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Old 04-05-2013, 11:02 AM
 
20,896 posts, read 39,157,087 times
Reputation: 19172

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I'm a bit surprised that we don't have a thread on the Oldsmobile Toronado, a legendary car for it's front wheel drive and awesome styling.

First produced in 1966, the Toronado re-introduced front wheel cars drive to the USA; one has to go all the way back to the 1937 Cord to find a FWD American car.

Images of these cars.

I recall going to Capitol Raceway in Crofton, MD and seeing a guy race the "Terrible Toronado" at the dragstrip there. Seemed so odd to see the front wheels smoking it up.

This is more of a trivia question for those who may remember it. My wife recalls her father getting a letter from Oldsmobile that contained a smaller-than-normal 45RPM record that explained the Olds Toronado and its features. She said she listened to it many times over. Anyone else recall such a record from Oldsmobile?
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,088,554 times
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That brings back nightmares.
A friends parents owned the diesel model.
Do I need to say more?
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:10 AM
 
20,896 posts, read 39,157,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snofarmer View Post
That brings back night mares. A friends parents owned the diesel model. Do I need to say more?
The dealer tried to sell me a diesel Cutlass in 1988, glad I didn't, they turned out to be massive failures. The small gasoline V-8 wasn't all that great either, but man, I loved the car for it's luxury.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,348,324 times
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Those were very impressive luxobarges. I once saw a mid engine kit car based on the Toronado drive train. I wonder if they ever sold any. I owned a Chevy Station Wagon with one of those Diesel engines. It went 98,000 cheap miles before the cylinder head studs broke. The rest of the car had rusted out so it went for scrap.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:25 AM
 
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I drove many brand new ones in 1969. They were very nice cars. Big problem was maintenance and when they got high miles on them they were worn out. The front wheel drive system was not as perfected as the ones you see today.The cost of restoration is a reason you dont see many today. Gm picked the olds line to introduce car options and this car was loaded. The 455 four barrel would move the big showboat.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:26 AM
 
2,341 posts, read 9,300,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snofarmer View Post
That brings back nightmares.
A friends parents owned the diesel model.
Do I need to say more?
I had an '81 Tornado diesel. Fantastic car.

It eventually - with about 175,000 miles on it - broke the crankshaft. I opted to drop a 307 Olds gas V8 in it. Couple hundred bucks for the engine, and drove the car for several more years before I sold it.

It was one of the nicest riding cars I ever drove.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
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The gas engines converted to run on diesel fuel were problematic at best.


Yea, it was a couch on wheels.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:39 AM
 
2,341 posts, read 9,300,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snofarmer View Post
The gas engines converted to run on diesel fuel were problematic at best.

Yea, it was a couch on wheels.
Yep. The arrogant arses at GM basically stuck an injection pump on a 350 Olds V8, and tried to act like it was a legitimate diesel.

I honestly believe that if GM had designed a REAL diesel - instead of that converted gas joke - and introduced it in 1978, they would have won the hearts of Americans. As it turned out, they caused an entire generation of drivers to abhor even the thought of owning a diesel.
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,492 posts, read 51,348,324 times
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The Olds 350 was the strongest of the GM V-8s. Unfortunately they did not use a steel crankshaft and 9/16 in. cly head studs. Eventually they strengthened the crank and studs but by that time it was too late. My diesel wagon got over 30 mpg on the slab.

If I could afford to convert one I would want a '95 Buick wagon with a turbo diesel V-8 and auto overdrive transmission. That would be a great highway machine and, with a modified suspension, not a bad secondary road car.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 23,474,084 times
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We had both a 1971 Toronado (with a 455 Rocket), as well as a 1981 Toronado in the early 1990s. Both were great cars. The '71 was a very powerful car. I liked it better than the '81. Ironically, when both cars left our household, they were wrecked by the new owners. Oh well.

My '71 Toronado was identical to this one, even the same color:





and our '81... (it didn't have a diesel, it had the Olds 307 gasoline engine)...

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