In 1966, Oldsmobile introduced its sporty but comfortable Toronado, which was based on the same A-body platform as the Cadillac Eldorado and Buick Riviera. The Toronado was most notable as the first American car since the Cord 812 to feature front-wheel drive and V-8 power as well as for its distinctive, angular styling and hidden headlamps. Prior to its introduction, the Toronado was extensively tested and developed, and it is believed that well over one million test miles were recorded to sort out the car’s unorthodox front-drive layout. Such development work was necessary because the Toronado’s 425 cubic inch Super Rocket V-8 produced 385 horsepower, uncharted territory in the world of front-wheel drive. Its Turbo-Hydramatic three-speed automatic was chain-driven from the engine, an ingenious solution to a difficult packaging problem. The Toronado impressed the motoring world, winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year for 1966. Despite its 5,000-pound weight, the Toronado handled quite well and could reach the then noteworthy top speed of 135 miles per hour. The drivetrain was even used, mostly unchanged, in GMC motorhomes of the 1970s.
This 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado has been a California car since new and a loved, well maintained example. It is finished in an eye-catching turquoise and has a matching turquoise interior with cloth inserts, chrome sport wheels, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning, bucket seats, center-shift automatic and a factory 8-track player. The car has had one repaint, but is otherwise very original, showing just over 99,400 miles. Loaded with options, this car represents one of the automotive milestones of the 1960s and one of the most important models that Oldsmobile ever built. A dry, straight and very pretty California car, it will lend itself well to long, fast and comfortable cruising and will be a joy both to look at and to drive.
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