Rare Rides: A 1990 Oldsmobile Trofeo - Last of Personal Luxury

Today’s Rare Ride is one of those last-of moments for a historical nameplate. For nearly 40 years, Toronado was the luxurious coupe flagship of the Oldsmobile brand. But changing consumer tastes and a thinning of the herd at General Motors meant that, by 1990, the Toronado name was not long for the world.

Let’s talk about some personal luxury as we pour one out for the Troféo.

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Rare Rides: The 1983 Buick Riviera Twentieth Anniversary

Not long ago, Rare Rides presented Buick’s very special celebration of the company’s 75th anniversary via the 1978 Buick Riviera. Today we’ll fast forward five years and have a look at another anniversary Riviera.

It’s the Riviera “XX,” from 1983.

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Junkyard Find: 1988 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo

The General spent the 1980s experiencing a burning desire to sell high-profit-margin personal luxury coupes that combined the irresistible sales appeal of the 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with the technological sophistication of the latest high-end German machinery. This decade gave us such fascinating GM machines as the Cadillac Allanté, the Buick Reatta, the Pontiac 6000 STE, and the Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo. You won’t find many Troféos today, but I’m always on the lookout during my junkyard travels. Here’s a clean ’88 in a Denver-area self-serve yard.

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Junkyard Find: 1983 Oldsmobile Toronado Brougham Coupe

The Oldsmobile Toronado started out as a big sporty car, morphed into an Eldorado-styled full-on luxury boat, then spent its twilight years getting progressively smaller and less opulent. Every Toronado ever made had front-wheel-drive and two doors, and every one had at least some Eldorado DNA in its bloodstream.

Here’s a downsized-but-still-substantial third-generation Toronado I found at a self-service yard in Phoenix, while I was in Arizona to work at the Arizona D-Bags 24 Hours of LeMons.

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Piston Slap: New Tricks for an Old Car Phone? (Part II)

Tony writes:

I have a 1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo with a built-in cell phone (analog) that doesn’t work. Could you help me convert it? That would be amazing.

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Junkyard Find: 1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo

You like rare cars? How about a final-year-of-manufacture Olds Toronado Troféo? I’ll bet there aren’t more than a few hundred ’92 Troféos left in the world! Here’s one that I spotted last week at a snowy Denver self-service yard.

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Harry Belafonte's Kids Sing Olds Trofeo-ized Version of Dad's Big Hit, Civilization Collapses

After creating today’s Oldsmobile Toronado Troféo Junkyard Find, it becomes my duty to share one of the most brain-scrambling examples of the “What Could GM Have Been Thinking?” genre of car commercials. Yes, it’s a version of Harry Belafonte‘s “Banana Boat Song,” with “Tro-FE-oh” replacing the famous “DAY-oh,” and sung by Belafonte’s offspring.

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Junkyard Find: 1990 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo

The pre-1990 Troféo had a shorter trunk than today’s Junkyard Find, but the same Buick V6 engine and not-so-great 1980s GM build quality. The General hoped to steal away some buyers of German luxury cars with the Troféo, but (as with so many of GM’s plans of the era) sales were on the disappointing side.

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo

Now that we’ve admired the junked ’90 Olds Cutlass Calais International Series, let’s move a couple rows down in the very same California self-service yard and check out another Adventure In Doomed GM Marketing.

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Weird Diecast Toy Car Bribes Continue To Flood The LeMons Supreme Court

As Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court, I receive many gifts from racers wishing to establish a foundation of mutual respect and understanding during the period in which I inspect the cars for possible cheating. The traditional judicial bribe tends to be a jug of top-shelf booze, but my drinking hasn’t kept pace with the intake of bottles of Stranahan’s bourbon and Zaya rum, and so I’ve been encouraging teams to bring weird diecast toy cars to lubricate the gears of justice. After the last round of LeMons Supreme Court diecast toy car bribes, I thought it would be hard to top the Leyland P76 and Moskvich 402, but the racers at the ’11 Southern Discomfort and the ’11 Gator-O-Rama have done so with the current crop of diecasts.

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  • Bobbysirhan Direct injection cuts certain emissions that were already so small as to be completely meaningless, but it introduces particulate emissions that aren't a problem on port-injected engines. Stay tuned for a particulate emissions panic to be used as a justification for banning all of the ICE engines produced under recent EURO emissions standards tiers.
  • Kosmo I want to know why Mazda thinks anybody is interested in multiple teasers on a CUV!
  • Namesakeone Please ask the Mazda representative this: Will Mazda ever make cars (besides the 3 and the MX-5) again? I know SUVs and crossovers are all the rage and sell so well and are so profitable, but Mazda made its reputation on sports cars and sedans and coupes that were interesting to drive. Not everything has to be a vehicle that looks like what every other manufacturer is selling. Mazda has enough SUVs in its lineup. Give the enthusiasts something.
  • Ollie Read closer, I wrote $0.15 every 4 miles. I dare say a Dodge Challenger Hellcat will challenge a Model 3 in only one aspect that has any interest to me — raw acceleration. Although I have not ever been in one, I imagine a pretty miserable experience would await in comparison to my quite, smooth & comfortable M3. If I wanted that kind of raw power and the comforts mentioned, there is always the Tesla Plaid.
  • Jesse The math doesn't check out on their claims. The closest I could come to making their numbers work was by comparing a Hummer EV pickup that was unloaded that was charged in Hawaii at double the national average price of electricity to a Toyota Camry at the national average price of gasoline. Hardly an apples to apples comparison. I have ran the numbers here in washington state at my price of 8 cents a kwHr and I can drive a 2022 model s almost 500 miles for the price of driving a Toyota Camry with a 4 cylinder 100 miles.