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Thread: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

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    1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile




    1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    By Pete Dunton


    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...6&Itemid=10854


    Think the current retro styling trend is a recent phenomenon? Think again. Believe it or not, Oldsmobile was first on the block to implement retro styling and they did it with great success more than 40 years ago. For the 1966 model year Oldsmobile released one of the most stylish cars it ever produced, a 2-door sporty luxury car called the Toronado. It had futuristic styling with retro cues of the 1936 - 1937 Cord 810/812. The Toronado's popup headlights, front grille with horizontal slots, aerodynamic wheel covers, and fender humps over all four wheel wells were all a dead give-away that Oldsmobile intended to the Toronado to be a modern version of the Cord.

    The 1936 - 1937 Cord 810/812 needs no introduction. It was the most futuristic car of the 1930s. Its exterior design was clean and aerodynamic, long before automakers knew what a wind tunnel was. The pop-up headlights and overall very clean and smooth design would have hordes of admirers for many years after its introduction. Most will remember the Cord name but very few will remember the Auburn Automobile Company, the parent company that made these beautiful cars. Unfortunately its life was too short, the company folded at the end of the 1937 model year. It would seem the futuristic Cord would not have a successor, so it was a nice surprise when Oldsmobile paid the ultimate respect to the Cord by integrating some of its styling cues into its new 1966 Toronado. 1966 was the first year for the Toronado, which was treading new territory for Oldsmobile. The Toronado was to compete in the sporty 2-door luxury market that the 2+2 Thunderbird had so successfully started.

    It was below the surface of this innovative new Toronado that bore the most striking tribute to the Cord. Just as the 1936 - 1937 Cord 810/812 had styling well ahead of its time, its drivetrain was front-wheel drive which was also well ahead of its time. As other automakers would later adopt the Cord's aerodynamic styling and pop-up headlights, so too would many automakers go with front-wheel drive by the last quarter of the 20th century. The Toronado was front-wheel drive like the Cord. The Toronado's front-wheel drive system was not only a first for Oldsmobile but also GM. In fact the Toronado was a big trendsetter for GM, hence 20 years after its introduction a majority of GM's cars would be front-wheel drive. This was no minor step for Oldsmobile after-all designing a front-wheel drive car powered by a very powerful big block V8 was no easy task.

    When GM was at it nexus, long before the bean counters took over in the 1980s, it had a habit of letting its designers go wild with the pen. The results were cars that were benchmarks in automotive design. The Toronado was an example of this policy. It looked so modern and sleek, that even when you see one today more than 40 years after its introduction, it still looks modern. It's a design that will never go out of style. If Oldsmobile had not been on the receiving end of the hatchet a few years back and made a new retro version of the 1966 Toronado, it would be a big success. The styling personified sleek, low, and aerodynamic. Every edge, curve, and line on the Toronado fit so perfectly with the overall styling. Even Leonardo da Vinci could not improve the Toronado's artful design. The front-end design with its vacuum operated pop-up headlights looked so clean as if its main purpose in life was to cheat the wind. The rear taillights curved ever so perfectly to offset the beautiful rear trunk-line and fastback roofline.

    And if the perfect exterior design was not enough, Olds just did not know when to say "when". You have to remember this was before the days of bean counters forcing designers to do just the bare minimum to keep their customers happy. The Toronado's interior was not like most cars produced in the 1960s, it had flair and was more modern looking than the cockpits of the new jet airliners that were popping up at all the major airports at the time. The dash was modern and even had a rolling speedo. The sporty steering wheel looked like it came right out of the batmobile. The standard Toronado had a bench seat, which was comfortable and luxurious. However it was the "Deluxe" trim package that offered a more comfortable and luxurious interior with plush seats with a front center armrest. The Toronado was so roomy inside. Back in the day, when looking at the large interior, the eyes soon spotted what made the Tornado seem so spacious. It was the flat floor, which made all the other cars during this time period with transmission/transaxle humps seem cramped in comparison. This was one of the big benefits of front-wheel drive. Since the transmission and transaxle resided directly underneath the mammoth 425 V8, there was no need for a big tunnel hump which the middle front and back seat passengers on most other cars had to straddle like a cowboy did when he rode his horse.

