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The original Toronado began as a design painting by Oldsmobile stylist David North in 1962. His design, dubbed the "Flam...
The original Toronado began as a design painting by Oldsmobile stylist David North in 1962. His design, dubbed the "Flame Red Car", was for a compact sports/personal car never intended for production. A few weeks after the design was finished, however, Oldsmobile division was informed it would be permitted to build a personal car in the Riviera/Thunderbird class for the 1966 model year, and North's design was selected. For production economy, the still-unnamed car was to share the so-called E-body shell with the redesigned 1966 Buick Riviera, which was substantially bigger than North had envisioned. Despite the efforts of Oldsmobile and General Motors styling chief Bill Mitchell to put the car on the smaller A-body intermediate, they were overruled for cost reasons.
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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    CAR OLDSMOBILE TORONADO
    RUN BY Martin Buckley
    OWNED SINCE November 2017
    PREVIOUS REPORT Sept ’18

    / #1967-Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile / #Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile-Toronado-MkI / #1967

    I’ve probably been meaning to go to the Pre 50 American Auto Club Rally of the Giants for 30 years, but Only made it in July in the Toronado. I seem to recall it was always held at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire, but Blenheim Palace has apparently been the location for some years now. Handily, that’s less than an hour from my house. At 10 mpg these things become important, but having said that I never resent any of the fuel that goes into this car because it’s always an event in itself to take out and use.

    Talking of fuel, and probably as a knee-jerk response to all this talk of electric cars, on an outing the other week I parked the Toronado in front of a charging bay at a local cafe to see what the response would be. Within minutes a burly man in a high-vis jacket was making an approach; it turned out he owned a late-’60s Cadillac and was coming over to have a perv!

    Nick Kisch came down the day before Rally of the Giants and talked me out of fitting a ‘GB’ badge on the back (I did it when he went home). He also helped me with the tail-lights, where I have been struggling to get the indicator and stop bulbs working on the offside. This was only a partial success: the reproduction bulb holders are rubbish, but I have a feeling I have the original type in the spares hoard. This is too technical for me and will require the input of Gus Meyer, who has every intention of finishing the carburettor tune-up and fitting the radio aerial but has not quite got around to it yet – he is a man in demand. To be honest, apart from the tickover being too slow – and a long-winded cold-start procedure/ slow warm up – none of this affects the driving of the car, although, as former Riviera man Graham Millard pointed out when he drove the Toronado a few months ago, I should really get the wheels balanced to get the full effect of the car’s smoothness on the road.

    On the Sunday of the event we went five-up; Nick and me in the front, and Mia and her friends Neil and Georgie in the back. This slightly compromised the rear ground clearance, resulting in the occasional exhaust grounding. I sometimes think it looks as though it has settled a little on its rear springs slightly anyway.

    Exposure to previous American car events had prepared me for a day of Confederate flags and lots of rebel yell-type shenanigans, but ROTG was as civilised as a vicar’s tea party with lots of well-informed people and great cars. My favourite was a beautiful Continental II that looked almost ethereal in silver-grey, but I was disappointed to see that there were no Corvairs or Studebaker Avantis. Mine was the only Toronado, and I got the impression a lot of people had not seen one of them before.

    Wafting through the Cotswolds, the extra weight had very little effect on the performance and it’s a nice car to drive in the summer with all the windows lowered; it’s cool but without too much wind noise, so you can chat normally. It would be nice to reinstate the air-conditioning some time but I don’t especially feel the need for it as much as I do in some other cars, the NSU in particular.

    A phone sat-nav revealed that my speedo is wildly optimistic: 100mph is a true 75mph. This makes me think I’m running the wrong size tyres (smaller diameter?), but I almost don’t want to know because I will then feel compelled to invest money I don’t have. The tyres that are on the car have loads of life left in them. Sometimes even semi-ignorance is bliss – and cheaper.

