Thanks to its front wheel drive, the Toronado unleashed a wave of creativity, since it was so (relatively) easy to connect its front end to almost anything else that would then happily trail along behind it. This picture is of course a very tame version of what I mean, but I chose it because I hadn’t ever seen it before. It was posted by Hugo90, and he says it was shot in Lansing, Michigan, at a parking lot at of the former Olds plant; a big party for Oldsmobile fans, 1972. OK, now you all scour the interwebs for something a bit more unorthodox.
QOTD: How Many Toronado Hack And Weld Pics Can You Find?
– Posted on March 14, 2014
To the airport quickly. Might have covered some miles.
I think you just won the internet for the day.
I think you may have found one of these:
Sometimes life throws up challenges, and it is up to one’s self to just keep on keeping on. I really, really want one of these, yet I know I will never have one. Life can be harsh.
This should be the mandatory drivers test vehicle in every state.
Haha. I think the volume of bribes would skyrocket.
This 1970 might still be covering those miles.
The ’69 Aironado at the Woodward Cruise in 2005.
Google has let me down.
In the 1970s and maybe the 1980s, there was an ad campaign by a local tire dealer chain in Tucson, El Campo Tires. It used the slogan “We’re the buck stretchers!” and the TV ads always showed an early Toronado at less than full length being stretched out to its full length (and probably more!).
The chain was sold some years back, and the ads have long since disappeared. Nothing shows up on Youtube, either.
The Ghia Thor. Its sort of nice, but it qualifies a hack job because the original did not need improvement.
Oooooo….. I am completely in lust right now.. This Ghia is so incredibly sexy. It looks like a sports car.
It’s nice, its like if the Toronado had a sexier, more fit Italian cousin.
That is nice looking. Reminds me of a Lamborghini Miura in that picture.
I can visualise some 60s playboy driving this.It’s stunning
Well there was that weird 6 wheeled one that was posted here by David Saunders last year
The Toro was a beautiful design. But if I had one criticism of the exterior style, I feel it was larger, and more ponderous than it needed to be. I think a substantial amount of bulk could have been trimmed, while retaining it’s elegance and style. Giving it a leaner, more brawny look. It might have been more competitive as a sportier, personal luxury car. And offered better handling and performance in a lighter package.
This AMX-style Photoshop features shorter overhangs, less fender length behind the front wheel and in front of the rear wheels. A sharper ‘C’ pillar ‘swoop’. And a wheelbase roughly 8-9″ shorter.
The overhang in front was for a reason, the Unitized Power Package or UPP necessitated it.
This isn’t one of those cars where there is a huge hood with lots of space between the radiator and the bumper or where you can stand next to the engine while you work on it.
Dan; there’s about three or more feet in front of that engine. The block sits maybe six or eight inches further forward than a typical big American car of the times, which still leaves a lot of unused real estate. That overhang was not necessary. Oh; I see there’s visual proof of it here already.
From BigOldChrysler’s link below…
I was looking for pictures of this one. The Mini-toro was factory built, and used as a service car at the plant for years. Those flat ends are rubber coated wood push bumpers. The front drive traction made it good for moving cars stuck in snow filled parking lots around the plant. I believe it is currently in the collection of the R E Olds museum in Lansing.
I think the Panthermobile was initiated as an alternative to this. Rather than push the snowed-in cars, it was designed to scoop them up and move them. Seen below in its pink primer, it was abandoned as per the Jetway limo above and became home to a litter of kittens, one of which developed a taste for the primer. The rest is history…
This really cut down one was used at the GM proving grounds, I think they had a few, they used them to push cars around, like pimpmobile airport tugs.
There’s this….thing too
Daniel: well done. The Toro was too big for its own good; something more like the size of the A+Body ’69 GP would have been better, and that seems to be where your improved Toro is.
Paul, I think the “red car” styling study that was developed into the Toro was originally meant to be based on the A-body package. It looked a lot more purposeful and taut than the final product.
They did cut down Toronado show car, its sort of like a Toronado AMX or a proto-Reatta? Big FWD Corvette?
Here it is…
I can dig, but I still like the fullness of the first production version.
The car, as originally designed, was about 7/8ths scale to the final product. The design was liked enough at GM to upsize it to fit the intended vehicle.
