According to a study by the London-based automotive business intelligence firm JATO Dynamics, as of April 2020, about half of new vehicles sold in the United States are all-wheel drive. This may not come as a surprise given the American affinity for crossovers and SUVs in recent years.
But not far behind, front-drivers comprise about 40 percent of new vehicles sold. Rear-wheel-drive vehicles now make up fewer than 10 percent. Those numbers looked vastly different 55 years ago, when Oldsmobile pioneered the first post-WWII American front-wheel-drive vehicle in the form of a two-door “personal luxury car” called the Toronado.
This example in Dark Maple Metallic could be one of the best-kept left in existence, and the seller describes in detail the merits of its condition.
“The car starts, runs and drives wonderfully,” the ad states. “The car has certainly been garage kept its entire life. This is a car to be proud of. It will be well-received at any car show.”
Aside from an inoperative power antenna, everything is said to be in working order, and the seller is including a replacement antenna along with the sale of the car.
Mechanically, it sounds like a turn-key collector car. The seller states that the Michelin tires are new, the belts and battery have been changed recently, and the air conditioning works.
“It should be driven and enjoyed,” the seller concludes.
The Toronado lost size – and weight, to the tune of about 1,000 pounds – as it went into its third generation for the 1979 model year, its platform shared with the Buick Riviera and Cadillac Eldorado. Most Toronados, including this one, came equipped with the 350cid V8.
But the innovations that went into the Toronado extended beyond its drivetrain configuration; an independent rear suspension was adopted at the same time to improve handling and increase cabin and trunk space.
The Toronado name has been gone since 1992, and the Oldsmobile brand was wiped out entirely by General Motors in 2004. But the Toronado’s innovative drivetrain set the wheels in motion – literally – for a new way of thinking about automotive engineering. The seller is asking $8,995 for this example.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.