    THANKS TO
    1 Nick Kisch
    2 Pre 50 American Auto Club
    3 Gus Meyer

    Toronado was unique at the Pre 50 American Auto Club Rally of the Giants, and the ideal car for Buckley’s maiden and decades-overdue trip. Toronado attracted attention, with working rear light and indicators – but no GB badge, yet.
    Ruby continues to enjoy the Toronado. Modern tech has shown the speedo’s wrong. Rally of the Giants attracted great variety Full load of passengers had its pitfalls.
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  •   Martin Buckley reacted to this post about 1 year ago

    CAR: OLDSMOBILE TORONADO

    RUN BY Martin Buckley
    OWNED SINCE November 2017
    PREVIOUS REPORT Sept 2018


    / #1967-Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile / #Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile-Toronado-MkI / #1967

    I’ve had the Toronado 14 months and it still feels different and exciting every time I drive it. The best way to motivate myself to get minor things sorted is the prospect of taking it to an event; it had an invitation to the London Classic Car Show in February, but the plan changed and it wasn’t needed – yet it put some momentum behind getting a few things sorted nevertheless.

    Some of the jobs required are visual irritations, such as the missing passenger-side door button and the cracked cover for the floor-mounted seatbelt reel, which will require me to put an order in to the American parts specialist.
    Meanwhile, I got trimmer Dave Barker to make me a new boot-floor carpet to replace the terrible bit of rubbish that was in there. Ian Sealey at UK Detailing repainted the original pressed-steel air cleaner in matt black (it should be blue, but I went for a bit of artistic licence) to replace the chrome one, which looked a bit too hot-rod.

    The Toronado has never been easy to start from cold, so I got my mechanic Gus Meyer to clear a few days in his schedule to sort the carb, and at the same time fix the leak from the transmission that leaves little pink puddles all over-my shed.

    Gus had to renew the sump gasket, which is usually a straightforward job – drain the fluid, remove the sump, clean the mating surfaces, replace the gasket and refit the sump. On this gearbox, however, Oldsmobile omitted to fit a drain plug, so removing the fluid became an ‘interesting’ operation.

    “I had to remove all the bolts except for the ones along the front of the sump,” said Gus, “then loosen them slowly to allow the sump to tilt towards the rear and let the fluid drain out – or, rather, cascade out, with 50% missing the receptacle underneath.” Messy. Still, the rest went according to plan, the new gasket is now fitted and it looks to be leak-free.

    Another interesting incident was finding the correct transmission fluid. I thought all auto gearbox oil was the same – pink, with a very specific and not unpleasant whiff – but apparently not. “The original spec was a Type A,” explained Gus, “which is now almost obsolete. According to the internet, the successors went along the lines of Type A to Type A suffix A, then onto Dexron and Dexron II.

    “Comma claims that its ATF AQM is a suitable replacement for the earlier Type A suffix A, so that is what I used.” It’s worth checking if you are running something old with an automatic in it.

    Replacing points and condenser was simple, using the tune-up kit pal Merrill Benfield brought over in the summer, as was setting the dwell angle and renewing the oil-pressure sensor, which was also leaking. Gus traced the cold-start issue to a non-functioning acceleration pump plunger seal. A new carb kit is on order, but he managed a temporary repair for now. The next job will be to set up the automatic choke and fast idle, once Gus has worked out the grainy pictures in the workshop manual.

    One thing I must remember to do is replace the fuel sender: the current one is vague, and I blessed the spare can of fuel that previous owner Marko left in the boot when I ran out last summer. I suspect the drum-type speedo tells similar fibs; coming back from the Bibury Classic Car Hub on a summer evening, I thought I was doing well in the Toronado until a pal in an Aston V8 went past as if I was at a standstill. We did all the local shows last year and got some nice comments.

    At the Tetbury Classic Car Show I had an interesting chat with a guy from the Ford Corsair Owners’ Club and told him about the one I used to play in as a kid on my auntie’s farm in Worcestershire circa 1971. I had to smile when he asked if I could find out if it’s still there!

    The Oldsmobile is the perfect art installation for The Shed, and never fails to generate interest or start a conversation. Martin’s mum Barbara tries Olds for size Dave Barker measures up for boot carpet. Ruby the dog enjoys the vast, comfy cabin. Buckley’s futuristic Toronado on show at Kemble airfield, with suitable jet-age backdrop.
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  •   Winston Goodfellow commented on this post about 2 years ago
    Car #1967-Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile / #Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile-Toronado-MkI / #1967

    Run by Martin Buckley
    Owned since November 2017
    Total mileage 90,219
    Miles since
    acquisition 250
    Latest costs £250

    AMERICAN IDOL LANDS IN WILTS

    The Toronado arrived safe and fairly sound in mid-November. I say fairly sound because it wouldn’t start, leaving me with a great lump of a car that I had to push into my shed having just parted with £350 to get it delivered. I understood why the invoice was so hefty when the recovery man turned up towing my new purchase with a Hummer.

