1966 Oldsmobile Toronado
The 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado is one of the most radical cars to come out of the brand in its long history of car making. With Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, and Cadillac as sister brands, each with its own distinctive segment of the marketplace, Oldsmobile had long ago settled on being defined for its engineering. With the Toronado, it cemented this reputation and carried it on into the 1960s and ‘70s.
The first thing that made the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado special was its front-wheel drive. It was the first car to be made in America with front-wheel drive, since 1937. The two-door coupe was built on the E-body platform, which it shared with the Buick Riviera and the Cadillac El Dorado, but the platform was all these models shared. The styling and engineering of the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado was drastically different from its sister cars. As far as styling, the Toronado included clean lines, a severe fastback roofline, a long hood, and exaggerated proportions.
The engineering of a front-wheel drive car for Oldsmobile actually began in the late ‘50s, and the designers hoped to put into practice with a small, A-body car. Eventually it went into the larger 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado instead of a smaller car. The Toronado was not only an engineering marvel; it was a personal luxury car that competed admirably with Ford’s Thunderbird.
In addition to the front-wheel drive, the Toronado’s design led to the creation of the Turbo-Hydramatic 400, a three-speed automatic transmission, an improved exhaust manifold with a spherical shape that reduced leaks, a new ventilation system with reduced wind noise, and the Quadra jet four-barrel carburetor. A 425-cubic inch Super Rocket V8 with 385 horsepower sat under the hood of the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. Unlike front-wheel drive cars today, this engine was mounted longitudinally.
The 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado was a uniquely styled and engineered car for its time, and even today it stands out among other collectibles of its era. Among classic car enthusiasts, the model is a huge hit and is highly desirable.