The original Toronado's styling was inspired by the Cord 810/812 produced by the Cord Automobile division of the Auburn Automobile Company in 1936 and 1937. From its hidden headlights and horizontal grille slats emulating the Cord’s famous “coffin nose” to the slotted, reverse-dish wheels and general front wheel drive silhouette, hints of Gordon M. Buehrig's masterpiece abounded. Even the hugely popular maroon of the Oldsmobile recalled the Cord's palette. But in typical Detroit fashion – with its penchant for quickly squandering a cohesive concept – GM wasted no time cutting the cord (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Oldsmobile Toronado, 1966 through 1970
First to go was the aforementioned slotted grille, replaced in 1967 with an egg crate pattern of no historical significance. By 1969, the year before the car’s first major facelift, all Cord references had disappeared, with the distinctive wheels masked by generic Oldsmobile hubcaps and the original, inspired nose replaced with a huge chrome blob. For the 1970 model year the Toro’s basic shell was heavily revised with squared-off wheel openings and exposed headlights. It was groovy enough in a George Jetson sort of way but had completely lost its link to the past in five short years.