Ford Torino
Production 1968-1971
Class Intermediate
Body Style 2-Door Hardtop
2-Door Fastback
2-door Convertible
4-Door Hardtop
5-Door Wagon
Length 5237 mm (206.2")(coupe, convertible, sedan)
209" (wagon)
Width 1943 mm (76.5")
Height 1346 mm (53")
Wheelbase 2971mm (117")(couple, convertible, sedan)
2895 mm (114") (wagon)
Weight 1590-1770 kg (3500-3900 lbs)
Transmission 3-Speed Manual, RWD
4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 4.1L (250 cid) I6 (1968-1971)
5.0L (302 cid) V8 (1968-1971)
5.8L (351 cid) V8 (1968-1971)
6.5L (390 cid) V8 (1968-1970)
7.0L (428 cid) V8 (1968-1969)
7.0L (429 cid) V8 (1971)
Power 110-375 hp
Similar Mercury Montego

The Ford Torino was a car produced by the Ford Motor Company for the North American market between 1968 and 1976. The Torino was a midsize car by American standards of the time - quite large by modern standards, but smaller than the fullsize Ford Galaxie. It replaced the Ford Fairlane, although that name was retained for the base models with trim different from those models which wore the Torino name. The Torino was a fraternal twin to the Mercury Montego.

Some models of Torino were performance cars, largely due to Ford's use of the Torino as the base for its NASCAR entrants during the early years.

Here's a quick rundown:


In 1968 Ford Motor Company released an entirely new body style and platform for the Ford Fairlane. From this change came a new model. Called "Torino", the car's name is the Italian name of the city of Turin and was a name originally proposed for the Mustang while in development. These were produced as hardtops, convertibles and fastbacks and became the new basis for its truck variant, the Ranchero. This body style was carried over to 1969 with minor changes to the grille while the rear mirrored the full-size Fords with a full-width trim below squarish taillights.

The fastback Fords (and similar Mercury Montego Cyclones) proved to be very aerodynamic for NASCAR stock car racing. The Talledega version added a rounded-off nose for even less drag. Chrysler's fastback Charger proved to be a disappointment, but the dominance of Ford would bring Chrysler to design the radical "winged warrior" Dodge Charger Daytona and later Plymouth Superbird. While the 1970 restyle looked less boxy, it would not be as successful in racing.

1970 brought a restyled new look with a larger body, pointed grille and longer lines. It would also see the Torino as the Motor Trend Car of the Year. The Falcon name was transferred to the Torino body as a low-line series after that model was replaced by the Maverick; the name, however, was dropped in the U.S. after the 1970 model year. Other models were Torino, Torino 500, Torino GT, and the new Torino Brougham. 1970 also saw the continuation of the Cobra, Ford's answer to no-frills performance oriented models like the Plymouth Road Runner. The Torino GT and the Brougham trim model for that year were the only Torinos ever to have hidden headlights (standard on Brougham, optional on GT); the GT also had a fake scoop molded into the hood. The functional hood scoop was now a 'shaker' type(attached to the air cleaner and protruding through a hole in the hood); the 'shaker' nickname came from the fact that it vibrated, or 'shook', when the engine was running.

Most V8 engine choices were all-new (the only carryovers being the 302 and 351 Windsor 2-barrels); the 351 Cleveland (5.8 L) small-block V8 at the low end and the new Ford 429 (7.0 L), available in Thunder Jet, Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet levels of performance. The 'shaker' was available with the 4-barrel Cleveland and both Cobra Jet engines. The Super Cobra Jet 429 had more power than the previous years (some conservatively rated at 360 hp), but couldn't go any quicker through the 1/4 mile (14 seconds @ 100 mph) - mainly because of the larger size and corresponding drag. The 1971 Torino was virtually identical, with only minor changes in trim and ornamentation. These two years were the only period when Ford produced intermediate four-door hardtops, although conventional sedans were also available. A couple of Cobra prototypes of Torinos, known as the King Cobra, sported noses seemingly grafted from a Datsun 240Z were a response to the Plymouth Superbird, but NASCAR rules effectively banned such aero trickery. Torino wagons were offered as perk to top selling Tupperware saleswomen, and the Torino Squire was a leading intermediate wagon with a 3 way tailgate and rear-facing seat.

