Accessible Design Icon – 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado

Even though they haven’t always had the lifelong recognition some instant classics like the Jaguar E-type have, partly due to going in and out of fashion, there are quite a few design icons in the post-war repertoire of American manufacturers. While many of the cars Americans love and remember from their childhoods are, with hindsight, oversize, cluttered, and overwrought. That said, there was a golden period for design minimalism in the mid-1960s, and one of the cars to benefit from this fashion is the Oldsmobile Toronado. You can find today’s 1968 Oldsmobile Toronado for $3995 in Malvern, OH.

1968 Oldsmobile Toronado right front

One thing American manufacturers excelled at was color names – this one is finished in Midnight Teal, according to the original sticker which comes with the car. The seller does not give any detail about the condition of the bodywork. While the paint looks great for a 44-year-old car, and the seller provides a few detail shots, there is some rust evident in the rear bumper. Expect to see rust elsewhere on the car too, and be pleasantly surprised if you don’t.

1968 Oldsmobile Toronado left rear

Good photography makes all the difference in the impression you get of a car. Fortunately, Oldsmobile did not succumb to the desire to add more chrome trim to the car in later years, and this one even avoids the popular vinyl roof option, so you can see that distinctive roof line flowing down into the tail of the car.

1968 Oldsmobile Toronado engine

The seller says the car runs and drives well. It has a 455 engine that looks clean enough for a working, driving car. It does look to have had a quick and dirty spray paint tidy-up job, which is unfortunate, but you won’t see that when you’re driving it or admiring the distinctive exterior. Much has been written elsewhere about the revolutionary drivetrain and design in this car, so there’s no need to repeat it here.

1968 Oldsmobile Toronado interior

It’s not clear what the upholstery pattern on the seats implies – it appears you can accommodate 8 skinny supermodels or 4 more full-bodied people! Overall, the interior is in good condition and has some cool details, including the drum speedometer and driver-focused control panel. The flat floor is still unusual, even in a front-drive car.

Lastly, if you can’t compromise on design purity and absolutely must have a first-year car, we have a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado with some cosmetic and mechanical condition issues, but a solid body. And you get to have those cool pop-up lights!


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