    The side glass windows were curved, which was first introduced on the 1961 Lincoln Continental and 1961 Ford Thunderbird. But unlike these two cars the Toronado did not have the ugly side vent windows. By the 1970s vent windows would bite the dust on most cars.

    Most buyers loaded up their Toronados with many power and convenience options. Surprising, the more expensive "Deluxe" package was the most popular trim package. This is why today when you find a surviving 1966 Toronado, it more than likely will be loaded with power windows, power door locks, power antenna, "Deluxe" trim package, and many other options. It was a fairly common for a loaded 1966 Toronado to roll out of the factory with a price tag close to $6,000, double the average car price. The high price tag did not deter sales, 40,963 total buyers proved that Oldsmobile's gamble on the Tornado's edgy futuristic styling was a wise decision. Motor Trend agreed and awarded the new Toronado it's coveted "Car of the Year" award for 1966.

    The 1966 Toronado was built on GM's new E-body platform, which it shared with the rear-wheel drive 1966 Buick Riviera. The following year Cadillac would release its new E-body platform front-wheel drive Eldorado.

    The Toronado used a combination front subframe and rear unibody frame structure, which gave the Toronado great rigidity and strength. The Toronado's suspension for a 1960s car handled well and had a nice ride that luxury car buyers expected. The front suspension was a double wishbone design that used front torsion bars, a GM first. The rear suspension was a more traditional leaf spring design.

    Powering the Toronado was an iron monster, a 385 horsepower 485 lbs/ft of torque 425 CID Oldsmobile Rocket V8. It was the most powerful 425 V8 engine in Oldsmobile's arsenal for 1966 and a Toronado exclusive. It had a free flow intake manifold and a dual snorkel air-cleaner, which helped the powerful 425 V8 breath and perform better than the 425 V8 offered in Oldsmobile's other cushy people haulers. To put this into perspective, Oldsmobile's high performance muscle car for 1966, the 442, had as its top performance motor a 360 horsepower Ram Rod 400 CID V8. So with the Toronado a buyer not only obtained luxury and great styling but also a real hot rod. And the mandatory dual exhaust was also further proof the Toronado meant business. The Toronado went 0-60 mph in the 8 second range, which for a big heavy car that weighed in close to 5,000 lbs, was mighty impressive. As fast as the Toronado raced up to 60 mph, it took its sweet time getting back down to zero when the brakes were applied. The 4-wheel drum brake system was one area where the Toronado was not state of the art, and was only on par with the other luxury cars of the mid 1960s.

    Anyone familiar with front-wheel drive cars knows their weakness is torque steer. It occurs when the accelerator pedal is pushed to or towards the floor and the wheels pull to the side as if they have a mind of their own. The driver is left holding the wheel for dear life to keep those front tires correctly pointed. Interesting to note, the Toronado was immune to torque steer. Oldsmobile had done its homework and pulled out all the stops and made sure the Toronado was not a victim of torque steer. Oldsmobile kept the big 425 V8 in the traditional mounted position in the engine bay unlike most modern front-wheel drive cars that have an engine mounted sideways. The engine had an exclusive oil pan, which allowed clearance for the front-wheel drive infrastructure mounted underneath it. The heart of this infrastructure was a heavy-duty TH425 3-speed automatic transmission; essentially it was GM's bulletproof TH400 transmission modified for front-wheel drive duty. A Hy-Vo drive chain connected the torque converter to the TH425. This setup was practically bulletproof, quiet, and eliminated torque steer.

    Oldsmobile had a real winner on its hands with the Toronado. Unfortunately as the Toronado aged it morphed into a conservatively styled 2-door luxury barge that lost its beautiful edgy styling and performance image. If this was not bad enough, it shrunk in size in the mid-1980s to an Oldsmobile Calais sized mini luxury car, with a hefty price tag. So its no small wonder why the Toronado went into extinction soon thereafter.

    Back in 1966, Oldsmobile's future was bright, and if you were somebody important you drove a cool car like the Toronado. And as you've probably heard many times - "they don't make them like they used to", certainly applies to the Toronado. It was not your father's Oldsmobile.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    One of my favorite features on the original Toronado was the extra pair of door handles that could be reached by rear-seat passengers.

