Ford Torino GT review

Photography by: R. Ratzke

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Starsky and Hutch used mid-70s Gran Torinos. This one's not quite so well-known Starsky and Hutch used mid-70s Gran Torinos. This one's not quite so well-known Starsky and Hutch used mid-70s Gran Torinos. This one's not quite so well-known
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT Ford Torino GT
US Muscle Car Showdown US Muscle Car Showdown US Muscle Car Showdown

US muscle car showdown #2: Ford Torino. The forgotten muscle car and the beautiful outsider in our comparo...

Ford Torino GT review
US Muscle Car Showdown: Ford Torino GT

 

Ford Torino

US Muscle Car Showdown #2:
Ford Torino - The Forgotten One

Ford’s Torino is both the forgotten muscle car and the beautiful outsider in this comparison. The mechanical star of Starsky and Hutch was in no way ground-breaking.  It never unlocked the door to crazy levels of power for adrenaline junkie suburban kids.  It was too well behaved.  It wasn’t a GTO. 

It has also never thundered into Frank Bullitt’s rearview mirror at the movies like a certain black Dodge Charger. It doesn’t have a huge rear wing like the Superbird.  It wouldn’t really scare its Mustang sibling.  However no one should underestimate the Ford Torino.

In the original ads for the car, Ford asks "How can something so hot look so cool?"  And then replies, "By growing up in some tough neighbourhoods…

Daytona, Riverside, Atlanta" – some of America’s top race tracks as motorsport – and specifically NASCAR racing - quickly became the raison d’etre of high-performance street cars.

The styling was the work of Bill Shenk who previously worked at Hughes Aircraft on F-106 Delta Dart contracts. The Coke-bottle squeeze on the Torino’s flanks mirrors the pinched "area rule" design of the F-106’s fuselage.

The Torino, came in three different strengths from the dealer, all with the 6.9 litre big-block as a starting point: the 429 Thunder Jet (delivering 360bhp) as here, the 429 Cobra Jet (370bhp) and the top-of-the-range 429 Super Cobra Jet (375bhp).

Even in basic form, it's certainly not lacking in the engine department, but neither is it a hyperactive dragstrip terrier, due mostly to its size and weight. While the four gears, selected via the classic Hurst T-shifter, allow barely respectable quarter mile times, the Torino is more a Friday night cruiser.

It's better to slouch casually on the white faux leather seats, two fingers on the huge steering wheel, lean on the armrest and peer over the air-scoop on the hood at the drive-in movie theatre screen.

SPECIFICATIONS 

Ford Torino

Engine: 6933cc V8,
Power: 1265W @ 4600rpm
Torque: 597Nm @ 3400rpm
Weight: 1900kg
Gearbox: 4-speed manual
Brakes: discs/drums (f/r)
Top Speed: 215km/h

 

The five contenders:

1. Pontiac GTO

2. Ford Torino

3. Chevrolet Chevelle

4. Dodge Charger

5. Plymouth Superbird

 

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