Oldsmobiles used to be everywhere.
Lately, it has become difficult to spot even a later model Alero out in traffic.
Demand for personal luxury coupes like this Toronado declined sharply in the ’80s.
Sometimes, I miss the regular spotting of cars like this in traffic.
My own personal preference might have been for something smaller, like a Cutlass Supreme, but…
Our featured car still has a certain regal presence in its faded, factory Medium Green Metallic finish.
Built in Lansing, Michigan, this ’77 is one of about 34,000 Toronados produced that year.
Introduced originally for ’71, this same, basic, second-generation design lasted for eight model years.
Leisurely acceleration was to be had from the 200-horsepower, 403-cubic inch Olds Rocket V8 under the hood:
Eleven seconds and change, paired with the three-speed GM Turbo Hydramatic transmission.
Their starting weight was around 4,700 pounds.
Only the front seat passengers rode in real comfort, as there wasn’t much room in back,
Relative to the overall 227.5″ length of the car.
Over at Cadillac, even the Eldorado was over three inches shorter, at 224.1″ long.
Nobody bought a Toronado to brag about it being longer than a Cadillac, but that’s beside the point.
At certain angles, especially from behind, it certainly did have some Eldorado-esque features.
Don’t get me wrong, as I do like these.
Outside of dismal, low-double-digit fuel economy, I can imagine their posh appeal when new.
Back in the ’70s, Oldsmobile had considerable, middle-class prestige.
Racking up almost 1,136,000 in sales for ’77, Olds was third in total production in the United States.
Out of domestic makes, Ford was the only non-General Motors brand in the top-five that year, at No. 2.
Unfortunately, the magic wouldn’t last, and Oldsmobile would be obsolete after 2004.
Granted, there are still a few big beauties like this Toronado still to be found on the streets.
Having written about this car before, I was glad to see it still being used and enjoyed.
Another four years have passed, and its condition appears to be static – no better and no worse than before.
May it continue to float on for years to come.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Saturday, May 8, 2021.