In the summer of 1968, I had a job as "gopher/lot boy" at an Oldsmobile-GMC dealership in Carson City, Nevada. There was a Jeep CJ for running parts and other errands, and occasionally to deliver and pick up customers whose cars were in the shop. But for the extra-special customers (generally elderly wives of millionaires who bought big Olds vehicles and had them faithfully serviced every couple of months), the boss didn't want me to put them in that old, smelly Jeep. So he would direct me to his '66 Toronado. Of course, I didn't get much chance to test it for performance, but I sure did get a taste for not only its luxury, but its outstanding roominess and the "special" way one felt when driving it. It was so much different than anything I'd ever driven. One time, I was assigned to take a customer all the way up to the Cal-Neva Resort on Lake Tahoe, and got a feel for how it handled on that curvy road. Although it wasn't the "car for me", I, as a hot-rodder and street racer, was suitably impressed! I really didn't even figure out why the model didn't last very long - those first ones were far and away great American road cars (considering the other behemoths that the Big Three were putting out).
Wish I could experience one of those original FWD luxo coupes back when they were new, but if they are even remotely similar to the 1980s E-body they were indeed amazing cars!
Amen, audiobycarmine, it was (and still is) beautiful. And by-the-way, I think Joe Gutts is one of the all-time great "guy" names. Not sure how my life might have turned out differently, but I kinda wish that I'd been given that name! 😉
My mom had a 66 toronado,wonderful car,fast and great in the snow,I had barrel speedometer around to 135 mph,was very loaded and was starting to get hard to get parts for.hated to see it go
Only problem I ever had with the lights, was when my well meaning friend installed a Craig eight track player in the car for me. The only lights that worked, were the headlights. All interior and rear lights didn't work, which I discovered on the highway, later that day.
I did not know that this was part of a plan to convert the entire fleet - interesting! It's just one more example of how the entire direction of either a division or an entire automotive company was altered by "the suits" not wanting to take a chance on something that was potentially ground-breaking. All of the major car manufacturers have had similar instances.