From drag race cars to luxury midsize cars, the Ford Torino is one of Ford’s most successful cars. If you have seen Starsky and Hutch or The Gran Torino movie, you probably have seen one of the models of the Ford Torino. The production period was between 1968 to 1976.
Torino succeeded the Fairlane series in 1971. Although it was first an upscale version of the Fairlane, it shortly took over the Fairlane series.
Torino models are mainly luxury cars. Ford also produced the muscle cars, which were high-performance versions of the Torino. The Torino spanned three generations with 14 models. During its production years, Torino models came in 2-door hardtop, 2-door fastback, 2-door convertible, 4-door sedan, and 4-door and 5-door station wagon.
The unique features of a Torino make it one of the greatest cars of the 60s and 70s. The model is no longer in production, but its value has not diminished. It is rare to see a Torino in this century, and its price doesn’t come cheap. Picking the best year Ford Torino is difficult because each model year comes with unique grand cars. Read on as we list the best years of the Ford Torino and what makes them so special.
The Best Ford Torino Years
1. 1968 Ford Torino GT SportsRoof (First Generation)
If you love fast racing cars and revving engines, this two-door fastback is your type. The car’s aerodynamics on the race track is remarkable with a long sleek body, a low roofline, and C4 Cruise. It is no surprise that it won the 1968 Indiana 500 pace car. The Sportscar has a unit-body construction, bench seats, and wide oval sports tires. It made our list because of its:
- V8 428 CI Cobra Jet engine at 335hp, with 440lbft torque at 3400rpm. Other engine versions are also available.
- Cruise-O-Matic automatic and 3 or 4-speed manual transmission.
- Ball system steering wheel with four function pods and an available power steering.
- Runs 0-60 mph (97 km/h) at 7.7 seconds and 15.8 seconds at a quarter-mile.
- 4-wheel drum brakes
- Magnum 500 wheels.
- A rear suspension plus available heavy-duty suspensions.
- Stripe body options
The car’s interior features bench seats and door panel inside lights, GT inscriptions on wheel covers, and special name plaques. This Fastback GT Sportsroof launched the start of Ford joining the NASCAR racing. The standard price of a GT is $2,772, but it is now sold for about $33,000 to $50,000
2. 1970 Ford Torino Cobra (Second Generation)
This high-performance sports roof is a two-door supercar slayer. The supersonic Aircraft and coke bottle style inspired the muscle car’s new body.
’70 Torino Cobra rooflines are longer, wider, and less formal than its ’69 predecessor. With a long hood and short deck, this race car has even more superior aerodynamics. When equipped with a drag pack option, it is a beast on the road. The drag pack option consists of 4-speed manual transmission, 391/430 rear gear, oil coolers, etc.
- Courtesy lights
- Foam padded bucket seat with console
- Rear-wheel drive
- Discreet cobra decals
- Hydraulic brake type.
- Special shock absorber
- AM radio
- DirectAire ventilation system
- Power steering
The 429 Super Cobra Jet is the highest version of the 429 engine series at 375 hp (280 kW). In all, it is a smooth and swift ride. The original selling price was $3,208, but it currently sells at $47,000 to $85,000
3. 1972 Gran Torino Sports 1972 (Third Generation)
This gorgeous fastback comes with a phenomenal that expresses a no-nonsense look. The game-changer in the ’72 GT is the large egg-crate grille located at the oval opening. It also has a chrome bezel around the headlamps on either side of the large oval grille. The reflective stripes give the car an ever-glowing look. Like the ’70 Torino Cobra, it has a long hood with a short tail giving it a fastback shape.
With Ford ditching the unit body style, the Sportback comes with a perimeter body design. The 2door coupe can seat 4 to 5 persons. it makes our list as a collector-quality car with these features:
- A 60-degree angle quick windshield rake
- High torque and a low revving engine.
- Two suspension options: heavy-duty and competition models.
- 14-inch wheels
- Double exhaust
- Ram Air package
- A 750 CFM Carburetor,
- Front disc brakes
- “Stabul” rear suspension
- 4-speed Hurst shifter
- 3-speed automatic transmission and four-speed manual transmission option.