    The next day, I got it fired up pretty readily thanks to the jumppack then prepared myself to be frustrated by all the little problems that I was too excited to notice when I saw the car in Finland a few weeks before. Perhaps uniquely in my car-buying history, the Oldsmobile is better than I remember it.

    I suppose the only thing I might question is that it looks to be sitting slightly low on its rear wheels. When funds allow, I will have to get the rear panel painted in body colour and the wheels done in the correct silver; and, yes, I suppose I could have the headlining sorted, although the rips don’t offend me. Previous owner Marko even threw in the correct headlining material – he had just picked it up on a trip to the States – along with a treasuretrove of other stuff, including a Holley carburettor to replace the original Carter. He had run the car with the Holley for a while, but felt that it ran better on the original.

    The jury is out on that because it doesn’t run that well on the Carter; the auto choke is not doing very much because it takes a lot of churning and pumping to get it fired up from cold and, once fully warm, it doesn’t want to idle and loses power. Mike Conner at Purley Road Garage is going through the fuel and electrics to find the culprit.

    The only other annoyance has been with the left-hand headlamp eyelid that decided it didn’t want to come up; this was easily sorted once we worked out that the mechanism had come adrift. It was also low on transmission fluid when it arrived (odd because Marko had changed the fluid), which was causing a delay in drive being taken up. Once topped up, all seems to be well.

    My first task was getting an MoT and it flew through. Once I had got all the paperwork together, and filled out the V55 form, the V5 followed about three weeks later.

    The only expenses up to now have been a new battery plus a set of period plates from Framptons. There was a slight concern with the latter because I like the silver-on-black type with the separate raised digits, but the hole for the rear plate (which doubles as the fuel-filler flap) is not large enough to allow for this style, so they had to make me a smaller one with motorcyclesized pressed digits for the rear.

    I suspect this is a historical problem with American motors in the UK. In Steve Miles’ book Over Here, The American Car in England in the 1960s, most of the vehicles have short index numbers.

    I’m looking forward to doing some decently long trips in the Toronado. It is like most other full-sized Yanks of its era, in that the steering is light and the brakes are marginal if you want to use the performance – the big drums get smelly and unhappy quite early on, although it always pulls up straight. It’s also unlike most of its contemporaries in that the ride is firm and there is not a lot of body lean.

    Once you get the hang of the steering, you learn to trust that this huge coupé will just track faithfully through your favourite curves, running slightly wide under power and tucking itself in gently when you lift off. It is deceptively fast, with incredibly good straight-line stability. Combine that with the fact that it is also quiet (apart from some wind whistle from the driver’s window seal) and you start to get the feel for a machine that must make a really relaxed mile-eater. The size doesn’t worry me and you can’t expect it to be anything other than indecently thirsty, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a supremely extravagant piece of mid-century personal transportation that delights children of all ages, dispels every politically correct thought you have ever had and gives ecologists heart failure at 100 yards; that kind of entertainment has to be paid for.

    THANKS TO

    Δ Framptons: www.framptons.net
    Δ Jason Holland: www.koskin-import.com

    Ride is firm, and Buckley fears that the Toronado is sitting slightly low on its rear suspension.

    Once the 7-litre #Oldsmobile-V8 is fettled, it’ll develop 385bhp – more than enough to spin the fronts. Dash is the epitome of 1960s Americana. Olds began its journey to the UK in Finland.
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  •   Winston Goodfellow reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Cool Old Tornado -my second dream)
      Reposted from Martin Buckley
    Car #1967-Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile / #Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile-Toronado-MkI / #1967

    Run by Martin Buckley
    Owned since November 2017
    Total mileage 90,219
    Miles since
    acquisition 250
    Latest costs £250

    AMERICAN IDOL LANDS IN...
    Car #1967-Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile / #Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Oldsmobile-Toronado-MkI / #1967

    Run by Martin Buckley
    Owned since November 2017
    Total mileage 90,219
    Miles since
    acquisition 250
    Latest costs £250

    AMERICAN IDOL LANDS IN WILTS

    The Toronado arrived safe and fairly sound in mid-November. I say fairly sound because it wouldn’t start, leaving me with a great lump of a car that I had to push into my shed having just parted with £350 to get it delivered. I understood why the invoice was so hefty when the recovery man turned up towing my new purchase with a Hummer.

