Normally conservative in its car production, Oldsmobile shocked everyone with the launch of the radical Tornado in 1966. The main reason for the shock was the fact that the car was the first to use front-wheel drive in nearly 30 years, since the 1930s Cord. But the layout set the tone for GM cars for the next two decades. The engine was mounted conventionally and even had the torque converter on the rear, but from there a 2-inch (50mm) Morse chain sent drive to the transmission which went forward to the front differential. At the rear in place of the live axle was a single beam, supported on leaf springs but with four shocks, two mounted conventionally and two sitting horizontally. The layout produced an excellent handling vehicle. Top engine option was the W-34 package which gave out 400bhp (298kW), thanks to a high-lift cam and twin free-flowing exhausts.
Oldsmobile Tornado (1966) Specifications
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