Oldsmobile Toronado 1966






scale 1:18

Model number: 92718BX


Review of the model:

At first glance this is just another model car of an Oldsmobile, but this could not be further from the truth in this matter. We shall be grateful to the Chinese manufacturer of YatMing Group to lay its interest in this iconic historic American car. The personally luxurious car that General Motor chose to launch on the big E-frame to compete with Ford Mustang small Pony is marvelous in style and size. Furthermore it was the first big car with front wheel drive since the 1930’. If one only sees a picture of the car out in the open, it could go for a smaller spots car, but this is a big car with one of the longest door for a coupe. In fact the door is so long, that there are two inside door handles – a nice feature for the backseat occupant.

The model comes in different color options just as the real car. The first batch years ago was either white or gold, but the later is Black or metallic Burgundy red (Burgundy Mist Poly). And I think it is hard to not want the last mentioned. The paint work is (as always) with models from Lucky Die cast/Yat-Ming, perfect – the clearness in lacquer and metal specs is truly phenomenal.
This gives the model a feeling of a more expensive level. And if you ad the mechanism that raise the concealed headlights you will be, as I, very pleased.

When I review a new model the second priority after the paint and prep work, is the quality of the chrome parts and also here, this maker do not let you down. Just look of the enormous bumpers and grill. The grill itself - needed some black paint between the chrome bars. But the trim work around the wheel wells and side windows are just silver paint as well as the backlights need some liquid chrome paint from my Molotov Liquid chrome pen.

All the glass of the model car is nicely made in good quality plastic with little distortion. The only thing I could wish for, real plastic backlights instead of the painted chrome backlights – a method often seen on models from this maker.

From the mid sixties and forward the big white walls tires was on a retreat and only thin white, blue, or red lines were on the tires of the day. At some odd moments YatMing had made my model without the white rings on the tires and that is a shame! I decided to make my own as I have been done before, but this time I could not use the method by cutting a sheet of decal paper. Therefore I used my rotary “Dremmel” tool with a toothpick to spin the wheel on the model while I painted the ring with a thin paintbrush – I was pleased with the result. Please see the picture below.


The wheels and tires is very well made with silver painted hubs, as the real car, with perforated hole to cool the drum brakes and centered by a fine chrome hubcaps with a small Oldsmobile logo

When we open the hood to reveal the big V8 Rocket motor I was frilled by the nice fit the parts between has. The motor itself is very good detailed for a model in this price range. If one wants to go a little further -The light green “horns” of the air filter can be hollow up by a drill. If we walk back on the rear of the car we see the deck lid to the trunk can not be opened. A bit shame but this is usual of many 1:18 scale model cars from YatMing.
At close inspecting of the model smaller details, we can explore nicely and well made emblems and script both on front and rear of the car as well as on front fenders.

A fully review will not be accomplished before the interior is inspected so lets open the doors to the cabin. Speaking of open the doors, as said before, those doors is huge and the hinges on this model is remarkable true to the real car. Often the budget models have dog-leg hinges. Even on this model the doors is heavy and if the owner will use then often there are danger of severe wear and tear resulting in bad fit when closed. And even worse hanging downwards like sad rabbit ears. When I close the doors I use my thumb finger to press forward and close – this procedure will prevent hanging doors when closed in the first fifty times!

Inside the car the spacious cabin, all is black vinyl and because this is a front wheel-drive, there is no hump in the floor. The interior is classy and sporty with lots of chrome trim. Model cars in this price range come without real carpet, but I use black Velcro (soft side) as carpet – no need to glue here as the Velcro has very strong glue included. As seatbelts was mandatory from 1966 and forward small buckles was painted with liquid chrome.

Let me sum it up.
There is more pro than con in this well build model car from YatMing. Because the paint, chrome, windows, headlights mechanism is so fine made, we see here a model that is a good base point to start only small work of custom paint and parts. I had hoped for the door hinges were a bit better. And it had been nice if the deck lid could have been open too. Anyways this 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado is a good value for the money and look absolutely marvelous out in the sun or on any self. Therefore I will recommend this front wheel milestone in American Motor history to any collector out there.

I will give this model 3 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!




  Hoax Brochure front page  
  What a color! Burgundy Mist Poly  
  Look how well the die-cast parts fit  
Nice tri-side lights on front fender
Very modern lines back in 1966
GM big fastback to compete with the small Ford Mustang
The exhaust pipes were hollow up by a drill
Liquid Chrome were added on the backlights
Small White wall rings on tires were painted
The front grill was painted with back paint between the chrome bars
A very nice feature with moving headlights
Sporty style that last
Chrome parts is fantastic on models from YatMing/Lucky Die-Cast
Note the small emblem print on front fenders, hood and hub caps
The door of an 1966 Olds. Toronado is huge!
Cool car
A view from above
Long front with good styling
Out in the open
Nice color for this car
Note the reflections that highlight the flowing lines
Fit easily six persons
Note the small emblem in the center of the steering wheel
Are you ready for a test ride
Well detailed engine bay
  Note the emblem on the air filter  




1966-1970 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Oldsmobile Toronado personal-luxury coupe marked the return of front-wheel drive in Detroit for the first time since the Thirties and provided a long-range forecast of the design revolution that would sweep the U.S. industry in the Eighties. Here's the story of the engineering tour de force that now ranks as one of the most collectible automobiles of the Sixties.

