Garage Find: 1968 Ford Torino GT 390!

You never know what you will find lurking in sheds, garages, and barns. In this case, we have a garage that houses a 1968 Ford Torino GT. However, this is not a classic that will require restoration. What we have here is a vehicle that runs and drives and has 28,000 genuine miles on the clock. The owner has decided that the time has come to part with the car, so he has listed it for sale here on craigslist. It is located in Effingham, Illinois, and the sale price has been set at $28,000. That’s one dollar per mile! I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Ikey H for spotting this excellent car for us.

It’s frustrating when a seller advertises a car with as much potential as this Lime Gold GT but provides such limited photos. This car looks like it is a beauty! There is no rust visible in the supplied photos. I also suspect that under the significant layer of dust, the paint might be in good order. There are some limited shots of the underside, and apart from a coating of surface corrosion, it appears to be structurally sound.  The trim and chrome look good, and I can’t spot any problems with the glass. I just want to get into that garage with a torch to get a good look at the Torino. The saving grace here is that the seller does appear to be approachable, so if this is a car that has piqued your interest, then it might be worth contacting him with a few questions.

Occupying the engine bay of this Torino is a Y-Code 390ci V8. This is bolted to a C6 automatic transmission, while the car also features power steering and power brakes. This engine should produce 265hp, which would be enough to send the GT through the ¼ mile in 16.1 seconds. That might not be muscle-car-fast, but it is a safe bet that this is a classic that would cruise effortlessly on the freeway. From a mechanical perspective, the news seems to be quite positive. The layer of dust on the exterior is deceptive because the Torino is said to run and drive perfectly. The big claim is that the car is said to have 28,000 genuine miles on the clock. The owner doesn’t indicate whether he can verify this, but the overall condition suggests that this is plausible.

This Torino really could be considered a true GT car. It offers enough power to satisfy most owners, but the interior is nicely appointed. It features bucket seats with optional headrests, a lidded console, a floor shifter for the transmission, a good selection of gauges, and splashes of woodgrain and aluminum trim. The interior is one aspect of the car where the owner provides a decent selection of photos. If the interior trim is original, then it has survived in remarkable condition. There are no signs of any rips, splits, or stains on the seats or other vinyl. The carpet is immaculate, and the same can be said of the dash. There is no wear on the wheel, and there are no signs of any aftermarket additions. The condition does seem to offer substantial support for the mileage claim.

I want to get a torch, or I want to roll this ’68 Torino GT out into the light of day. It looks really promising, and I would love to get a closer look. I suspect that what will be revealed is a nicely-preserved survivor that would be well worth consideration. If its condition is as good as the owner leads us to believe, then the asking price would seem to be in the ballpark. If you do find this classic interesting, I’d be contacting the owner pretty quickly. I suspect that it won’t be on the market for long.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I know what’s lurking in those yards, because here, many vintage cars are outside baking in the sun. My neighbors sister has a Torino GT like this, sitting outside, faded paint, of course, but I’m sure she has no idea it could be worth 5 figures, or it would be stored better and won’t sell it, I asked. IDK, these were cool cars, and I’m sure people( with money) are sick of my bellyaching, but $28g’s for a car like this, I feel, is out of line, again, it was nothing special. I know I say these people are nuts, but example after example comes through here with inflated price tags, so who’s really crazy? Why, just yesterday, I watched a Mecum auction, where a ’69 GTX convertible, sold for $240g’s. I mean, that’s Ferrari money. It had the seemingly “standard issue” hemi, and wasn’t even the also seemingly “standard issue” 4 speed, but really? Quarter mil for a silly Plymouth ragtop with a truck motor? Talk about false idols. Always liked the Torino, had great racing success, but if people think these tin cans, and they just were cheaply made cars, by all means, have at it.

    Like 44
    • Martin

      It is not Ferrari money any more. Your sense of value is stuck in the seventies still. But if you have a nice GTO for $28,000 I will take it off your hands.

      Like 12
      • Skorzeny

        I don’t mean to speak for Howard, but the 2019 Ferrari Portofino started at less than $220,000. I think that’s what he meant. And there are a lot of used Ferrari’s for less than that.

        Like 10
    • Phlathead Phil 🚗🇺🇸

      Howard A,

      Your consensus is correct in my opinion as well. One look at the engine compartment says the price is OUTRAGEOUS!

      34 “Thumbs Up” supports your POV. (Point of View)

      Doubt it has 28,000 original miles, and AGAIN I state, as I have stated before: Odometers BEFORE the MID-1990’s were Mechanical! Once they hit 100,000 they RESET to ZERO miles.

