Customized by Rick Dore
1968 Oldsmobile Toronado "Stilleto"
Chassis no. 394878M613215
When Oldsmobile debuted America's first post-war front wheel-drive production car in 1966, it was a curiosity to many after all, front wheel-drive was an engineering curiosity that was for odd 1930s cars or homely European jobs. But when it was wrapped up in GM show car styling, the public's curiosity was piqued - here was a personal luxury car that had everything Americans desired in a car: Gobs of horsepower, inspired styling, roadable handling, and presence. Skeptics thought the driveline layout couldn't work on such a large car nothing had been tried in this scale before but clever driveline packaging showed the Toronado to be an engineering tour de force.
Olds engineers had initially tried a few different variations with the compact F-85, but cost considerations kept it from being produced. Undeterred, they continued to work on a marketable vehicle to present to GM's bigwigs in 1964. Olds wanted a competitor to the Riviera, plus the unconventional engineering was in tune with Oldsmobile's reputation for innovation. Presented as XP-784, GM brass were impressed with the handling of a car of its size. When produced as the Toronado, Motor Trend magazine also was impressed, giving it its vaunted Car of the Year award.
1967 brought minor tweaks, but 1968 gave the Toronado its first major facelift. Most apparent was previous year's pop-up headlights were replaced by headlights hidden behind a grille wrapped by a loop bumper. Under the hood, a new 455 with an available W-34 performance package gave an impressive 400 horsepower.
It is with that very same spirit that Kar Kustomizer Rick Dore tackled this 1968 Toronado an unconventional choice of an unconventional car. He chopped the top three inches, fashioned a custom front grille, fenders, and rear end, shaved the doors, and reworked the rear bumper with LED taillights. With unadorned body and pearlescent orange paint, it harkens back to the 1960s show circuit but with a modern twist. Other modern touches adorn the interior, with full-length console and high-fidelity stereo system. Part of a prominent Texas collection, this Olds is for your wild side when a Bel Air won't do.
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