The Toronado Caliente

The “upgrade” from Lil Brudder. Here it is. A 1985 Oldsmobile Toronado Caliente.

It was the top of the line Oldsmobile in late 1984-1985. In the class of “Personal Luxury” cars including the Buick Riviera, Ford Thunderbird, and Cadillac Eldorado. Infact when I first drove it to work, everyone thought it was a Cadillac.

What does a 21 year old car of this calibur cost? $625.

First, the drawbacks. (The reason it was $625).

-It has 196,000 miles. Yikes! Though from what I’ve heard of the Toronados, the transmissions are nearly industructible, and lots of them last over 300,000 miles. Plus for me! And it looks like it doesn’t leak a drop of transmission fluid.

-It’s in bad need of a paint job. The paint is wearing thin and there a little bit of surface rust in places, and some significant rust behind the rear wheels. Though nothing that isn’t repairable. I’m hoping to actually get it fixed sometime soon. I can fix most of the rust myself except the rust in the rear.

-It’s 21 years old.

Outside of that, there’s not a whole lot wrong with the car. The engine runs solid, shifts smooth. It needs new front tires in a few thousand miles. The tires in the rear look almost new.

The AC doesn’t work, but it’s been updated to the new R134a standard instead of the old Freon which you can’t get anymore. So the AC is certianly fixable at a reasonable cost.

This really was a luxury car for it’s day. It’s got power doors, windows, seats, locks, and an auto dimming rearview mirror for driving at night. Leather seats, a digital dashboard, and a Bose sound system. The speakers sound really good, but it needs a new stereo in the dash.

All in all, yeah, it’s got a lot of miles, but the thing is running solid. No major leaks, and I think I got a great deal for $625.

Take a look at the pictures. It’s not the sexiest car ever, but with a little TLC, it’s gonna be a sweet ride.

EDIT:  07/10/09

Well this post has been getting a lot of traffic lately, so I though I would update with a few more recent pictures.  Lots of work since that day!

Traveled back to the now defunct dealership where the car was originally sold in Quinter, KS.

Traveled back to the now defunct dealership where the car was originally sold in Quinter, KS.

Posted on April 21, 2006, in Cars, Milestones. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. From the photos it looks like it’s in really good shape and if it’s the luxury end of vehicle then they’re built to run great, even with high mileage. Glad you found a car! Next time I’m up there ya gotta take me out for a spin in it. I bet it’s a smooth ride!

  2. My boys were asking me how many cars I’ve owned and I was going through all of them and when I told them about my 1985 Toronado they wanted me to show them a pic on the web and I found your post. The Caliente is everything you said it is and more, (Mine talked) door ajar, ligts on, etc.. In it’s day it was a real head turner, mine was dark burgandy, moon roof and triple spoke rims. I wish I still had it to be honest and if I could find one now in the condition yours is in I would buy it for my son and fix it up for him. He has 2.5 years till he’s able to drive. Enjoy it, it’s a diamond in the rough for sure!!!

    • Al,

      I might have what you are looking for. I have an ’85 Toronado Caliente that is Dark Burgandy with a white quarter top, moon roof, dark burgandy interior and just about every available option for that year. Mine has 155,000 miles. I just put in a new transmission and several other parts. The car just needs a paint job, but the interior is flawless. If you are interested just email me at or give me a call at 231-557-0473.


  3. Thanks, Al! I’ve put a lot of work into it since this post. Check out my gallery for many more pictures if you’re interested.

  4. A lot of work indeed! Looks like you’ve done a very nice job. Every now and again I do a google search for Caliente. That’s what brought me to your post. I have an 85 also. My interior looks the same as yours with the exception of the seats. Mine have sheep skin inserts. It was purchased new this way, and I have never seen another Caliente with them. Sadly, mine has just sat in the garage the last few years. It seems like something else always takes priority.

    Here’s a link to a couple of pics that show the seats.

  5. Beautiful car, Keith. The sheep skin was a Caliente only option I believe. And even then I’ve only seen a handful of Caliente’s with them; Just a few on eBay, but never seen those seats in person.

    Again, very nice car. I hope you get a chance to go for a cruise the next nice day. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Nice cars, I have a 1985 Caliente,black with burgundy interior I’ve had the car for about three years now and I just hit 130k miles today it has some bad rust on both front fenders so Iam going to replace them insted of repairing them and then paint the car back to the original color black, this is my baby I love this car and can’t wait to get it completely restored, I will send some before and after pictures.

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Roger. Hope you treat yours well and get her back in fine form!

  8. Great Toronado there! My first car when I started driving was a black 1985 Toronado Caliente. I bought it in 1996 with 66,000 miles on it for $2,000. I drove it till 160k miles when it was stolen and totaled.

    I’m shopping for another black Caliente if anyone knows of one.

  9. I worked as an F&I manager at an Olds store when these came out. I thought at the time and still do that they were beautiful cars. We did a very good business with them. I will never forget the one the dealer drove. Light Gray/Light Gray/Light Gtay. Think it was called Sand Gray. The General Manager drove a black/black/gray leather car that was awesome. I finally earned my place at the table and got a Toro demo. But that was in 1986 when they were downsized. These E-bodies from 79-85 will be classics. Hide and watch.

  10. love it – style and grace – i like the seats much better than the riviera of that same era – i think its well worth the time and money

  11. Does anyone have a 1979 to 1985 Toronado for sale? Call Meyers at 760-318-1137. Thanks. Love Olds and have had 5 of them over the years with 2 of them being Toronados.

  12. Travis Skeen

    I am looking for a Toronado like this one (age and features). If anyone knows of one for sale please let me know at Thanks!

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