    The worst feature, of course, were the 4-wheel drum brakes that were wholly inadequate for a 425 cu. in. car. Dangerously, disasterously inadequate. They were capable of 100% fade at high speeds.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Wonderful write up, Pete!

    I have always considered the Toro an under-rated, under-appreciated classic. It was - and is - a beautiful car. Striking, actually.

    A few years ago, at the NY Auto Show I sidled over to the Olds area (this was when there was still an Oldsmobile) to see what they had on display. There, amid the bleak array of Auroras and Bravadas, was a pristine first-year Toronado - in glacier blue. Magnificent. It absolutely dominated the display; the other Oldsmobiles just faded into the background. It made you realize just how far Olds had fallen.

    I'm sure that was not the intent of whomever put up the display - but that was the effect!

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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    misterdecibel,

    Those brakes were indeed scary. I have run into a lot of 1st generation Toronado owners who have converted their front brakes to discs.


    Eric,

    Very good point and it drives right at the heart of the problem GM has had for the past 20 - 25 years (and is now correcting it). It's the bean counters who ruined the company. Cars like the 1st generation Toronado have not been made at GM in the 1980s and 1990s, these type of designs would never make it off a designers sheet of paper. Fortunately Lutz who turned around Chrysler, seems to be keeping those bean counters at bay, cars like the new CTS, Camaro, Malibu, and ZR1 Corvette; are all signs of a new trend for GM. The Toronado was a symbol of GM leading the automotive world and not following it. The low point of GM was the late 1990s Malibu which it copied right out of Toyota's styling book. Though GM has seen the light, it still has an uphill battle. I think it should forget about Toyota becoming the worlds biggest automaker, and concentrate on making exciting, innovative, and trendsetting cars across the board. Personally I could care less if Toyota ends up selling more cars, their cars are boring and about as exciting as a piece of meatloaf that has had 3 passes through the microwave (the bean counters live a good life over at Toyota). Toyota's quality control (according to Consumer Reports and others) has been sliding in the last few years. If GM goes back to its old way of being a trendsetter, everything else will fall into place.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    The low point of GM was the late 1990s Malibu which it copied right out of Toyota's styling book.
    Oh no no no, the low point was the knife-edge '80s. And maroon dashboards.

    Or the Celebrity. Cutlass Ciera. Or the Corsica/Beretta. The "Dustbuster" minivans. The Achieva.

    By the time the late '90s Malibu came along, GM was already on a product upswing. The car was uninspiring, but at least it was acceptable, unlike the corporation's last 20 years of sedans.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    I see the Toronado as more of a grand folly. It was the answer to a question that no one asked. Its only technical innovation was Front Wheel Drive, which was totally unsuited for a large heavy car with a big V8. It was a 2-door coupe that was as big and heavy as a Sedan Deville, and really had nothing to offer the serious driver. It had tons of style, for its time, and that's about it.

    And 40,000-50,000 units sold in '66-'67 was not a sales success, they very nearly pulled the plug on it and the car was only saved by donating its chassis to the Eldorado.

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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Mr. D,

    Incorrect the Toronado sold 40,963 units its first year which was very impressive for a car that sold on the average for slightly less than $6,000 (in today's dollars it would be about a $70,000 car). As a comparison the sales leader in the 2-door sporty luxury car segment in 1966 was the Thunderbird which sold 69,176 units and the average price of a Thunderbird was less than $5,000.

    True the "dustbuster" mini-vans were marketing disasters. However the Chevrolet Celebrity, Cutlass Ciera, and Chevrolet Corsica/Beretta sold in much higher numbers then the late 1990s Malibu and most GM cars today. For instance Chevrolet sold 404,883 - 1986 Chevrolet Celebrities. The newer front-wheel drive Malibu never sold that many units. In fact the last few years the Toyota Camry has been the number one selling car in the U.S. Toyota sold 433,703 - 2005 Camrys which is only a little more than a 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity (404,883). If GM had the sales success it had back in 1980s with its current cars, it would be crushing Toyota right now. GM truck sales are what is keeping GM the number one automaker in sales right now. However this is changing, GM's cars have been selling better the last couple of years, the Chevrolet Impala is biting at the heels of Toyota's Camry in terms of best selling car in the U.S.

