You’re looking at what is without question the nicest 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado on Earth. With just 10,042 original miles, this triple black luxury cruiser is at the leading edge of an emerging trend. As stunning as this car is, imagine the reaction when it hit the streets in the late 1960s! Finished in black with a black vinyl top, it’s a rare color combination from an era when bright metallic were all the rage. As a low-mile original, you know the car has never been apart, rusty, or damaged, so all the body gaps are just as the factory did it, and it fits together extremely well. The guys at Oldsmobile knew they were building something special, and it would become a halo model for the entire General Motors corporation, a symbol of their engineering prowess.
The big news for 1968 was indeed big—455 cubic inches big! Generating a very impressive 375 horsepower and a towering 510 pounds of torque, the wonderful V8 easily moves the Toronado in a way that says muscle car more than luxury coupe. It is also beautifully and expertly detailed, with proper Oldsmobile Turquoise paint on the block, a correct air cleaner and decal, and a lot of bright hardware that looks fresh off the factory assembly line. Thanks to its outstanding originality, this car is a veritable road map for restorers and will be a contender at the highest levels, and not just in survivor classes, but in any class.
At first glance, one would think that a big coupe with an American V8 up front driving the front wheels would be a recipe for understeer, but the truth is that the Toro is quite well balanced and even agile for a car of its size. GM engineers did a spectacular job of packaging, which puts the torque converter behind the engine in the usual place, but the special TH425 3-speed automatic lives next to the engine, not behind it. The whole assembly is driven by a chain that GM called “indestructible” and after years of real-world testing in the field, that has proven to be largely true. This one also features power drum brakes at all four corners, with the finned drums themselves used as design elements poking through the wheels. Those handsome wheels are unique to the front-wheel-drive full-size GM vehicles, and carry period-perfect narrow white stripe radials.
The black interior is brilliant, with avant-garde design and beautifully executed detailing that shows you that GM was pulling no punches in the 1960s. The unique drivetrain allows a completely flat passenger compartment floor, which means six can ride in true comfort. The wide bench seats offer an inviting combination of fabric and vinyl seating surfaces, with the front seat giving the illusion of buckets thanks to a wide center armrest. The gauges flank an extremely cool rotating speedometer, just behind a steering wheel clearly influenced by Olds’ rocket insignia. There’s also an AM/FM radio, a power antenna, and just enough chrome to offset all the black upholstery. The giant trunk carries a full sized spare and jack assembly tucked way up in the front, leaving plenty of room for a week’s worth of luggage.
Make no mistake, the first generation Toronados are appreciating quickly. Of course, the trick is always to find a low-mileage, solid example, and there just can’t be any nicer than this. Add in the highly desirable triple black color combination and its simply stunning presentation, and you have a Toro that will win fans wherever it goes. Compare this car to any of its muscle car cousins and you’ll see that it represents a screaming bargain at the same time. Big horsepower in a trim, 2-door coupe package has always been a winning recipe, and Oldsmobile fans have known it for years.