1965 Oldsmobile Toronado

The standard configuration for American cars in the 50s and the 60s was a front engine, mounted¬†longitudinally, driving a shaft for rear-wheel drive propulsion. The idea of having a front-wheel drive V8 car was so fraught with problems and issues that most people thought it couldn’t be done. The 1965 Oldsmobile Toronado put a lid on all the nay-sayers when it was introduced; it was truly a revolutionary car, with the dramatic styling required by such a technological feat. As a front wheel drive car, it was also considerable roomier, and the difference was most seen in the back seat.

1965 Oldsmobile Toronado
1965 Oldsmobile Toronado

Powered by a 385 horsepower, 7-liter big block V8, the Oldsmobile Toronado could tear down the highway at a maximum speed of 135 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in 8.5 seconds. Incredibly, it could also handle better than any of its rear-wheel drive competition, and certainly better than any car of this size could expect to do. The only dark spot on its peerless pedigree was its drum brakes, which were really not up to the task.

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado (white)
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado (white)

Like most good things Detroit produced in those years, it started out as a beautiful, clean car and was progressively ruined by layers upon layers of “luxury styling”. When the Oldsmobile Toronado was cancelled in 1970, in was but a shadow of its former self, and withdrawing it from production must have been akin to putting down a beloved mount who’s gone lame.

1 thought on “1965 Oldsmobile Toronado”

  1. Thanks very much for an article on the Oldsmobile Toronado. I had a 67 many years ago, and I wish I still did. Unfortunately, this article is inaccurate in many places. The first Oldsmobile Toronado was made in 1966, not 1965. That’s a 1970 Toronado in the picture, not a 1966. They stopped making the first generation cars in 1971, but the Toronado was in production in one form or another until 1992, though as you say it was a sad shadow of its former glory by then. The first generation Toronados, like mine, had rather limited rear seating, despite their size, though the front seat had tons of space. Your information about the engine, handling and acceleration was spot on though.

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