Anon
    [image src="" width="500px"/]

  2. He moved from Wisconsin to south Austin, TX and found out what that AC was for. Nice car to fix up a little and drive a lot. But with gas prices back on the way up the driving might be limited to Sunday afternoon cruising.

  3. This may be why they created those FWD bell housing LS engines.

  4. Interesting stuff on the speedo details, and +1 on the lights! I wonder what the largest engine displacement has been for a FWD vehicle. With a 7.5 ltr. V8, this has got to hold record...?

    1. That honor appears to belong to its GM stablemate the '70 Eldorado which came in at a whopping 500CID (8.2L).

    2. [image src="" width="400px"/]

      I wonder if it had a 2-barrel carb to boot? Ha!

  5. Lots of red flags: 1. Didn't know the history of the car's features (as mentioned already) 2. Car was in snow country (salt) 3. Not registered in Texas so you'll have paperwork problems 4. AC doesn't work (expensive to fix), 4. driver's side door missing an armrest (good luck finding another one), 5. automatic retractable grill for using headlights does not work. They are bungeed open (shows a lack of care, love and maintenance for a classic car)

  6. Looks can be deceiving, but being that this one is right at half a century old, I'll cut it some slack and think it's in pretty good condition, IMO. At this price point, spending some coin on getting it up to snuff would be worth it. Totally agree with you on the headlight grill actuators. A quick five minutes of searching and I found a company that used to sell a full electric kit (only $105 a side) but the website is no longer.....

  7. Simon Pegg drove one of these in the Australian black comedy "Kill Me Three Times". Seeing it made me wonder if they were ever sold down there or if it was someone's special import.

    1. Certainly an import. GM funnels everything through Holden here. Luxo barge coupes are an oddity in Oz. FWD in a big car would be a no go


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