The Truth About Cars » Ford Torino http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:58:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Ford Torino http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com If The Big Lebowski Were Filmed Today, What Car Would The Dude Drive? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/if-the-big-lebowski-were-filmed-today-what-car-would-the-dude-drive/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/if-the-big-lebowski-were-filmed-today-what-car-would-the-dude-drive/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=773897 Before the Clint Eastwood film (but after the cheezoid TV show), the most well-known Ford Gran Torino in cinema history was the beater ’73 sedan driven by Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski. This film, which took quite a while to go from box-office dud to sacred document of the Lebowski Jihad, was released […]

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Big_Lebowski_Torino_Crash-550pxBefore the Clint Eastwood film (but after the cheezoid TV show), the most well-known Ford Gran Torino in cinema history was the beater ’73 sedan driven by Jeff Bridges’ character in The Big Lebowski. This film, which took quite a while to go from box-office dud to sacred document of the Lebowski Jihad, was released in 1998 and was set in late 1990 or early 1991 (a period during which I was also in Southern California and living a fairly Dude-ish lifestyle myself). The choice of a ’73 Gran Torino by the Coen Brothers makes some interesting statements for those who obsess about movie cars, and Monday is always the best day to discuss such things.
Big_Lebowski_Torino_Impound-550pxLooking at 1990/1991 from the perspective of 1998, you’ve got a nasty recession being observed via dot-com boom-tinted glasses, the first one-sided ass-kicking dished out by the US military since Vietnam from the point of view of an ascendant hyperpower, and so forth. At the same time, the latter years of the 1990s saw cars that could knock of 200,000 miles becoming commonplace, with carburetors and mechanical ignition systems dead as global Marxism-Leninism. With all that in mind, The Dude’s car had to be something from the Malaise Era, for symbolic location along the Malaise-Gulf War-Hyperpower continuum as well as for the fact that unemployable Los Angeles loadies could be expected to drive 18-year-old midsize sedans.
Big_Lebowski_Torino_Brochure-550pxSo the question here is: What would be this car’s equivalent today? If you’re just going by straight model years, a 2014 movie set in 2006 with the protagonist driving an 18-year-old midsize Ford sedan would give us a 1988 Taurus… and it’s easy to picture the 2006 Dude clanking along in a hooptified first-gen Taurus.
10 - 1986 Hyundai Excel Down On The Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' GredenHowever, the runup in global commodities prices in the second half of the first decade of the century meant that larger cars were worth a fair amount at the scrapper, which means that even the ugliest Taurus floated a bit above the very bottom of the car-value barrel. That’s why I think that The Dude of 2006 would drive an early Hyundai Excel. What do you think?

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Junkyard Find: 1976 Ford Torino http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1976-ford-torino/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1976-ford-torino/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2013 14:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=472751 Torinos (and Montegos) were among the Malaisiest of Malaise Era machines, so it seems fitting to follow up the ’75 Gran Torino Junkyard Find with today’s ’76. Yes, just as Nixon’s resignation came just before the Fall of Saigon, Ford kept following up one big, slow midsize car with even bigger and slower versions. This […]

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Torinos (and Montegos) were among the Malaisiest of Malaise Era machines, so it seems fitting to follow up the ’75 Gran Torino Junkyard Find with today’s ’76. Yes, just as Nixon’s resignation came just before the Fall of Saigon, Ford kept following up one big, slow midsize car with even bigger and slower versions.
This may be a Ford Elite, the short-lived personal-luxury-coupe version of the Torino, but the Wikipedia entry indicates that the Elite came standard with cloth seats, not the vinyl seats seen here. The emblems are all gone, so this could still be an Elite with a seat swap.
Just to confuse everybody, Ford added the 351M (a destroked 400M) to its array of (nominally) 351-cubic-inch pushrod V8s. That means that Windsor/Cleveland/Modified mixups will be driving parts-counter guys crazy until the last Ford V8 gets melted down.
This car is a bit rustier than the ’75 we just saw, but it’s an (allegedly) more desirable coupe and you’d expect such cars to be worth more than scrap value. Not in Denver, it seeems!