    GM was having great car sales until the early 1990s. It discontinued their popular A-body cars - the Celebrity and Pontiac 6000 which they had let go too long without a restyle. Their replacements were boring and never really a hit with buying public like they were. GM also took also let their fwd b-bodies go without a major restyle too long after a successful start when sales dipped they pulled the plug. And the Corsica and Beretta sold very well, but GM did not put any money into improving them, and when sales dipped after the styling and platform got old, GM pulled the plug. They did the same thing with the full-size rear-drive B-body and F-body platforms. The 1990s were not good times for GM. Today GM has recently started to get back on track but its been a long wait.

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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    The low point of GM was the late 1990s Malibu which it copied right out of Toyota's styling book.
    Oh no no no, the low point was the knife-edge '80s. And maroon dashboards.

    Or the Celebrity. Cutlass Ciera. Or the Corsica/Beretta. The "Dustbuster" minivans. The Achieva.

    By the time the late '90s Malibu came along, GM was already on a product upswing. The car was uninspiring, but at least it was acceptable, unlike the corporation's last 20 years of sedans.
    Hey!

    I put 250,000 miles on my 1987 Celebrity before giving it to my son. Ended up finding another one used with 84k on it, ran it up to 120k and gave it to my other son.
    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

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    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    A man's greatest mistake is to think he is working for somebody else.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete
    Mr. D,

    Incorrect the Toronado sold 40,963 units its first year which was very impressive for a car that sold on the average for slightly less than $6,000 (in today's dollars it would be about a $70,000 car). As a comparison the sales leader in the 2-door sporty luxury car segment in 1966 was the Thunderbird which sold 69,176 units and the average price of a Thunderbird was less than $5,000.

    True the "dustbuster" mini-vans were marketing disasters. However the Chevrolet Celebrity, Cutlass Ciera, and Chevrolet Corsica/Beretta sold in much higher numbers then the late 1990s Malibu and most GM cars today. For instance Chevrolet sold 404,883 - 1986 Chevrolet Celebrities. The newer front-wheel drive Malibu never sold that many units. In fact the last few years the Toyota Camry has been the number one selling car in the U.S. Toyota sold 433,703 - 2005 Camrys which is only a little more than a 1986 Chevrolet Celebrity (404,883). If GM had the sales success it had back in 1980s with its current cars, it would be crushing Toyota right now. GM truck sales are what is keeping GM the number one automaker in sales right now. However this is changing, GM's cars have been selling better the last couple of years, the Chevrolet Impala is biting at the heels of Toyota's Camry in terms of best selling car in the U.S.

    GM was having great car sales until the early 1990s. It discontinued their popular A-body cars - the Celebrity and Pontiac 6000 which they had let go too long without a restyle. Their replacements were boring and never really a hit with buying public like they were. GM also took also let their fwd b-bodies go without a major restyle too long after a successful start when sales dipped they pulled the plug. And the Corsica and Beretta sold very well, but GM did not put any money into improving them, and when sales dipped after the styling and platform got old, GM pulled the plug. They did the same thing with the full-size rear-drive B-body and F-body platforms. The 1990s were not good times for GM. Today GM has recently started to get back on track but its been a long wait.
    What do sales numbers have to do with the quality of the cars? The 1990s may have not been good for GM sales, but it was when they began to get their engineering groove back and make cars that were almost driveable. For example, Oldsmobile made the best 4-door sedans GM has ever done, the Alero, Intrigue, and Aurora, right before the division was given the axe. GM's cars during the '70s and '80s were unmitigated shit. And ugly. And tacky. I don't care if they sold or not, that is not germane to anything.

    As for Toronado vs. Thunderbird, 40,000+ units of a Toronado with a bespoke chassis and drivetrain, vs ~70,000 Thunderbirds that share major components and structure with the Lincoln, is a big difference in profitability.

    The Toronado was a lovely object, but it was also the answer to a question that nobody asked.

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by Mase


    Hey!