      Rust never sleeps, it tells the tale of time. In my line of work I see things others do not, and the fingerprints of time are ALL OVER the engine compartment.

      Evidence of neglect: 1. Master cylinder is seriously rusted. 2. Water pump has a water rust trail indicating the car was “Rode hard and put away wet.”

      3. Coil bracket is rusted indicating exposure to the outside ambient.

      4. Shock towers and shock studs are RUSTY indicating more exposure to elements.

      5. Date code on tires indicate date of manufacture. If they are more than 10 years old they are OUT of Federal D.O.T. Compliance and MUST be REPLACED to be on the road.

      6. Valve cover bolt heads RUSTED indicating gasket is probably dry and probably LEAKS oil.

      7. Distributor base is rusty.

      8. Need I say more ??

      Like 3
      • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

        Unless a car is stored in climate-controlled conditions, and never driven in the rain, it is exposed to humidity. And under those conditions, after a few years underhood parts will rust. After 50 years parts will certainly rust. Especially when they didn’t have much (or any) paint on them when they left the factory.

        Like 5
      • gaspumpchas

        Hit it on the head nicely Phil. I saw one of these once that had a nasty case of rot up in the firewall area; car wasnt too visibly rotten, but when you let the clutch out, the whole car flexed in the dash area like it was hinged, oy vey. Good luck and stay safe.
        Cheers
        GPC

    • Mountainwoodie

      On the mark again HoaA…though you forgot the 100K Sixties VW busses :)

      A fool and his money………

      Like 3
    • triumph1954

      Howard A. Silly Plymouth ragtop with a truck motor? What years did they put a 426 Hemi in a truck? I would take that silly Plymouth ragtop over a Ferrari anytime. Why would you say a Torino was cheaply made? Did you ever think about moving to Italy so you could be around those expensively made cars? Been to a doctor’s office lately? You may need to change your meds and diet!

    • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

      I’ll have to disagree with you Howard. These cars are something special, especially since this particular Torino is 52 years old and seemingly in pretty good condition, in and out. Some ’60s muscle cars will always bring good money, they have a mystique about them that will probably never fade. Some commenters don’t consider this a muscle car and to them I say you can make it go as fast as you can afford. Bolt on some speed parts or drop a crate motor in it. Just like we used to do back in the day.

      As far as “inflated prices” go, if it sells at $28,000, that’s market value. If it’s overpriced, no one will pay the ask. If it then sells for less, then that will be it’s market value.

      Like 1
    • Dave Peterson

      Howard, you and I owned and drove these when new and understand the underlying fallibility. I sweated when paying $7800 for a new 911 in 1974, and for what? The 240z it replaced was far and away a superior car. I also recall torsion bars and truck power. Let the late comers find their truth with their own money.

  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    One of my bucket list cars; a ’68 Torino GT fastback. As I’ve comment before, it’s hard to understand why the seller can’t provide good photos. What’s so difficult about driving the car out of the garage, hosing it off and taking better pictures? The car has an attractive color, the interior looks very good and it’s a big block. I’ve owned three Torinos; a ’68 2-door formal roof, a ’68 4-door sedan and a ’69 GT convertible(pictured). Each one was a very good car that served me well and all were fun to drive. Love to have this one.

    Like 21
    • Dave

      If he brought it out and washed it off it would resume rusting!

      Like 2
      • Phlathead Phil.

        True. But, the water pump says otherwise.

        That kind of rust usually does not occur from being stored.

        That stuff came from the inside of the car.

        I’d say at least 128,000 miles and gas tank has debris, varnish and goo.

    • Connecticut Mark

      Hey ford guy , mark in Greenwich, you bought the fairlane from us, how is it, any photos, did you do anything to it?

      Like 6
      • FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

        Hi Mark. Actually, I did quite a bit to the ’64 Fairlane. It needed a new fuel pump, water pump, heater core and a carb rebuild. The radiator had to be flushed and boiled along with some small leak repairs along with a new thermostat and radiator cap and I replaced the brake master cylinder with a new dual-chamber unit. Then there were the usual tune-up bits and pieces; plugs, points, etc. I then spent a lot of time and effort on detailing it inside and out. It looks great but I still have a few more things to address; it needs a new carpet, the heater and the radio don’t work and I’ll have to replace the intake manifold gaskets. It runs and drives very well now and the 289 is quite peppy. I’m keeping it as original as I can and have no plans to modify it in any way. They’re only original once!

