|You know how now and then you
read the classified just for the heck of it even if you aren't looking
for anything specifically? That's how I found the Toronado. "A
66 Toronado for $1100!? That's too good to be true!" I really
didn't need a car at the time. I already had a 1965
Chevrolet Impala and a 1998 Nissan Maxima, but from my reading,
I knew that the '66 Toronado was not only a unusual looking and reasonably
"muscular" car, but that it was considered to be a classic
by most classic car texts.
So why is it a classic? It was the first big FWD American car since
the 30's Cords. Because Oldsmobile didn't want the public to get
a bad first impression of FWD, they put a lot of engineering efforts
into the Toronado. Having a decidedly unusual design by 60s standards
helped too! Supposedly, the transmission is almost indestructible!
Hopefully, that big old 425 cid engine will hold out as well.
I've had the 65 Impala for a few years. It was originally a 327
cid 4-door hardtop, but I believe that somewhere along the line,
the 327 was replaced by a 305 from an 82 Monte Carlo. It's basically
the same block, slightly de-bored(?) The heads (camel hump) seemed
to be original, but not much else was. The point is, there isn't
much collector value to that car, so I upgraded it without any regard
to keeping it original.
I want to go about the Toronado restoration much differently. All
of the numbers I've checked so far match. It needs a little bit
of body work and interior work (upholstery, headliner, electrical,
instrumentation) but the driveline is in great shape. The carb should
be rebuilt, but is passable for now.
I know that Sparky
can rebuild the carb, and Ken
can fix the vacuum canister headlights, but the interior upholstery
will be tricky. If anyone knows about obtaining original or NOS
upholstery for this car, let me know!