02 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1976 Ford Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1975 Ford Gran Torino http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1975-ford-gran-torino/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/junkyard-find-1975-ford-gran-torino/#comments Mon, 07 Jan 2013 14:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=472541 A full-on Malaise Era midsize Ford sedan has just about zero collector value, so the only way one can stay out of The Crusher’s jaws is to keep on running. Here’s one in Denver that finally gave up after 37 years. The most famous Gran Torino these days is the ’72 driven by Clint Eastwood […]

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A full-on Malaise Era midsize Ford sedan has just about zero collector value, so the only way one can stay out of The Crusher’s jaws is to keep on running. Here’s one in Denver that finally gave up after 37 years.
The most famous Gran Torino these days is the ’72 driven by Clint Eastwood in film named after the car, but that was a sporty two-door. Likewise, the ’75 in Starsky and Hutch. Then there’s the ’72 Gran Torino wagon depicted in Robert Bechtle’s famous painting, Gran Torino Alameda. As for Gran Torino sedans, the closest thing to a famous example I can think of is the ’73 driven by The Dude in The Big Lebowski. Today’s Junkyard Find is about the closest thing to The Dude’s car that I’ve seen in many years.
This one is a bit battered and the interior is ugly, but I wouldn’t call it used up. It’s not rusty and all the major pieces are there, but who wants to spend any money to restore a ’75 Gran Torino sedan, or even keep one alive?
It will just make us all depressed, discussing the horsepower numbers of the 1975 351 Windsor engine. Torque was pretty good, and these cars weren’t as sluggish as you’d think.
I’ve always thought this era of Ford dog-dish hubcaps looked good.
We’ll be seeing the ’62 Valiant parked near this Ford in a future Junkyard Find.
With scrap cars going for $240/ton in Denver, the days are numbered for machines like this one.

01 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1975 Ford Gran Torino Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 1973 Ford Gran Torino - Picture courtesy of IMCDB Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Car of the Year Revisionism, 1970 Edition: If Not the Torino, What? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/car-of-the-year-revisionism-1970-edition-if-not-the-torino-what/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/car-of-the-year-revisionism-1970-edition-if-not-the-torino-what/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 18:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=421709 Having just spent a weekend officiating at a race with one of the perpetrators of the latest Motor Trend Car of the Year choice, I got to thinking about past controversial COTY choices… and what choices we might make today, with the benefit of hindsight. Second-guessing the 1971 and 1983 choices is fish-in-a-barrel stuff (though […]

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Having just spent a weekend officiating at a race with one of the perpetrators of the latest Motor Trend Car of the Year choice, I got to thinking about past controversial COTY choices… and what choices we might make today, with the benefit of hindsight. Second-guessing the 1971 and 1983 choices is fish-in-a-barrel stuff (though I think the very radical-for-Detroit Vega deserved the award in spite of its terrible execution), but you can find tough choices all the way back to 1949. Today we’re going to talk about 1970’s Car of the Year winner: the Ford Torino.
The Torino wasn’t a fundamentally new car for 1970 (though it did get a sheetmetal redesign and a longer and wider chassis than its predecessor), and it didn’t break any new technological ground. It was a good-looking machine, to be sure, and it could be had with a mighty 375-horse 429-cubic-inch engine, but did it deserve the award? If not, what new or “substantially upgraded” 1970 car would you choose, were you to go back in time equipped with Svengali-grade hypnotic powers to change the minds of the MT War Council? To make things more interesting, we might revise the rules to allow imports to be considered for the purposes of this debate (the Porsche 914 won the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year Award in ’70, by the way), but that’s up to you. The AMC Hornet? The second-generation GM F-body? The Saab Sonett III? Discuss.

Image source: Old Car Brochures

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