Quickly now: name the automotive blockbuster of model year 1966. Answer: the Toronado. It not only made headlines in all the major enthusiast magazines and most of the national news weeklies, but also stopped crowds at auto shows and dealer showrooms from coast to coast. And what stopped the crowds mainly was one feature: a virtually flat passenger compartment floor. You see, the Toronado was the first American car with front-wheel drive since the Cord 810/812 of three decades earlier. Not only that, it was the largest such car ever attempted: a big personal-luxury coupe riding a full-size 119-inch wheelbase and tipping the scales at better than two tons. Skeptics said front drive would never work on such a heroic scale, but Oldsmobile proved them wrong -- and did it beautifully.

Today, the first-generation Toronado is recognized not just as an engineering tour de force but as the stage-setter for GM's near-wholesale commitment to front drive in the Eighties. Add in luxury, fine craftsmanship, exceptional road ability, and distinctive styling, and you have a modern milestone that stands as one of the most collectible automobiles in U.S. postwar history.

The idea of driving a car by its front wheels instead of the rear ones was nothing new even in the Sixties. Though it's difficult to say who tried it first, the basic engineering principles were largely established by the early Thirties and the concept generally regarded as workable, though far from practical. Aside from Harry Miller's successful Indianapolis racers, one of the first American cars to employ front drive was the first to bear the name of Errett Loban Cord, the classically styled, low-production L-29 of 1929-1931. And Audi likes to remind us nowadays that it pioneered the concept in Europe as early as 1931 with its first car, the aptly named "Front" model designed by August Horsch.

The Oldsmobile Toronado's Front-Wheel Drive

The Oldsmobile Toronado certainly wasn't the first front-wheel drive car -- the basic engineering principles were largely established by the early Thirties. But the Depression was simply the wrong time for an automaker to introduce anything radical or untried, particularly if it made a car more expensive. So while many manufacturers experimented with front drive, few took the production plunge. For most of those that did, the results were disastrous.

Though front drive's greater compactness and superior wet-weather traction were widely appreciated even in those days, its main attraction was the much lower ride height it conferred, a styling advantage with obvious sales implications. Unfortunately, front drive was -- and still is -- more costly to design and produce than conventional rear drive, and most of the early systems were not at all reliable. In the face of an ailing national economy and a faltering market, the decision by Ruxton and Gardner to adopt front drive only hastened their demise, and mechanical problems ultimately caught up with the Cord. The only front-drive car of the prewar era to achieve genuine sales success was Citroën's significant traction avant sedan series, introduced in 1934 and the mainstay of the French automaker's lineup through the early Fifties.

But front drive was far from dead in Detroit. Partly in response to the Depression, the Big Three companies had been looking into the possibility of offering much smaller models alongside their standard offerings, just in case the market should want them. A variety of experimental projects were initiated towards this end beginning in the mid-Thirties, and were well advanced as World War II approached. Because of the more difficult packaging problems involved with a smaller car, these programs did not necessarily rule out radical engineering solutions, and front-wheel drive was one of those investigated, along with rear engine/rear drive, radial engines, air cooling, unit construction, and other way-out ideas.

Some of this work was carried on into the war years, as time permitted, with an eye to postwar planning. Both GM and Ford had concluded there would be a strong upsurge in small-car demand once peace returned, and both had new compact designs all but locked up when the industry resumed civilian production in late 1945. But the demand simply wasn't there -- and wouldn't be for another dozen years or so. And because accountants at both firms had calculated that a small car couldn't be built or sold for that much less than a standard-size model, there was no incentive to build compacts -- or resort to costly complexities like front drive.

It may have languished on Detroit's back burner in the Fifties, but front drive wasn't completely ignored. General Motors engineers gave some serious thought to it in 1954 for the LaSalle II, a long-hood/short-tail roadster then being developed for the 1955 Motorama season. However, the problems of making front drive compatible with the 429-cubic-inch V-8 planned for this one-off proved insurmountable in the short time available, and the show car appeared with an ordinary front-engine/rear-drive format.

