What could have been: 1970’s Oldsmobile Toronado

These are pictures of a proposal for the 2nd generation Toronado.

The original, produced from 1966 to 1970 was quite a stunning looking car.
The design pictured above looks actually insane.
More like a movie prop for a 1960’s Batman movie than a real car.

But it does show how far out of the box GM designers were allowed to go. At least early in the process.

This is the stunning original design for the 1st generation.

And the sad thing it became in 1971, for the 2nd generation redesign…

Conversation 15 comments

  1. Hideous proposal. The side view does, however, remind me of a production Monte Carlo.

    Thanks for "What Could Have Beens" – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  2. It's amazing that bankruptcy didn't occur sooner. Fotunately, they had a very large aesthetically impaired customer base. However, I must admit, the 66Toronado was pretty nice.

  3. That's not a '71 Toronado. You've pictured the '74 Toronado, which had gone through a series of unfortunate facelifts due to the bumper laws which came into effect in '73 (front) and '74 (rear). The actual 1971 Toronado, while diametrically opposed to the original '66 -70 versions, was actually quite a clean design. the main body was pretty much the same, but the front and rear fascia were much different and better detailed on the original '71:




    the rear actually featured one of the first uses of high-level brake/turn signals in a modern car (the '67 Tbird actually featured window-level taillights as a little seen option).

    The '71 GM full sized B and C bodies, as well as the E bodied personal coupes, were some of the cleanest designed cars of that period.

  4. The '66 Toronado is one of my favorite cars of all time. Truly WAY ahead of it's time. It's profile is similar to the '84 Lincoln Mark VII. (Shape of rear window and the overall lines …)

  5. Mr. Burlapp, Are you sure that wasn't a design proposal for a Buick Riviera? The coupe body style, the wheels, the four "ventiports" on the hood, and the "boattail" make me think of a Riviera – although there are other design cues that remind me of other cars – the Cadillac-like fenders, for instance. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. GM was always ( & still is ) way ahead of it's time. The prototype you show was phenominal; but too costly to mass-produce. In addition to being 20 years early with high-mount stop lamps; GM also was the first to make airbags available ( on 1970's Oldsmobiles, Buicks, & Cadillacs ). Folks who bought Mercedes, Volvo, Honda, BMS & Toyota back then were undoubtable killed in accidents that they would have survived if they'ld simply purchased a Cadillac; Buick Electra or Olds 98 of the time. What you don't know CAN hurt you! Makes you wonder how many folks who died in Camrys & ES350's in recent years would be alive today if they'ld just bouught GM!

  7. "Makes you wonder how many folks who died in Camrys & ES350's in recent years would be alive today if they'ld just bouught GM!"

    August 15, 2010 10:45 AM

    Maybe they would rather die in a Camry or an ES350 than own a GM.

  8. Ghastly
    The actual 66 is a fantastic looking car though, but imagine what would happen to a wayward pedestrian -ouch.

  9. "Maybe they would rather die in a Camry or an ES350 than own a GM."

    Are you certifiably nuts? Or just embarassed to admit that you were putty in the Toyota Salesmans hands!

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