If you felt that the RM Sotheby’s W126 Mercedes-Benz wagon was a smidge too high brow for the pages of Daily Turismo, you could be correct. But you can’t stop us from dreaming, and when we come down from our imaginary Jay Leno garage, we’ll find something like this next feature sitting in our actual (real life) garage. Who says you need money to have sweet stuff? Find this 1980 Oldsmobile Toronado XSC Grandeur offered for $6,250 in Los Angeles, CA via eBay.
The Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser needs no introduction around these parts, but I’ll give you the short version because I’m in a sharing mood. Oldsmobile was a brand founded by Ransom E Olds in 1897 and was folded into the general morters corporate machine in 1908. For the next 100 years, GM squeezed every last drop of blood from that turnip and shockingly managed to sell over a million Oldsmobiles in 1986. One of them was this full sized beasty called the Custom Cruiser. You can find them for about $4k around the interweb (in fact there is an ’89 example on eBay with Maroon paint and wood trim) but this next example seems especially nice for the asking price. Find this 1986 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser offered for $4400 in Medford, OR via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera was mid-sized offering from GM’s premium brand Oldsmobile that sat between the compact Cutlass Calais and full-sized Eighty-Eight & Ninety-Eight. The Ciera shared the H-body platform with the Buick Century, Chevrolet Celebrity, and Pontiac 6000. It is yet another terrible 80s product from the General but this next example has only 38k miles on the odometer and is a “rare” XC special edition…so I’m gonna give it two thumbs up. Find this 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera XC offered for $7950 in Dunmore, PA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
Do you remember the Oldsmobile Special Vehicle program from the 1990s…no don’t worry, your memory isn’t going bad, you probably don’t remember it because it was a memorable as your Great Aunt Barb’s green bean casserole at Thanksgiving dinner…but think of the Silhouette OSV as if that green bean casserole had been spiked with a heavy dose of Carolina Reaper chili peppers. Because that is what Oldsmobile did at the 1999 SEMA show, they produced a few concept Olds speed machines, an Intrigue, an Alero, and a Silhouette. Somehow Oldsmobile managed to build at least 3 concept Silhouettes before the bean counters at GM’s corporate HQ shut them down and redirected them back to producing more hospital cafeteria menu cars. Regardless, you can buy one for next to nothing. Find this 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV offered for $8,588 CAD ($6,717 USD) in Kelowna, BC, Canada via autotrader.ca. Shout out to Hagerty for finding this oddball.
The Oldsmobile brand was put to pasture after the 2004 model year, but the writing was on the wall when the personal luxury coupe Toronado was canceled in 1992. It wasn’t a huge surprise because the Toronado had been downsized from a V8 body-on-frame beast to a V6 unibody thing in 1986…but the Troféo version of the Toronado was unusually cool — it had funky hidden headlights, a sporty FE3 suspension, faux dual-exhaust, and a badass shifter that looks like a massive high voltage mechanical breaker switch that you’d use to light up a Christmas tree in Times Square or electrocute a condemned criminal…if you were into that kinda thing. Find this 1988 Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo bidding for $2400 in Sherwood, OR via eBay.
At first glance this car appears to have the silhouette of something that’ll is just as boring as any bland Camry/Accord/Malibu/Taurus from the early 2000s…but it isn’t. It is way more interesting because first up it is an Oldsmobile. Wait, Oldsmobile was still in business in 2001…yes, Olds didn’t close the old factory doors until 2004. Anyway, the 2nd generation Aurora has one of the most unique V6s ever put into a GM vehicle and only used in the Oldsmobile Intrigue and Aurora. The LX5 was technically a shortened version of the Cadillac Northstar V8 and has been given the nickname ShortStar or Short North and was listed in Ward’s 10 Best Engines for most of all four years of production (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002). It is one of those cars that won’t get noticed by 99.9% of the population, but you can watch their eyes glaze over as you explain by the LX5 was the best V6 GM ever built and why your car isn’t just another boring box. Find this 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora 3.5 offered for $3,900 in Hayward, CA via craigslist.
As the fuel and emissions crisis hit automakers in the early 1970s they had a few options to maintain performance on their vehicles. One was to downsize the vehicle like Ford did with the Mustang II, another option was to add technology like fuel injection or turbochargers like Porsche with the 911 Turbo…or you could go down the Oldsmobile route and pray the suspension and tires were crappy enough to make the car feel fast and add some gaudy stickers to make the car look fast. Add the swiveling captain’s ejector seat and you are gonna have a smash success…except that Olds didn’t sell 10k of these cars in 1976…so…yeah. Anyway, 45 years later, this thing looks wicked. Find this 1976 Oldsmobile 442 offered for $12,500 in Denison, TX via craigslist.
The first car to wear the Oldsmobile 88 badge was a car introduced wayyyy back in 1949. It was a Olds Rocket 88 that was the car to beat in NASCAR back in the day…but by 1988 the 88 was on its ninth generation and lived on the front-drive H-body shared with the Buick LaSabre and Pontiac Bonneville. Something had to be done to save the 88 because the optional voice alert system wasn’t doing it…but the marketing geniuses at Oldsmobile at the perfect solution — change the name to the Eighty Eight. Sigh. At least today’s example is equipped with the sporty FE3 performance package. Find this 1989 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight offered for $3,200 in Lansdale, PA via craigslist.
I burnt through a few brain cells trying to figure out what to call this next car. I know it was the product of a collaboration between Hurst Performance (company that invented the Jaws of Life) and Oldsmobile…but everybody on the internet just calls it the Hurst/Olds, which is not a proper name because this is technically the Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Coupe (not Cutlass Ciera, that was a front drive pile o junk) with the Hurst/Olds option…so why the Olds name twice in the name? I don’t know and stop interupting me, I was just getting to the part why you should be interested in this car. The Lightning Rod shifters? Yes. We’ve all come to the conclusion that manual gearboxes are superior to autos, but sometimes an auto comes along that is to bizarrely complex that it becomes interesting. Keep reading. Find this 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Hurst/Olds offered for $10,500 in Kunkletown, PA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
I hate to be the guy who is always criticizing random folks on the internet and their ability to create good car advertisements…but I’m afraid today I have to be. First, the reason I’m featuring this car is because Mr Mark commented that we’ve featured two Nova clones, first the Buick Apollo and then a Pontiac Ventura…so the logical thing to do is to post an Olds Omega…but they are hard to find and this next one has one of the saddest listings I’ve seen on eBay in a while. At least the price isn’t bonkers, but it is difficult to understand the condition of the Omega, so maybe the price IS bonkers. Find this 1976 Oldsmobile Omega SX offered for $5,750 buy-it-now in Gettysburg, PA via eBay.