Ford Torino
Production 1972-1976
Class Intermediate
Body Style 2-Door Hardtop
2-Door Fastback
4-Door Hardtop
5-Door Wagon
Length 5422 mm (213.6") (coupe)
5530 mm (217.6") (sedan)
5654 mm (222.6") (wagon)
Width 2014 mm (79.3")
Height 53.2"
Wheelbase 2895 mm (114")(coupe)
2998 mm (118") (sedan, wagon)
Weight 1630-1860 kg (3600-4100 lbs)
Transmission 4-Speed Manual, RWD
3-Speed Automatic, RWD
Engine 4.1L (250 cid) I6 (1972-1973)
5.0L (302 cid) V8 (1972-1976)
5.8L (351 cid) V8 (1972-1976)
6.6L (400 cid) V8 (1974-1976)
7.0L (429 cid) V8 (1972-1973)
7.5L (460 cid) V8 (1974-1976
Power 140-375 hp
Similar Mercury Montego


1972 brought another major redesign, and a move to body on frame construction. The already somewhat aggressive look was exaggerated with a large 'fishmouth' grille. The convertible was discontinued, but all other body styles remained. "Torino" remained the base series, but the "Torino 500" was renamed "Gran Torino", the "Torino Brougham" became "Gran Torino Brougham", and Torino GT became the Gran Torino Sport with a fake hood scoop.

The "Cobra" model was discontinued, and the Torino line was refocused toward luxury rather than performance. In addition to the base engines (250 in³ 6-cylinder in all except wagons and Sport models and a 302 in³ small-block V8 in wagons and Sport models) available engines included one 385-series engine (the 429 4-barrel), and several 335-series engine options (351 Cleveland, 351 Cleveland "Cobra Jet", 351 , and the 400) Cleveland. Emissions and fuel economy requirements, however, had begun to take their toll - these engines produced significantly less power than their predecessors, and thus, performance was mediocre at best. The "Cobra Jet" was the only engine equipped with dual exhaust, optional 'Ram Air' induction that made the hood scoop functional or an available four-speed transmission; 400s and 429s were automatic only. Window glass remained frameless on this generation, but four-doors now had a center pillar, making them "pillared hardtops". For this year, vent windows vanished from four-door models.

The 1973 model saw front fascia changes that eliminated the "fishmouth" grille to meet with new federal regulations; larger safety bumpers replaced the almost body-fitting chrome bumpers previously used. 1973 maintained the rear bumper of the 72. 1974 saw the discontinuation of the SportsRoof model along with another redesign of the grille and front fascia, and new taillights with large safety bumpers on the rear. Although the Gran Torino Sport coupe was still offered, and the 429 was replaced with a dual-exhaust equipped 460 (still automatic only), the tide had definitely turned against performance cars and the performance options that did remain were being eliminated year by year; 1974 was the last year for the 351 "Cobra Jet" and the four-speed transmission. This year also saw the spawn of a Torino-based personal-luxury coupe, called the Gran Torino Elite (later simply "Elite"), which was a twin to the Mercury Cougar XR-7.

1975 and 1976 saw few changes except for the cancelling of the Sport series before the 1976 model year. 1975 and 1976 Gran Torinos were used in the popular TV series Starsky and Hutch. This series inspired Ford to build 1,000 replicas of the "Starsky and Hutch" car in the spring of 1976. After 1976, Ford discontinued the Torino.

The Torino chassis actually lived on for three more years, under the LTD II and the downsized 1977 Thunderbird.

Popularity Edit

Among muscle cars, 1970 Torinos are not nearly as popular as the 1968-1972 Chevrolet Chevelle, nor as highly prized as the rare Dodge Charger or Plymouth Roadrunner or Plymouth Superbird. Nevertheless, a fine 1969 Torino GT convertible commands over $35,000. The fastback 1968-69 Torinos are also rarely seen at muscle car conventions, or as subjects of toys or collectible cars. One Torino model stands out among collectors, the Ranchero car-based pickup truck, though popular sharp edged angular style was actually based on the renamed LTD II series.

Starsky and Hutch style, (red with a large pointed white racing stripe arching across the body) 1974-1976 Torinos are also gaining popularity after the release of the hit movie Starsky & Hutch. While they do not command the values that more traditional muscle cars do, their value has risen in the last 5 years. Along with the new movie, "Gran Torino" starring Clint Eastwood, made the 1972 Gran Torino much more popular once again.

Ford Torino in ArgentinaEdit

The four-door sedan of the first generation was built in Argentina from 1969 to 1981 under the Fairlane name with three equipment packages: Standard, 500 and LTD. The car was similar to the American except the engines. There were two options: a 221-ci-6-cylinder with 132 hp, and the old 292-ci-V8 derived from the trucks with 185 hp. In 1978 the LTD Elite option was introduced as the most luxurious car of Argentina. Until 1981 almost 30,000 Fairlanes were made.


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