Rides from the Readers: 1984 Oldsmobile Toronado

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Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.

Today’s featured ride is a 1984 Oldsmobile Toronado. The third-generation Toronado gained independent rear suspension, which helped maximize space in a body that had been significantly downsized in 1979. The second generation’s prominent beak was tamed for the 1979–85 cars, but the quad headlights remained, mounted above an oh-so-’80s fascia that featured air intakes tucked into the bumper. Despite these changes, the Toronado retained its characteristic front-wheel-drive setup and longitudinally mounted V-8.

 

This particular Toronado belongs to David Feehan, who has admired these cars from his teenage years. He bought this example two years ago; but, as many classic car owners can attest, this car represents far more than a sound investment, a therapeutic project, or even a childhood dream. It represents a relationship.

Feehan was informally adopted into his best friend’s family when “Boxie” Barksdale—whom Feehan knew and wrestled alongside in high school—was tragically killed in an auto accident in 1968 while serving in the U.S. Army in Germany. Boxie’s father, known by everyone as Pops, shared Feehan’s love for Toronados, and when the elder Barksdale eventually passed away, Feehan decided to name his recently-acquired Toronado to honor his memory.

“My Toronado is now officially named Pops, and whenever I drive it, I am reminded of Boxie and his dad,” Feehan writes.

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