The Truth About Cars » Gran Torino http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:24:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 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 » Gran 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: 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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