Don’t mention Starsky and Hutch…or Gran Torino…or the fourth Fast and Furious flick. Even with their star-car power, the Ford Torino line really doesn’t have as strong a following as, say, the Chevelle, the Road Runner or even it’s predecessor, the Galaxie. The Torino name showed up just in time for the NASCAR Aero Wars, lived for a couple of years as a sleeper muscle car (it didn’t go out of it’s way to show off like a Mopar did, for example), then lived long enough to become the enemy: a bloated, underpowered and grossly overweight version of itself, before becoming the LTD II. We like the Torino overall, but we are of the mindset that everyone built after 1974 should be a Starsky clone or left alone. But if we really have to choose, it’s hard to resist the 1972-73 Sportsroof cars. Compared to the standard Torino, the Sportsroof gave the Torino a killer shape, and when paired off with the more entertaining engine choices available (429, anybody?) you have a monstrous Ford that looks the business.
Now, stock these cars are pretty sweet, but we don’t mind modifications if they work out alright, so the smoothed body, custom interior, warmed-up 351 and 17-inch wheels all can stay. The look is mild pro touring, and we’re good with that…it’s not an Optima-style track rat, but rather a grand tourer that would be right at home on the open road. We like the subtle touches, like sticking the auxillary gauges in the stock stereo location while a full-kill Alpine AM/FM/CD/NAV/who knows what else unit handles…well, just about everything but an oil change and a fuel fill. This Torino was built to eat up miles in comfort and style, and looking this good doing it, we’d have no trouble spending the cash to make that happen. What about you?