The Oldsmobile Toronado Design

Long before work on the Oldsmobile Toronado began, a talented young engineer named John Beltz was on a fast track toward the division's top engineering post and, quite possibly, the general manager's job. Beltz was fascinated with the possibilities suggested by a front drive mechanical package and quickly rallied a group of colleagues to pursue them. It was a classic example of being in the right place at the right time. As GM's most innovative division, Oldsmobile was certainly the best place in the company to work on a new drivetrain that might be as significant as the division's breakthrough Hydra-Matic Drive of 1940 or (with Cadillac) the industry's first high-compression overhead-valve V-8 in 1949.

And the timing couldn't have been better. By happy happenstance, GM was about to embark on a design program to produce a new compact car, slated for 1960 introduction. The result was the novel rear-engine Chevrolet Corvair, GM's response to the growing popularity of imports like the VW Beetle in the Fifties. Fisher Body Division had developed a new unitized body/chassis structure for the Corvair, designated the Y-body, with a 108-inch wheelbase. Buick, Olds, and Pontiac took one look and wanted in, only they wanted more passenger room and a more conventional drivetrain. Accordingly, Fisher stretched the Y-body to a 112-inch wheelbase for three slightly larger compacts that would bow for 1961. What better place for Beltz's new front-wheel drive?

Oldsmobile looked at a variety of front-drive arrangements for what would become the F-85, the Buick Special, and Pontiac Tempest. Gears, belts, and chains were considered for transferring the drive, and a purpose-designed V-6 engine and four-speed manual gearbox were built and tested. The effort progressed as far as a running prototype outfitted with an aluminum-block V-6, mounted transversely in the now-popular manner, and connected via chain to an automatic transmission. But cost again reared its ugly head. The production F-85 arrived with bog-ordinary Hotchkiss drive and a front-mounted V-8 courtesy of Buick, though it did have an aluminum block. The Tempest, of course, was the only one of this trio with any engineering distinction: John Z. DeLorean's unusual rear transaxle arrangement, which usually produced some pretty unusual cornering behavior.

Beltz was undeterred. Over the next couple of years, division engineers and GM Engineering Staff continued working on a variety of fronts to perfect a marketable front-drive system. Their efforts culminated in a February 1964 presentation made by Beltz and his allies to top corporate brass gathered at GM's Mesa, Arizona proving grounds. Bearing the XP-784 project designation, it was not a compact, but a two-door hardtop coupe almost as large as a big Ninety-Eight.

Oldsmobile badly wanted this car to counter the highly acclaimed Riviera from intramural rival Buick and as a challenger to Ford's well-established four-seat Thunderbird. To be sure, it didn't really need front drive -- certainly not to open up more space in an already roomy passenger compartment. But it was a feature perfectly in keeping with Oldsmobile's "innovator" tradition -- and it impressed the execs with handling and roadholding that were uncanny for such a car. The response was enthusiastic: the front-drive Olds was approved for 1966.

The Oldsmobile Toronado Styling

Styling development for the Oldsmobile Toronado, code-named XP-784, had been started about a year before formal program approval, and was completed in remarkably short order under the direction of design vice-president William L. Mitchell. Even early clay models -- some of which wore "Sidewinder" and "Starfire" script -- displayed the major elements that would make the production Toronado so distinctive.

The dominant theme was a long front with an uncommon amount of overhang and thrusting fenderlines, both suggestive of front-wheel drive and undoubtedly chosen for that reason. The basic fastback shape was enhanced by muscularly flared wheel arches and a beltline that terminated ahead of the C-pillar, curving upward and forward to leave an unbroken line from the rear roof area to the lower body. Designers initially favored a sloped tail, but moved quickly to a cropped Kamm-style treatment that further emphasized the front end. Hidden headlamps were coming into vogue, and there was no question the new Olds would have them.

In all, it was a brilliant styling package appropriate for the revolutionary new chassis, which Mitchell said "opened entirely new possibilities for vehicle architecture and provided the opportunity for styling designers and engineers to come up with a completely fresh approach."

Oldsmobile lacked sufficient body assembly space at its home plant in Lansing, Michigan, where the new car would be built, so it was decided to truck in bodies from the Fisher plant in Cleveland, hundreds of miles away. Meanwhile, production engineers began laying out a special single-model assembly line within the vast Lansing complex, intended to move at a slower-than-usual rate. This plus a veteran work force would assure exemplary workmanship from the start. By early 1965, some 38 pilot cars had been built and were ready for final shakedown.

The Toronado was one of the most exhaustively tested new cars in GM history -- no surprise considering its unusual mechanical makeup and the company's well-known aversion to making mistakes. Both the Milford, Michigan and Arizona proving grounds were pressed into round-the-clock service, cobbled-up prototypes disguised as Ninety-Eights were evaluated on public roads, and no less a "test driver" than Bobby Unser took a pre-production aluminum-body car up Pike's Peak, just for good measure. One of the more interesting development "mules" was also surprisingly well-finished. It was, predictably enough, a modified Riviera with enlarged rear-wheel openings and an extended snout to accommodate the front-drive powertrain. Otherwise, it looked much like any normal Riv.

