Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
If you boiled down all of General Motors and distilled one vehicle from the massive concoction of engineering prowess, daring styling and outlandish marketing, it would be Oldsmobile's Toronado. It is, arguably, the most ground-breaking automobile ever mass-produced by an American manufacturer, before or since. It is an engineering triumph, as well as a styling milestone, and it should be emblazoned on the institutional memory of every General Motors employee as a high-water mark of GM's capabilities. Our example, right out of 1967 and for consignment, is the beneficiary of being reconditioned in the past and does show some flaws and faults but still is a stylish looker.
Looking like a small warship from the Star Wars series this futuristic design was truly groundbreaking. A shark-like front egg crate grille with hidden headlights and large wrap up and around bumper is up front. At the back of the car, you could envision a fully heated flame throwing and glowing yellow/red jet engine exhaust to show up as it lifts gently into the air then jumps quickly to hyper speed! A beautiful fastback that culminates on a nearly vertical small rear rim panel housing the taillights and more of that wrap up and around the bumper section. Shades of the coke bottle design with the wheel wells flaring their nostrils, and the deep doors and wide B pillar supporting the fastback. Gaps are factory spec and well minded, a few rust bubbles are noted at the wheel wells and an overall mismatch of the paint is noted throughout, and it is bathed in Bimini Blue. Bumpers and all trimmings are in excellent shiny condition and glass for the cabin is excellent. Satin silver steel wheels are of an open hole design and dog dish style caps cover the centers. These are all wrapped up in thin white sidewall tires in like new condition.
Turning our heads and attention to the inside where we have plenty of blue vinyl for the seating. The inserts which have a buttoned tuck and roll textured cloth and the smooth matching blue vinyl bolsters surrounding. This is a bench but has bucket styled backs with a fold down central armrest. In back a full bench in the same pattern stretches from door to door. These seats are very clean and in not oft used condition. Slightly faded and soiled blue carpeting floods the flat floors, (look ma, no hump), and darker blue side panels and door panels present well with highly polished chrome inserts and bezels. A futuristic dash, also in blue, angles towards the passengers and has a different "contemporary" layout for the gauges and sliders. Above is a nice and tight blue vinyl headliner. Being of the deluxe designation we note the desirable tilt/telescopic steering wheel fronting this contemporary dash. This wheel, in all black plastic is complete with its near perfect horn bad. The factory AM radio and clock round out the interior.
Under the hood bathed in sky metallic blue for the block and valve covers is a 425ci V8 with a single 4-barrel carburetor on top. A metallic sky-blue air cleaner cover sports the correct stickers and these may even be original. On the back is strapped a TH425 3-speed automatic transmission and a 3.21 drive axle. Everything under the hood, from the black steel inner fenders to the supple hoses is looking factory fresh.
Underneath, a mixture of heavy undercoating and surface rust covers the flat steel flooring and frame. While spots of the surface rust are heavy, no structural rust is noted. This car is an early example of forward thinking and with front wheel drive, look ma no driveshaft!! Torsion bar front suspension, and leaf sprung rear suspension along with 4-wheel power drum brakes, we were ahead of the curve in tech points with this car. A stock style dual exhaust with resonators is installed and appears fairly new.
A must drive for my cohort and myself as it is really nice in its presentation. It did not disappoint with its snappy acceleration on the front wheel drive, so it just pulls you with no fishtail to worry about and very minimal torque steer. Nice cruiser, solid braking, and all functions were in working order. After our drive couldn't stop chatting about how smooth and quiet this car is. Nearly no squeaks or rattles were noted, speaking volumes to the build quality of this futuristic ride.
A very forward thinking man's car in design and use of technology for the front wheel drive. Right down to the dash design, this car begged to be different, but not too much so that it presented as weird. All contemporary design which remains timeless for this beautiful classic which will not be here very long if past sales of these classic Oldsmobile's were any indication of day counts.
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