    The next day, I got it fired up pretty readily thanks to the jumppack then prepared myself to be frustrated by all the little problems that I was too excited to notice when I saw the car in Finland a few weeks before. Perhaps uniquely in my car-buying history, the Oldsmobile is better than I remember it.

    I suppose the only thing I might question is that it looks to be sitting slightly low on its rear wheels. When funds allow, I will have to get the rear panel painted in body colour and the wheels done in the correct silver; and, yes, I suppose I could have the headlining sorted, although the rips don’t offend me. Previous owner Marko even threw in the correct headlining material – he had just picked it up on a trip to the States – along with a treasuretrove of other stuff, including a Holley carburettor to replace the original Carter. He had run the car with the Holley for a while, but felt that it ran better on the original.

    The jury is out on that because it doesn’t run that well on the Carter; the auto choke is not doing very much because it takes a lot of churning and pumping to get it fired up from cold and, once fully warm, it doesn’t want to idle and loses power. Mike Conner at Purley Road Garage is going through the fuel and electrics to find the culprit.

    The only other annoyance has been with the left-hand headlamp eyelid that decided it didn’t want to come up; this was easily sorted once we worked out that the mechanism had come adrift. It was also low on transmission fluid when it arrived (odd because Marko had changed the fluid), which was causing a delay in drive being taken up. Once topped up, all seems to be well.

    My first task was getting an MoT and it flew through. Once I had got all the paperwork together, and filled out the V55 form, the V5 followed about three weeks later.

    The only expenses up to now have been a new battery plus a set of period plates from Framptons. There was a slight concern with the latter because I like the silver-on-black type with the separate raised digits, but the hole for the rear plate (which doubles as the fuel-filler flap) is not large enough to allow for this style, so they had to make me a smaller one with motorcyclesized pressed digits for the rear.

    I suspect this is a historical problem with American motors in the UK. In Steve Miles’ book Over Here, The American Car in England in the 1960s, most of the vehicles have short index numbers.

    I’m looking forward to doing some decently long trips in the Toronado. It is like most other full-sized Yanks of its era, in that the steering is light and the brakes are marginal if you want to use the performance – the big drums get smelly and unhappy quite early on, although it always pulls up straight. It’s also unlike most of its contemporaries in that the ride is firm and there is not a lot of body lean.

    Once you get the hang of the steering, you learn to trust that this huge coupé will just track faithfully through your favourite curves, running slightly wide under power and tucking itself in gently when you lift off. It is deceptively fast, with incredibly good straight-line stability. Combine that with the fact that it is also quiet (apart from some wind whistle from the driver’s window seal) and you start to get the feel for a machine that must make a really relaxed mile-eater. The size doesn’t worry me and you can’t expect it to be anything other than indecently thirsty, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a supremely extravagant piece of mid-century personal transportation that delights children of all ages, dispels every politically correct thought you have ever had and gives ecologists heart failure at 100 yards; that kind of entertainment has to be paid for.

    THANKS TO

    Δ Framptons: www.framptons.net
    Δ Jason Holland: www.koskin-import.com

    Ride is firm, and Buckley fears that the Toronado is sitting slightly low on its rear suspension.

    Once the 7-litre #Oldsmobile-V8 is fettled, it’ll develop 385bhp – more than enough to spin the fronts. Dash is the epitome of 1960s Americana. Olds began its journey to the UK in Finland.
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    Oldsmobile Toronado First Gen

    The original Toronado began as a design painting by Oldsmobile stylist David North in 1962. His design, dubbed the "Flame Red Car", was for a compact sports/personal car never intended for production. A few weeks after the design was finished, however, Oldsmobile division was informed it would...
    The original Toronado began as a design painting by Oldsmobile stylist David North in 1962. His design, dubbed the "Flame Red Car", was for a compact sports/personal car never intended for production. A few weeks after the design was finished, however, Oldsmobile division was informed it would be permitted to build a personal car in the Riviera/Thunderbird class for the 1966 model year, and North's design was selected. For production economy, the still-unnamed car was to share the so-called E-body shell with the redesigned 1966 Buick Riviera, which was substantially bigger than North had envisioned. Despite the efforts of Oldsmobile and General Motors styling chief Bill Mitchell to put the car on the smaller A-body intermediate, they were overruled for cost reasons.
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