    I put 250,000 miles on my 1987 Celebrity before giving it to my son. Ended up finding another one used with 84k on it, ran it up to 120k and gave it to my other son.
    Wow, that's a long time spent behind the wheel of a really miserable car. My favorite part was the beam rear axle that would go hippity-hop all over the place when disturbed by any sort of road surface irregularities. Especially after the factory shocks started failing after about 20,000 miles.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    "What do sales numbers have to do with the quality of the cars?"

    In a word, everything. If a car doesn't sell, its quality doesn't matter. Besides, what we are really talking about here - what matters beyond anything else - is a car's appeal.

    You write:

    "For example, Oldsmobile made the best 4-door sedans GM has ever done, the Alero, Intrigue, and Aurora, right before the division was given the axe. GM's cars during the '70s and '80s were unmitigated shit. And ugly. And tacky. I don't care if they sold or not, that is not germane to anything."

    Technically, you're right that these latter-day Oldsmobiles were better in terms of quality than previous Oldsmobiles, but they were also lifeless, boring cars that had little curb appeal - and thus, did not sell. You may have considered the '70s and '80s-era Oldsmobiles "shit" and so forth, but the fact is that models such as the Olds Cutlass were among the best-selling cars GM ever made - period. They sold hundreds of thousands per year, to be specific. (Comparable to or better than the sales of the current best-selling Camry or the Ford F-truck.)

    GM clearly was doing something right, eh? The people buying those hundreds of thousands of cars each year did not think those cars were "shit." They loved them. These cars are still remembered fondly by many - and collected and restored. How many people collect Intrigues and Bravadas?

    Whose opinion matters more, in terms of what worked for GM? The stylists and designers who created cars such as the mid-late '70s Cutlass? Or the stylists and designers who created the Aurora, Bravada, Intrigue and so on?

    "The Toronado was a lovely object, but it was also the answer to a question that nobody asked."

    That depends; with high-end cars, the object is also to draw attention to the brand generally - to make it more desirable. Cars like the Toronado and T-Bird were never really intended to make money as such. (Just as is true of the Corvette today.) They are so-called "Halo cars" whose profit lies in the way they make the brand itself look good.

    By that standard, the Toro was a huge success; much more so than the dismal failures of the '90s like the Aurora and Bravada and Intrigue...

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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel

    What do sales numbers have to do with the quality of the cars? The 1990s may have not been good for GM sales, but it was when they began to get their engineering groove back and make cars that were almost driveable. For example, Oldsmobile made the best 4-door sedans GM has ever done, the Alero, Intrigue, and Aurora, right before the division was given the axe. GM's cars during the '70s and '80s were unmitigated s***. And ugly. And tacky. I don't care if they sold or not, that is not germane to anything.

    As for Toronado vs. Thunderbird, 40,000+ units of a Toronado with a bespoke chassis and drivetrain, vs ~70,000 Thunderbirds that share major components and structure with the Lincoln, is a big difference in profitability.

    The Toronado was a lovely object, but it was also the answer to a question that nobody asked.
    GM was pleased with a little over 40,000 units, in 1966 it was much better than they expected. It would be like a company today releasing a brand new more expensive Camry competitor and getting 57% of the sales of the Camry its first year, it would be a smash success. The Thunderbird was the sales leader and the Toronado hit 57% of its sales the first year, even being more expensive and not having a convertible model this was very good.

    As for the 1980s GM A-bodies, they were reliable cars. My parents owned a Pontiac 6000 and they drove the crap out of it for 18 years, it still had the original paint job, original MPI V6, and original transmission. Everyone I know who owned these cars had great luck with them. Knew a guy who drove an '85 Eurosport Celebrity that had over 250,000 miles on it with original engine and tranny (no rebuild was done on anything). Another guy I knew had an '85 Pontiac 6000 STE with 295,000 miles and the same story. These cars ran forever. I still see many of them on the road. They were much more reliable than the Ford Tauras and a lot of Japanese cars of the same vintage. When's the last time you saw a mid 1980s Nissan Maxima or Toyota Cressida? You may not like the styling but these cars were reliable and drove and rode good for 1980s fwd cars and sold in very high numbers (very successful cars for GM).

