Oldsmobile Toronado XS
Most people probably know about the fantastic 1966 to 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado. It was a big, powerful personal luxury coupe with a twist since it was front wheel drive. In those days, only a few imports were front wheel drive, while all domestic cars, regardless of the class or engine, were rear wheel drive. However, Oldsmobile wanted to introduce something else and constructed an ingenious FWD system.
The designers drew a fantastic looking shape with a low roof and hidden headlights. The power came from a big block 455 V8 with 385 HP. The Toronado was a success because it introduced superb driving characteristics that left competitors in the dust. In those days, Oldsmobile was on the cutting edge of GM design, and the Toronado was their best example.
The first two generations featured dramatic styling and great driving dynamics, but in later installments, the Toronado lost its edge. It just became a copy of the Cadillac Eldorado. However, for 1977, Oldsmobile decided to freshen up the Toronado, introducing something completely different to the conservative styling of the car.
The result was the limited edition Toronado XS that featured a completely different roof than the regular model. It also had a wrapped-around rear glass and a sunroof option. The design looked strange, so Oldsmobile customers weren’t all that interested, despite its superb visibility. The XS option was $2,500 more on top of the standard price of the vehicle. This made the Toronado more expensive than the Cadillac.
Also, the sunroof option proved problematic since it had problems with water drainage and caused rust. At the end, Oldsmobile discontinued the XS version after only 5,166 cars, which are now rare, obscure pieces of Oldsmobile history.