TITLE: OLDSMOBILE TORONADO Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

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OLDSMOBILE TORONADO CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > OLDSMOBILE TORONADO

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OLDSMOBILE TORONADO (1965-1970) CAR HISTORY

Car review on OLDSMOBILE TORONADO

The Oldsmobile Toronado of 1965 brought front-wheel-drive (FWD) technology to the mass American market for the first time, not in a compact runabout but a huge, stylish super coupe. In Europe, the likes of Issigonis said big engines and front drive would never mix, but Oldsmobile didn't listen: the Toronado was always going to be a big one.


Under the flamboyant sheet metal, the Toronado was a clever concoction of conventional Detroit practice — drum brakes all round, beefy perimeter-frame chassis — but plenty of trick stuff, at least by American standards. The seven-liter "Rocket" engine was mounted in-line with the torque converter on the back but, cunningly, the usual three-speed Hydra-Matic gearbox (running the opposite way to normal) was nestling under the left-hand cylinder bank. They were connected by a multiple-link Morse chain — lots of work went into making this quiet — and the power fed into a spiral bevel diff.


The resultant power-pack was mounted on a rubber-insulated sub-frame which allowed a complete flat-floor. Torsion-bar suspension was used up front, attached to the sub frame, while a dead axle, single-leaf springs and twin vertical and horizontal dampers were used at the rear to limit hop under hard braking. Firestone developed special tires for the Toronado with stiffer sidewall construction and more grip to take advantage of the front-wheel drive, although in service they gained a reputation for savage wear rates. Wheels were slotted to cool the finned brake drums.


After being exhaustively tested — General Motors didn't want any reliability problems prejudicing buyers against FWD - the Toronado was finally launched in the autumn of 1965 to rave reviews. Not only did its bold styling set it apart from the big-coupe herd; its handling really was more capable on the road: 60 per cent of the weight overhanging the front driving wheels meant lots of traction and fine stability yet less of the plough-on than you'd find in the comparable Buick Riviera. The Toronado could pull you out of trouble, not push you into it. Only the too-small drum brakes were criticized in this two-ton (2032kg), 135 mph (217 kph) car.


American buyers had a year-long honeymoon period with the Toronado (buying 40,000 in 1966) but from 1967 they tended to prefer the Riviera, which looked - and was - more conventional, as well as being cheaper. The purity of the original car was lost on most Americans, who couldn't tell if it was front driven or not - and didn't care. It was given a completely new and awful body shell from 1971 and from then on looked like every other slob wagon on the freeway.


Today, a good example of the original Toronado would make an entertaining and intriguing addition to any collection of milestone cars — if you have the room.


OLDSMOBILE TORONADO

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

V-eight

CAPACITY

7446 cc

POWER

385@ 4600 rpm

TRANSMISSION

3-speed auto

TOP SPEED

130 mph (209 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

143,134

 

 

 

 

 

 
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OLDSMOBILE TORONADO CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > OLDSMOBILE TORONADO


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TITLE: OLDSMOBILE TORONADO Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: OLDSMOBILE TORONADO Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: OLDSMOBILE TORONADO Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: OLDSMOBILE TORONADO Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check