    You are right the the Alero, Intrigue, and Aurora were very nice cars (comfortable, nice ride, handled well, good acceleration, etc.) however their styling killed them. The space age / GM Saturn type styling did not cut it with the buying public. Their styling was cut out of the same mold as the "dustbuster minivans" you hate so much.


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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    The closest thing I've ever seen to a Cutlass Supreme "restoration" had 28" wheels and lime green metallic paint...

    These cars are remembered fondly, by "the Hiphop Nation".

    Their success in the '70s and '80s proves that back then, the uneducated American car buying public expected little more than style.

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    The closest thing I've ever seen to a Cutlass Supreme "restoration" had 28" wheels and lime green metallic paint...

    These cars are remembered fondly, by "the Hiphop Nation".

    Their success in the '70s and '80s proves that back then, the uneducated American car buying public expected little more than style.
    Well, you need to get out more; mid-late '70s W-30 Cutlasses, the early '80s Hurst Olds and 442 are very collectible - and not by the sexual chocolate crowd, either.

    "Their success in the '70s and '80s proves that back then, the uneducated American car buying public expected little more than style."

    That is your opinion - which is fine - but obviously, millions disagreed with you.

    To be fair to these cars they have to be put into context and compared with what was available then - not now. Toyotas and other imports of the time were (relatively) solidly built - but underpowered, sad-looking little shitboxes. People clearly still preferred to have a more substantial looking, larger and more powerful car - even if it may have been a little less well-built. I don't consider that "uneducated." I see it as a reasonable choice.

    The bottom line fact is that Olds never recaptured the market share it had in the late '70s/early '80s - and its market share began to plummet as it went away from larger/RWD cars to downsized FWD cars. It never recovered.

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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase


    Hey!

    I put 250,000 miles on my 1987 Celebrity before giving it to my son. Ended up finding another one used with 84k on it, ran it up to 120k and gave it to my other son.
    Wow, that's a long time spent behind the wheel of a really miserable car. My favorite part was the beam rear axle that would go hippity-hop all over the place when disturbed by any sort of road surface irregularities. Especially after the factory shocks started failing after about 20,000 miles.
    Are you sure you're not confusing this with the Chrysler New Yorker?
    It would do the same thing.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase


    Hey!

    I put 250,000 miles on my 1987 Celebrity before giving it to my son. Ended up finding another one used with 84k on it, ran it up to 120k and gave it to my other son.
    Wow, that's a long time spent behind the wheel of a really miserable car. My favorite part was the beam rear axle that would go hippity-hop all over the place when disturbed by any sort of road surface irregularities. Especially after the factory shocks started failing after about 20,000 miles.
    Are you sure you're not confusing this with the Chrysler New Yorker?
    It would do the same thing.

    Chip H.
    And the K-Cars...

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    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Was there a "real" W30 after about 1973?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Was there a "real" W30 after about 1973?
    How do you define "real"?

    There were factory produced W30/Hurst Olds/442s built after '73; they may not have been as powerful as earlier versions - but that's equally true of Corvettes, Camaros, Trans-Ams and virtually everything else built after '73. Doesn't mean these later cars are illegitimate - or undesirable. Perhaps less desirable than the earlier versions - but that's a different matter entirely.


  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Re: 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Was there a "real" W30 after about 1973?
    Years ago I had a chance to drive a 1975 Hurst Olds W30 (455 CID V8) with t-tops, it was completely stock. That car handled well and had a lot of punch - it had enough horsepower and torque to easily burn rubber with both limited slip rear wheels. I would be willing to bet that it could run just as fast as a base 1968 Olds 442 (the base 325 gross horsepower 400 4bbl V8). Remember the 1972 - current horsepower ratings are rated at the flywheel and much more stringent than the old gross ratings. Don't kid yourself these cars were much faster than you think.Not to mention the Colonade styled Hurst Olds were great looking cars. And a 1983 Hurst/Olds rated at 180 horsepower (307 HO V8) was good for 0-60 in 7 second range. A lot of 1960s muscle cars went 0-60 mph in the 7 second range.

    All of these rwd cars post 1972 442s or Hurst/Olds are worthy of their nameplates. They did their muscle car heritage well. When Olds started slapping the 442 stickers on a quad4 HO (front-wheel drive) Calais that's when Olds went wrong.


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