In 1966 the Oldsmobile Toronado was the first full size American since Cord went out of business thirty years earlier. Space age muscle with a twist.
For true classic car enthousiasts the name Oldsmobile has a very pleasant sound. Founded by Mr. Olds at the end of the 19th century the second part of the name clearly reveals what he wanted to sell to the Americans. For us car enthousiasts the combination of the words ‘old’ and ‘mobile’ sounds very pleasing, but there is no relation to the brand name. Completely of the record, of course.
Another pleasing sound is produced by the mighty V8 up front of the Toronado. A powerful engine in a futuristic though at the same time very sexy body. A V8 engine that silently mutters when René Hagedoorn is cruisin’ his American muscle and nicely roars whenever he puts the pedal to the metal. A car that with a very modern design and a, in our European eyes quite traditional American market, real novelty. No prop shaft connecting the gear box to the rear axle, but for the first time a full size American muscle car with front wheel drive. No brilliant movie career full of crazy chases for the Toronado. No way the rear of this monster wants to break out.
Are the fifties and sixties mostly known as the golden years of space age design, the Toronado has his fair share of futuristic characteristics. They fill René with proud memories of his childhood. Those memories of the past and the matching feeling of freedom make that his Toronado is a lot more than just a means of transport. It is a statement and for him, as a genuine USA-lover, a beautiful possession to enjoy.
Oldsmobile’s rich heritage was abruptly ended in 2004 by the widespread slump in the car industry. Slow sales became the demise of the brand after 107 years. General Motors’ decision pull the plug on Oldsmobile became the definite end for the make. René’s Toronado is a part of this rich heritage. A heritage he’s keen to be a part of. No wonder he always drives it with a broad smile, he’s cruisin’ his dream.
According to René the first generation Toronado is a milestone in the American car history. The shape, the beefy V8 and the quirky front wheel drive complete the picture. It’s that very lack of a prop shaft that makes for a very roomy interior. The gracefully designed buttons and interior details give René the feeling he travels straight back into the sixties. Cruisin’ with the windows rolled down, the styling of the missing b-pillar sticks out even more. Ideal to get the wind in your hair inside your very own Toronado. Just fill up the tank and let that V8 roar. Can it get any better?