The Oldsmobile Toronado Chassis

Clever is the word for the Oldsmobile Toronado chassis. Power was supplied by the most potent Rocket V-8 yet, a new 385-horsepower version of a 425-cubic-inch engine introduced for 1965 on the division's full-size models. Equipped with dual exhausts, it was mounted conventionally (i.e., fore/aft) on a stub frame partially welded to the main perimeter chassis. The Toronado engine differed in having a reworked carburetor and intake manifold, necessary to clear the low-profile hood, as well as a reshaped exhaust manifold to make room for the front suspension.

The suspension at both ends was out of the ordinary. At the front were longitudinal torsion bars and a heavy-duty anti-roll bar. A simple beam axle on single leaf springs was used at the rear, along with quad shock absorbers -- one pair mounted vertically, one horizontally -- to keep the back tires firmly planted on the road. Large drum brakes with standard power assist were used all-round, with cooling assisted by large slotted wheels evocative of those on the classic Cord 810/812. Steering was the customary power-assisted recirculating ball, geared at a relatively quick 17.8:1 ratio.

Said Motor Trend magazine: ''The Toronado's a truly outstanding car, and this first model is highly perfected. We think it's destined to become a classic in its own time." Considering the new mechanical layout, the 1966 met with a very warm reception.

Of course, the Toronado's most unusual aspect was that driveline. The standard and only available transmission was a special split version of the famed Hydra-Matic, with the torque converter directly behind the engine and the gearbox mounted remotely under the left-side cylinder bank. Connecting them was a two-inch multiple-link chain, and differential torque was split evenly between the half shafts. This arrangement produced surprisingly balanced weight distribution for a big front-driver -- 54/46 percent front/rear -- and contributed greatly to the car's over-the-road prowess.

The 1966, 1967 Oldsmobile Toronado

The Oldsmobile Toronado debuted on October 14, 1965 in two versions, standard and deluxe, with prices starting at $4585. Besides the items already mentioned, base equipment included front and rear seatbelts, full carpeting, electric clock, two-speed windshield wipers with washers, backup lamps, a courtesy light package, and six-passenger seating via a full-width front bench. To this, the deluxe model added a bucket-style "Strato" front seat with pull-down center armrest, chrome interior moldings for windshield and windows, and wheel trim rings.

Considering its new mechanical concept, the Toronado met with a very warm reception. Model year production totalled close to 41,000 units, with buyers favoring the deluxe model by about 6 to 1. This figure was way behind that year's Thunderbird tally of slightly more than 69,000 cars, but it wasn't bad compared to the Riviera, which was completely re-styled for 1966 on the Toronado body-shell and scored 45,348 sales.

The new Oldsmobile was also well received by the motoring press. It won Car Life magazine "engineering excellence" accolades, was voted best luxury and personal car by Car and Driver, and walked away with the 50-pound chunk of marble attached to Motor Trend magazine's "Car of the Year" trophy. MT took its Toronado on a grueling 2,700-mile coast-to-coast road test run, using but three quarts of oil and averaging 13 miles per gallon of premium gas.

The performance numbers speak for themselves: 9.5 seconds in the 0-60 mph dash and 17 seconds in the standing-start quarter-mile at a trap speed of 82 mph. In one of their more accurate new-model assessments, MT's editors declared: "The Toronado's a truly outstanding car, and this first model is highly perfected. We think it's destined to become a classic in its own time."


Air conditioning $390
Power windows $69
AM Radio $64
AM / FM radio $147
Cruise control $49
Deck lid remote release $12

Technical specification:

Engine: 1966 - 425 cu in (7 L) OHV V8.

Power:  385 hp (287 kW) @ 4800 rpm

Torque: 1966 – 475 lb/ft (644 Nm) @ 3200 rpm

Transmission: 3-speed automatic, Turbo-Hydramatic 425 (THM-425)

Final drive ratio: 3.21:1

Wheelbase: 119 in (3,000 mm)
Overall length:  211 in (5,400 mm)
Overall height: 52.8 in (1,340 mm)
Overall width: 78.5 in (1,990 mm)
Track, front/rear: 63.5 in (1,610 mm) / 63 in (1,600 mm)
Weight, shipping/curb: 4,311 lb (1,955 kg)/ 4,496 lb (2,039 kg)
Weight distribution, front/rear (%): 60.3/39.7


Old brochures of the car










































Video of the real car from YouTube

  1966 Oldsmobile Toronado - Jay Leno's Garage  
  1966 Oldsmobile Toronado Review  
  1966 Oldsmobile Advertising Record "The Sounds of Toronado"  
  1966 Oldsmobile Toronado TV Ad  


If you have any question or comment your are free to contact me at: aeronautic@stofanet.dk



Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.






Aeronautic June 2019


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