(Found In) West End (Alameda, California): 1992 Oldsmobile (Toronado) Trofeo

IMG_8932The Oldsmobile Toronado tried time and time again to break the molds of what it meant to be the most premium offering in the middle of the General Motors Hierarchy. Where it initially channeled the elegant grand touring ethos of the Cord 810 upon introduction, it became an off the rack designer clone of the Cadillac Eldorado for its 2nd Generation. That tradition continued through its 3rd Generation as well.

As the automotive landscape changed and the definition of personal luxury shifted once again, it seemed the original thesis statement of the Toronado seemed relevant once again. Up against more budget constraints, the 4th Generation Toro found itself a compromised return to its roots.

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(Found In) Boise (Portland, Oregon) – 1972 Oldsmobile Toronado

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Although a technological tour de force showcase for General Motors, The 1966 Toronado wasn’t the sales success Oldsmobile was hoping for in the burgeoning “Personal Luxury” market.
In a market segment flowing with features to coddle buyers, few seemed concerned with the fact that it was the only mass market front wheel drive American Car for sale at the time. Part of the blame did go to Oldsmobile’s marketing for not knowing how to hype such a special product. Another piece would be its otherworldly suave, sophisticated quality in a growing sea of brocade interiors capped with vinyl tops in the burgeoning brougham era.

We know how this story goes.
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(Found In) The Bayview (San Francisco) – 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

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Forward thinking while referencing the past, that’s what the Oldsmobile Toronado wished to do as a new concept in motoring for 1966.

Whether it was fully successful is a question left up to interpretation. As it stands it was a technological tour-de-force, and tempting dead end. Stylish, Suave and Sexy, it was a surprise image leader for Oldsmobile’s Where The Action Is years of the mid 1960’s.
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