12,253 Miles: 1975 Ford Torino Elite


Ford Torino Elite

I have to admit some bias here; my father’s pride and joy in my early teenage years was a 1976 Elite. We called it “Butterball” because the peculiar shade of light yellow looked similar to the plastic Butterball turkeys were packaged in, and the rounded sides when viewed from the front helped the name fit. Thanks to Jim S for sending us this find! This car has been in one family until the current seller, and is now located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s for sale here on eBay, with bidding at $2,550 that hasn’t met the reserve yet. I remember being amazed that a car that large could have so small a back seat! It did glide down the road, though, and I’m sure this one would do the same. The seller gives a lot of history of the car, and it sounds like it’s never been outside, even when it was stored for periods of time. The seller has recommissioned it with tires, a battery and an exhaust system. Would you like to be the next one to put miles on this Ford find?


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  1. bob

    Looks like a ’41 Buick in the garage.

  2. Mark E

    Shame they upgraded the engine to the 400, the 351 2-barrel is nice & gets decent mileage.

    I’ve always thought of the Elite as the design predecessor to when Ford eliminated the Torino completely and had the LTD II which seemet to be an Elite with double stacked square headlights. IMO, the Elite always looked like a Thunderbird from the side and back at least.

    • Karl

      You’re right, the LTD II was a squared-off and slightly less glitzy direct descendent of the Elite. My mother drove one from ’77 to ’84. It was a smooth interstate cruiser with the 351 2V, and a very nice car. Ours was a special order that was delayed for months by the UAW strike in ’77. Very reliable and trouble-free, but that tiny back seat made it a miserable family car. She replaced it with a Crown Vic in ’84, which had a real back seat that was a great relief to my six-foot frame.

    • Ranco Racing

      I always called these Tbirds in cheap clothes. Very similar to the Cougar of the same vintage.

  3. Pete

    This car is a well preserved example of single step alkyd enamel used by Ford prior to the 1980’s. It didn’t have a super glossy finish when new, but the metallic and color effects were visually outstanding.

    The hand painted pin stripes were applied by a person on the line using a double roller wheel apparently, with the pointed ends being finished individually. The stripes were never exactly the same, from one side to the other.

  4. Jim

    I was selling Fords in this period and as another reader commented on the strike when the 77’s were about to be introduced I remember it well. The all new downsized, reduced price 77 TBird was coming out and it was selling like hotcakes except we couldn’t get them due to the strike. It replaced the Elite and the LTD 11 was the Torino’s replacement. I had 28 new Thunderbirds ordered and delivered every one of them except one after the pipeline filled up again after the strike. The Bird and LTD 11 were on the same chassis as the Torino HT so they also had lmiited rear seat leg room.

  5. don

    lie, lie, lie, original miles my azz. ugly car period.

    • JimmyinTEXAS

      Why don’t you tell us how you really feel? Seems you are holding back something. Let it go man…..

  6. David G

    Amazing find – this is the way to buy one (or anything really). Only known future costs should be the A/C recharge and maybe $50 to have someone remove that horridly designed and fabricated tailpipe. (Guy who put that tailpipe onto a car like this should be shot at sundown…)

    • Tom S.

      And it comes w/four new cheapie tires that you can just toss and replace immediately.

  7. Moparmann Member

    In ’75, abn elderly co-worker bought an Elite IDENTICAL to this one. I remember thinking that it was a HUGE car for such a small guiy, and also, I wondered why it was equipped with a full complement of gauges, something that he himself expressed no interest in, LOL! :-)
    @ Tom S. 14″ Whitewall tires are becoming nearly impossible to find, leaving those of us who want/need them one of two options: High $$$ Coker tires, or bugdet Hankook imports, IF your size is still available in WW. :-)

  8. Chebby

    Wow, nice shape and well optioned, but what an awful car. Seven feet of snout, teeny cabin, back seat knees in your face, 1970s baroque brougham-ness all over the place.

    No actual elite ever rode in a Ford Elite.

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