It’s 9 PM and I’m a bit tired from 19 miles of hiking today, so I’m just going to post these shots by xiao cars that he shot at what appears to be an American car show in Germany. I’m sure you all can find something to add to them.
Good grief, this is actually mesmerizing. Here I am in the midwestern US (also called Oldsmobile Country) and I cannot tell you the last time I laid eyes on one of these.
I never liked these much, because I always thought of them next to the original 66 model, and also because I was never a huge fan of the styling school that hit its apex right about then, but looking at this all on its own, I keep staring at these shots. This thing just screams 1969 in so many ways.
Very imressive find and it sure does scream 1969. I’m with you on the styling, it is heavy handed compared to the 66. The Riviera, though equally 1969, wears more elegant clothes.
Interested in how you would you label this late 60’s era, or “styling school” as you call it, of loop bumpers, full vinyl roofs and more generous curves? Not aware if there’s a label for it, but I find it a muddy era between the clean styling of mid-decade and fully commited Boughamaffication, which may be deservedly less desirable but has clearer intent.
I don’t know that there is a name for that era, which I agree is an interesting transitional period. Perhaps we could call it AnteBrougham.
I like loop bumpers generally, but the 68-69 Toronado doesn’t work to my eyes. The wrap around portion is just strange. If it had a corollary in the rear it might look more balanced, but from the side or rear, it makes the front bumper/grille look oddly high compared to the rest of the car.
Well, AnteBrougham doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it ain’t bad! I’ll call it a double…so, until we get a home run.
I too don’t mind a loop bumper, preferably delecate, the 69 Chevy comes to mind. But incoherent front and rear bumpers are hard on my eyes…the Olds isn’t great, but GM was capable of worse. The most objectionable were Pontiacs with chrome on the back and a painted material on the front, which is a subject for another day.
Even though the term is generally ascribed to C body Chryslers I think the whole of the late 60s-early 70s period of Detroit styling could be called fuselage
Most 1969 touch: disguising the rear side marker light as an Oldsmobile logo. People were not used to seeing lights on the side of the car back then and GM especially felt compelled to either hide or disguise them; Pontiac also had logo-shaped rear side lights and hard-to-spot front ones in the late ’60s.
I too find these look better when not comparing it to the original ’66, though I’ve always thought the front looked as good as the earlier Toros if more conventional. Only the rear view is mundane and generic compared to the much more attractive and distinctive ’66 look, which was reprised on the ’95 Aurora.
Ah, the days when front wheel drive seemed exotic (though maybe a bit less so in Germany). The flat floor front and rear and wide front bench seat to take advantage of it does seem exotic in 2022 though.
Other that the obvious license plates, there is nothing in these photos to clue you that it is Germany. There is American iron of various vintages everywhere, and even an American flag in one of the photos. Between the cars and rolling hills, the shot looks like it was taken at the AACA meet in Hershey.
The Toro appears to have a wider license plate recess in the rear bumper to allow for larger European plates. At first I thought that might have been exclusive to export models, but a quick Google search confirms that all Toronados had a wide opening for plates in the rear bumper.
Bloat. And it resembles a lumbering alligator that got free from the pond in some Florida sub-division.
Reminded of the insightful post recently that discussed the evolution (de-evolution?) of the Tornado styling…point made well that no other basic design had been dressed so differently so many times. I’m in agreement with previous poster that this bloatardic reptile loses big compared with the first gen. Happy driving yall
What an immaculate looking survivor this is. Who could have guessed when this car was new that it would (1.) stay in it’s original condition with very little deterioration for over 50 years and (2.) end up in Germany?
In an odd coincidence, this is two days in a row that there have been new articles on Oldsmobiles that I have previously written articles on.
As I wrote then, I am not a fan of the styling changes made in 68 and 69, but I still think it is a cool car. Well-preserved examples like this one and the one in my article are fantastic representatives of their era and a type of car that is long gone.
I had an identical Toro in 1984 when I formed the Blue & Gray Chapter of the OCA. It had 38k miles, a 100% original old lady’s deceased husband’s car out of the Canton area of S. Baltimore. This could even be that car as Balto. is a major port city and lots of exports go out of Dundalk.
These beasts go and handle better than you might imagine, a number of improvements were made over the wonderful ’66s even though the styling was evolved from sporty to luxury to increase appeal, which was not reflected in sales figures. The flat floor and excellent split bench seats and effortless power made this one of the best long distance cruisers ever that could also negotiate any winter conditions with aplomb. The only minus was 11-13 mpg no matter how you drove it, typical of all 3 of the later (’68 to ’70) 1st gen Toros we’ve had, all of them fantastic luxury/sport cars that are much underappreciated even to this day. Only the ’66-67 Riviera GS comes close in this particular automotive role imo.