- F70-14 and E70-14 tires
- High back bench seat
- AM/FM stereo
- Chrome side molding
The 1972 Gran Torino is available as a 2door hardtop and sports roof and is a midsize bestseller. It featured in a 2008 movie by Clint Eastwood, “Gran Torino.” The base engine is a 302-2V small block V8. Other engine options for the ’72 GT Sport are 351-2V (Windsor/Cleveland), a 351C-4V CJ, a 400-2V, and a 429-4V.
It sold at $3,154 back in the day, but its current price estimate is about $30,800 and above.
4. 1969 Torino Talladega (First Generation)
The Talladega is a powerful car with rich racing history. The need to win the NASCAR racing competition birthed the historic Torino Talladega Speedway. It gets its name from the famous NASCAR superspeedway. The Talladega is a 2-door hardtop Fastback with a sleek and unique body style. Because it is built for racing, the muscle car’s hood is 6 inches extended to improve aerodynamics at high speeds. The headlights were also moved from the grille to the car’s front to prevent air which reduced speed.
One of its peculiarities is that the bumper is the same as the tail with a W shape which is rare in many cars. The Talladega comes in only three colors: Presidential Blue, Royal Red, and Wimbledon White.
In the middle of the car is a racy black hood that reduces the sun’s glare from the driver’s eyes.
The engine is a 428 Cobra Jet with heavy-duty automatic transmission. It also comes in other engine versions.
Notable features include:
- 340ps at 5200rpm
- 440Ib-ft at 4400rpm torque
- Cast-iron crankshaft
- Power steering cooler
- Holley 4-barrel carburetor
- Engine oil cooler
- Rear-wheel drive
- C-6 Cruise-O-Matic
- Staggered rear shocks absorber
- 3.25:1 open differential.
- AM Radio option
- 10.61 ratio engine
The interior includes a front bench seat, plain black vinyl cloth. It is a comfortable four-sitter car. Only 743 Talladega were built due to the homologation rules, and about 200 exist today. The muscle car won nearly 29 national races in 1969/1970 NASCAR. Competitions
Its base price is about $3,456, and the current price is $69,900 and above.
5. 1974 Gran Torino Elite (Third Generation)
The 1974 Ford Gran Torino Elite is an economical 2-door hardtop with luxurious features. It replaced the 1973 GT SportsRoof and was Ford’s move into the midsize luxury market.
It is a unique blend of Mercury Montego and Mercury Cougar body casing. And has a front-end styling like the Torino Thunderbird. The ’72 oval grille around the headlamps is enclosed in chrome bezels. Elite’s grille is similar to the ’73 grille, but this comes with eight vertical rectangular sections. The wrapped tail lights have a reflective center panel that gives it a full-width taillight appearance.
The 5-Person luxury car has an automatic transmission, a V8 engine, and radial tires.
Luxurious features include:
- Seat belt interlock system
- Westminster cloth fabric
- Complete instrumentation
- 351-2V V8 engine
- 3-speed automatic transmission
- Rear drum brakes, Front disc brakes
- Air conditioning (optional)
- A vinyl roof
- Twin opera windows
- Woodgrain trim
- Split-bench seat
- Leather steering wheel
- Electric sunroof
- Speed control and more.
The current price is about €23,000, but its base price is $4,437. The Gran Torino Elite was so successful that Ford started it as a stand-alone brand in 1975.
Why did Ford stop making the Ford Torino?
Ford stopped producing the Ford Torino when the hype of muscle cars waned. Ford replaced it with the LTD series because consumers were opting for luxury cars.
Another reason was the increase in crude oil during that period.
The Torino was getting bigger and heavier and using up too much fuel. So Ford had to drop it and redesign their engines to enable better fuel economy.
Is a Ford Torino a Muscle Car?
The Ford Torino is a muscle car. Note that the Ford Torino had two models; luxury and performance cars. The muscle cars are high-performance cars equipped with powerful engines like the Cobra Jet engine.
Examples of some Ford Torino muscle cars are—
- The Torino King Cobra
- The Torino Talladega.
Be sure to keep track of Ford’s competitors in the muscle car market as well—
The Ford Torino car was a classic during its heydays. And it exuded power, luxury, longevity, and the beauty of invention. It is one of Ford’s successful brands, and in eight years, it produced exceptional cars. It is very rare to see a Ford Torino today. Some are collectibles for display and are quite costly to get. If you are a collector, a Ford Torino is one car you should own.
Also be sure to stay updated on our latest articles for the newest car trends—