Story has it that the original Toronado began as a design painting by Oldsmobile stylist David North in 1962. His creation was known as the Flame Red Car, and was strictly meant for a compact sports car, not for anything that would ever enter production. Things ended up not going his way, as a few weeks after the design was completed, the Oldsmobile division was alerted that it would be allowed to build a personal car in the Thunderbird class for the 1966 model year. Immediately, North’s design was chosen.
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To make the model economically feasible to build, the car was to share the E-body shell with the redesigned 1966 Buick Riviera. But, the problem was that this platform was considerably bigger than North had envisioned. Oldsmobile and the General Motors styling chief, Bill Mitchell, made efforts to build the car on the smaller A-body, but they were denied for cost reasons. The Toronado ended up as a two-door coupe that was produced from 1966 to 1992. The name to this day has no meaning, and the model in fact, went unnamed internally for some time. The Toronado is historically significant as it is the first front-wheel drive vehicle produced in the United States since the fall of the Cord in 1937. The Toronado would continued to share the E-body platform with the Riviera and the Eldorado for most of its 28 year run. The Buick Riviera was not switched to front-wheel drive until the 1979 model year. On the popular culture map, Jay Leno owns a 1966 Toronado, which he humorously purchased for $800 from a friend. Of course he had it restored at his Big Dog Garage. It seems that much of the original car was drastically altered as part of the restoration, which even converting it to rear-wheel drive, made it an entirely unique vehicle. Please use our state of the art car shipping cost calculator to see the rates for a Toronado, and learn more about it by going here.<< Back to Vehicle Index