Hard to believe today but there was a time when front-wheel drive was, at least to American drivers, a strange and exotic configuration. Only such oddball “foreign” cars as Saab, Citroën and Mini were being pulled around by their front wheels.
So it was when the Oldsmobile Toronado arrived on the scene for 1966, the first FWD car from a U.S. manufacturer since Cord in the 1930s. The styling was as dramatic as its driveline, with boldly flared wheel wells and hideaway headlights that made the big two-door hardtop look more spaceship than automobile.
The Pick of the Day is a sharp-looking example, a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado from that first year of production, presented in what the seller describes as restored condition and ready to drive anywhere.
The Tucson, Arizona, private seller advertising the Olds on ClassicCars.com says the car was cosmetically refurbished by the previous owner, with a repaint in its original shade of Autumn Bronze. The mighty 425 cid Super Rocket V8 also was rebuilt.
“I then performed an extensive systems and mechanical restoration,” the seller says in the ad. “This included rebuilding the front suspension, replaced all fuel and brake lines. Front end and rear brake system rebuilt. Replaced master cylinder and booster. Reworked the A/C and vacuum system.”
The interior has been redone, although much of it remains in good original condition, the ad says. The Toronado was a premium car and loaded with features, and everything is in working order aside from the clock and the radio, the seller notes.
An extensive list of parts and repairs are included with the ad, as well as an in-depth gallery of photos (which is how everyone should advertise their vehicles). Close-up photos show that the paint and chrome look great.
The Oldsmobile is in fine running condition, the owner adds.
“After completing the restoration, I drove it from Salt Lake City to Tucson, AZ,” the seller says. “I averaged 80 to 85 and occasionally up to 100 mph. Zero oil was burned on the 800-mile trip.
“If you want something that has been completely gone through and safe to drive anywhere for a fair price, this is it.”
The asking price for this classic is indeed fair, at $22.500.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.