I ended up with a box of slides from a major Buick-Oldsmobile show previewing the 1977 Buick and Oldsmobile models. The show included Riveria and Toronado models that never saw the light of day. Also in the gallery are shots of Olds and Buick J-coupes that were never produced. The show probably took place in 1975. In the background on the above image above the deck lid to the left of the door is a Gray Counts rendering.

Click on any thumbnail to open the gallery of images.

  1. That Oldsmobile Mirage is really cool looking!

  2. Ron Will

    The Toronado pictures were taken in the Advanced Olds studio on the first floor of GM Design directly below the Chevy III studios. Emil Zowada was the chief and I believe Elia Russinoff was the assistant chief. This was the period when the big squarish Eldorado had become extremely successful. (1967–1977) The Oldsmobile executives wanted a piece of the action and wanted the Toronado to look just like the Eldorado. Except for the Cadillac eggcrate grill and vertical taillights, it was essentially a Cadillac design. You didn’t need a french curve to design any of these fronts or rears, just a T-square and 90 degree triangle.

  3. Emil Zowada. I remember that he had the misfortune of having several mishaps in company cars (called “PEP” cars, short for Product Evaluation Program) where a side of his car was flattened. This became known as the “Zowada Effect.”

  4. Greg B.


    I know this entry is over a year old but I just came across it. I owned several GM B and C cars from the late 70s, including my favorite, this one:


    The ’79 Electra was a gorgeous car and this was a lovely example, one-owner when I bought it in 2002, with only 36,000 miles. You should be proud of that rear-end design. I always thought it had a little Cadillac in it with the hint of a fin. My favorite aspect of that car was the dash design, which I thought was a brilliant homage to the Buick dashes of the immediate postwar era.

    In contrast, I had a ’78 Delta 88 and while it was a good car, the dash design in that really left me cold. It seemed rather cobbled together and not well thought out. Yet they used it until 1990 with only detail changes.

    Still enjoying the site very much.


  5. Brian Bongert

    I really enjoyed these photos! The 1978 Buick C-body taillight mock-up in photo #16 looks nearly identical to the taillights on the production 1980-84 Buick Electra.

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