Junkyard Find: 1975 Ford Gran Torino

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

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.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Occupant Occupant on Jan 23, 2013

    MOTHER OF GOD. I need those bumper guard rub strips...and I wouldn't say no to a lot of the exterior trim. It appears this has a dash pad with some sort of sewn on vinyl cover. The Lincoln Mark V's has a leather dash pad but they're a different shape, won't fit the 72-76 cars or other 77-79 intermediates. That's what these are. They aren't mid-size cars, they're intermediates. As in halfway between bloated 3400lb compact Granadas and beyond obese 4700lb full size cars. WHERE IN DENVER ARE THESE TWO CARS, I WOULD RISK A DIVORCE SO I COULD GET UP THERE AND PULL BITS FOR A DAY OR TWO???

    • See 1 previous
    • Moparman426W Moparman426W on May 19, 2013

      @Bandit Just look up all of the pick a parts in the Denver area, there can only be so many. Call them and see which one has the car.

  • CWN CWN on Dec 29, 2013

    does anyone where you can find parts for the 75 grand trino? looking for the rear fender trim.

  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • Aja8888 NO!
  • OrpheusSail I once did. My first four cars were American made, and through an odd set of circumstances surrounding a divorce, I wound up with a '95 Nissan Maxima which was fourteen years old and had about 150,000 miles on it.It was drove better, had an amazing engine, and was more reliable than any of my American cars. This included a new '95 GMC pickup that went through five alternators in under two years while the dealership insisted that there was no underlying electrical problem while they tried to run the clock on the warranty.That was the end of 'buy American'. I've bought from Honda and VW since, and I'll consider just about anything except American now.