Front fender of the middle car
This webpage covers just about everything from shortened to stretched to Toronado wagons to gaudy Barris customs. It also has pics of Toronado float plane launchers and a twin engine conversion.
That page is the motherlode.
The 67X custom may have helped inspire the ’71 AMC Javelin. lol
Even as a 6 year old I recognized this as a converted Toro.
There were a handful of these commissioned by Imperial Oil (Esso) and built by Barris. They were awarded as prizes in a tie-in with Expo 67 in Montreal. I remember they had one make a run across Canada on a car hauler and people could line up to see it at selected locations, which myself and my mother did.
This was quite ambitious, with a wheelbase stretch and a Caddy 472 dropped in place of the Olds plant.
Here’s some better pictures of it
Whoa! Cool interior. Very clubby.
Toronado car hauler…
Not on my home computer right now, but I can refer to a post on my site with ,pics of a tornado chopped to make a float plane tug.
Check out this trainwreck. A Toronado Unitized Power Package (UPP) driving the back wheels of an old Mercury pickup truck.
In the 70’s they went in the back of all kinds of pickups, it was a pretty popular swap, there was even a company that made a subframe set up for putting it into rear drive applications so the wheels wouldn’t turn.
The Hurst Hairy Olds exhibition dragster was powered by Toronado drivetrains front and rear.
Shortened and topless
Jay Leno has one which he converted to RWD.
Among so many similar RWD US cars of the era, he took one whose primary point of interest is FWD, and converted it to RWD…
That’s deep, man 🙂
I’m kinda blown away by the amount of hack jobs this car has endured.
Is that due to its FWD or do people just like it (or don’t) that much?
The limos are way cool and I wonder if any survive.
The plane pullers made me sad though.
Where do these cars have the gas tank that they can be so easily cut in half? It really looks as though the second half is superfluous which is interesting.
Many interesting designs though, specially those George Barris ones.
I found this one quite attractive though it looks more like a Maverick than a Toronado, from that angle at least. Got it from BOC’s link which actually shows many different Toronados.
For the day, it was unique, and with everything under the hood, stretching it was much easier than in the usual RWD car. Keep in mind that, for almost ten years, that, and the ’67-on Eldorado, was the only FWD package available with a V-8.
The horror…the horror….
Ugh! How could you do that to such a beautiful car?
The first season of Mannix had Mike Connors tooling around in a Toro-based roadster done by Barris. The show was repackaged the next season and the rest is Mopar history.
“Double Front Car Is Back” – Hartington, Neb., May 21, 2008
“Steve Samelson, his father Jack W. Samelson, Billy Leise, Randal Anderson and his son Randy Anderson all worked on the car at the Auto Hospital in Hartington. “We all worked on it but it was Billy Leise’s idea,” said Steve Samelson. “He came up with the idea to cut two cars in half and weld the front ends together.”
“The men put together the front end of a “73 Olds Toronado and the front end of a ’74 Olds Toronado and ended up with a car that is twenty-three and one-half feet long. The car only has one engine but it is steered from both the front and back “front ends” by two drivers. Being one of two drivers in the same car is a weird feeling Samelson said. “It is kind of like driving on a sheet of ice,” said Samelson. “You can’t even describe the feeling. It is like you are out of control but yet you have control.”
(Full story here.)
Many years ago 98 Rock (a local radio station in the Baltimore area) had car that was made up of the front half of two Checker Marathons and could be driven from ether end. The car wound up in the local junk yard about 6 years ago. I should have taken a picture 🙁
We all know that this is just a tarted-up Toronado 😉
A+ to you.
I wondered how long it would take until the GMC R/V made its appearance…
The Toronado Crossover!
Not a Toro but there is an 8-wheel Eldorado out here complete with pop-out bbq that folds behind the radiator and a spa on the back deck behind the stock cabin.
It recently came up for auction. Would you step into that spa?
More importantly, what better use for a needlessly long engine bay is there other than putting a barbecue grill in it?
I’m surprised no one’s mentioned the GM prototype front-drive wagon from ’67. Had a Toro front clip and the back 2/3rds was a modified Bonneville Safari
Here’s a Hemmings blog that mentions it:
Late, but here’s another one:
mentions a Variant