We see a lot of beaters, uh, I mean survivors, on this site, but every once in a while something like this pops up that reminds me why or how they sold in the first place. While the car itself may not be everyone’s cuppa, simply seeing one in a normal of the day color in showroom condition…I get it. The color isn’t that dissimilar to a lot of kitchen appliances or living room carpeting. The little pattern behind the “T” badge on the pillar reminds me of lots of kitchen or bathroom linoleum or maybe the wallpaper pattern. Even just the shape and the trim on it, I can see the 1960s ranch-style 3/2 with scroll work metal roof supports for the front porch.
This doesn’t suck, not by a long shot. Offhand I can’t immediately picture the differences to the earlier model, probably because I wasn’t there, and while most of the cars didn’t last all that long, most of the houses they parked in front of did last in their original form well into the ’80s, ’90s and to some extent even today. Great car, and perhaps even better time & memory capsule.
Triple green,,, I love it in this green. Camo for driving along forbidden forest fire roads.
The first step into a more formal look. the 68-69 Toronado added a shoulder line that separated the roof from the fenders. No more “of a piece” look for a large car. The front end was the weakest part of the look. The 70 was an improvement and worked better with the rear. The 71 completed the broughamification.
The vinyl roof without the shoulder line looked weird, and everyone needed a vinyl roof by the late 60s.
I put together a model of a ’69 or ’70, so the earlier years look different to me, plus the impracticality of Olds’ bladed fenders always registered.
There is much criticism about the front end styling on this car. We are looking at it from today’s perspective. Back then, US lighting specs required sealed beam headlights so no modern looking Euro style headlights were going to cut it. If you didn’t know any better wouldn’t you think that the turn signals were Euro styled headlights and the grill was just the grill? The lenses are even clear to help with the illusion. The design makes more sense with that thought in mind. Designers had to be clever to get the look that they wanted but still comply with federal lighting standards. 1966-69 Buick Riviera and 1973 Imperial also used the same trick. The 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix looked like it had fog lights but they were actually turn signals.
A true triple pickle.
FWD seems to require a bit more front overhang, ahead of the front wheels. The overall proportions of this car (front overhang to wheelbase to rear overhang) not only hides the issue, but offers sublime proportions, set off by the bold fender cutouts and the prominent midline.
FWD seems to require a bit more front overhang, ahead of the front wheels.
Not when the engine is set well back like the Toronado’s. There’s vast amount of wasted space in front. I guess you probably missed this post:
I’m just as green – with envy.
I owned one 30 years ago, dark green. Designed like a cachalot. Great drive, extremely heavy drinker; ten kilometres, almost three litres. Rock steady at 125 mph, wind whistling through side windows. An absolutely hopeless car in Sweden, but great fun.
I was there when these were new, the original ’66 was quite impressive. It appeared to be really futuristic. I bought the ’69 issue of Road Test magazine ( I was 13 years old) that had a road test on the Toro as well as the Riviera. Both had been restyled as a busier version of the original, I think the Riv came off better, and it enjoyed the best sales of the original series. Of course the magazine testers stated that the “ruined” styling was an improvement. Of course styling is subjective, but it was typical that the original design was best displayed in the first year. However, the magazines knew that their job was to help sell more new cars.
This nose compared to the original ’66 nose, is like a Hollywood star with collagen lips gone terribly wrong.
Perfect analogy! Don’t forget the ass implants!
I don’t normally go for pale green, but I could see an exception here. But perhaps the earlier front and retractable lights?
Wow that car is mint and not just by colour.
A blue one of these was still making occasional “foray’s” around Arlington/ Falls Church VA in the early, mid 90’s.
Used to see it parked , just off of Carlin Springs Rd, near the former “Doctor’s Hospital”.
Anyone else notice the unusual gas filler flap smack in the middle of the trunk lid? What’s up with that? I wonder why it’s not behind the license plate which was the normal placement for most cars back then.
The fuel filler started out behind the rear license plate on the ’66 and ’67 Toronado. For 1968 and 1969, the revised rear bumper lowered the license plate, while the filler remained in more or less the same spot. (Some of the ’66 and ’67 brochures have a cutaway illustration that shows where the filler pipe is, and seeing that, the fuel door’s placement here is easier to understand.)
Jack Thompson Oldsmobile in Oak Lawn Il. on 95th & Pulaski my neighbor Mr.Conrad or Bob was a Dealer drove them new every year with Dealer plates.Winter of 1967 in Chgo.Il. roads were unpassable,there weren’t snow plow services provided at the time.He would put chain on his bia ply tires and run through the unindate streets and fare there’s like nothing else you could here the motor open engaging in maneuver the road not being maneuvered.Spring came off too Fort Lauderdale,Fl vacation.’Im gonna tell ur Old man.’
When I was little, I dreamed of the Toronado as a sleeker Cutlass and wished it had the 442 engine. A true style magnet. One of the great GM cars that could have been made sleeker with the Riviara’s boat tail rear window
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