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What car was Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 1966 and went on to achieve many accolades from journalists, engineers, and Oldsmobile aficionados? The Oldsmobile Toronado, of course! It was, quite simply, a stand out car of its era.
Introduced in 1966, the front-wheel drive Toronado was unique among domestic automobiles. This distinction lasted only one year as the Cadillac Eldorado shared the Toronado platform beginning in 1967. The first generation of Toronado continued through the 1970 model year. Three subsequent generations followed, 1971 to 1978, 1979 to 1985, and 1986 throught the last year of production, 1992. Overall, the Toronado was produced for 27 model years.
Over the years, the Toronado has stood the test of time, looking as fresh and as modern today as it did when it was launched in October 1965. The Toronado embodies styling flourishes and design cues that took years to perfect, and, even today, there are new cars that borrow these elements. Wouldn't it be nice if GM would re-introduce the Toronado now?
The Aurora was introduced in January 1994 as a 1995 model and is treated more or less as a successor to the Toronado as an Oldsmobile personal luxury car through its recognition by the Toronado/Aurora chapter. There are two generations of Aurora, 1995 to 1999 and 2001 to 2003. There was no 2000 Aurora, and the second generation was introduced in February 2000 as a 2001 model.
The timing in those last years is interesting. Oldsmobile began production of the 2001 Aurora in November 2000. A month later, on December 12, 2000, came that historic and fateful announcement by GM that the Oldsmobile brand would be phased out by 2004. So even before it hit showrooms in February 2001, it was known that the second generation Aurora was destined for a short life. The last Aurora was built on March 13, 2003. Get one while you can.