        I drive it fairly often and enjoy tooling it around locally. Because of the Bat Stew Flu, cruise-ins and car shows have been almost non-existent which is disappointing but I’m hoping next season will be better.

        Like 17
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    I looked the value up on Hagerty’s site, and if the car is as advertised, it’s priced right.

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      I think Hagerty is one of the “smoking guns” for inflated classic car prices today.

      Like 26
  4. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Not a fire-breathing muscle car, but they don’t all have to be. This would be a perfectly fine Torino to own — nicely equipped, period-correct colors, seemingly good overall condition. I’m with everyone else, a bit of effort to clean and better display the car could entice prospective buyers to engage, which should lead to better justification of the asking price.

    Like 8
    • Tim

      I agree…a nice classic car. Not the muscle car of its day and would be hard pressed to keep up with today’s technology but, your right, it doesn’t need to. Just a nice clean classic that will put a smile on your face when you get on it.

      Like 3
      • Johnny

        You do mean today,s throw away vehicles. Take one to a garage with a miss in it and you better have a bundle to pay the bill. I would much rather have this Torino anyday. Then any new vehicle on the road. Alot easier to work on,fix and parts aren,t as high. If a person wanted to make this 390 really get on it. It wouldn,t be hard,but I,d keep it original and enjoy it. It is over priced,but their is more car hear then the new ones.The owner forget he should mention. He drove it and should knock off some for that. The rubber drys out and depends on how often it is ran. It might need new seals and quite a few other rubber parts,plus bearings that need replaced. Even switchs go bad buy not being used. How about $16,000. Do you think Hagerty would pay you the full price if the car was totaled .With you putting up a fight? Don,t hold your breath on it.

        Like 3
  5. gaspumpchas

    Looks like a sweetie, but you would have to look at it yourself or get a competant appraiser. Not an ebay appraiser, incompetant and i know of a guy who got screwed big time on a 69 goat, poorly inspected. Nice cruiser, I would prefer a 4 speed but the auto will get the groceries home safely. Stay safe and good luck.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 5
  6. art

    Wow, that engine is tucked in there, isn’t it. Spark plug changes must illicit some interesting, loud comments. Imagine an A/C compressor added to this?

    Like 5
  7. Jcs

    That interior is in amazing condition I must admit. Very cool.

    Like 6
  8. Racer-x

    My teenage daughter cruises in a 1971 Torino 500 with a mere 26K miles. She helped me rebuild and tune the 2V autolite carb and delete the stupid emissions timing retard.

    She’s still hesitant to do the peg leg burn out (now that it can). Soon….

    Like 4
  9. Bellingham Fred

    If it starts and runs and drives, then drive it outside and wash it before you take the pictures.

    Like 5
  10. Woody

    Another Sportsroof Torino? it’s in super condition depending on where it’s been stored,being low clearance and sort of heavy and moisture likes underbellies of these old relics! Nice survivor big-block here!

    Like 1
  11. Gus Fring

    Y-code=390 2bbl…basically, nothing to write home about but, it is in great shape.

    Like 1
  12. Randolph Dull

    Some of these ads are painful seeing that I once paid $75 for this exact car, albeit with over 100K miles. Yes, that was the late 70s…

    Like 3
  13. John P

    Great example.. an underside detailing would be awesome-but one helluva an example and a better value than a new car in that dollar range..

  14. Troy s

    One thing about Fords is how many were parked away and held onto, not for value but sentimental reasons I think. It’s a dumb observation on my part but I’ve noticed that over the years from several real Ford guys. Won’t part with the Camper Special in spotless condition, hold onto the ’63 Galaxie drag car as a coffin for later, and on and on.
    Nice old Torino GT that forgot makeup for the photo shoot, doesn’t do it justice. The interior is spot on clean, the forgettable 2 barrel 390 is sharp in appearance. Hard to believe for a 53 year old like me that the 390 was the top engine for part of ’68 until the real muscle 428 cobra jet entered the scene. I believe the 427 was advertised early on and none were built except for professional race cars, shazam.
    28 thoundand dollars actually doesn’t seem too out of line if the car is all its claimed to be. A rare cobra jet version in this shape would go for a lot more.
    Oh yea, this Torino could never cover the quarter mile in 16 seconds stock, and it wasnt meant for that anyways. Fords Forever.

    Like 1
  15. jokacz

    What is the point of a 390 2 barrel? SMH

    Like 1
  16. gaspumpchas

    Why is everyone down on a 390 2 barrel? It wont wheelie, but I guarantee it will get you where you want to go and then some. A moderate size Ford with a FE shoehorned in there, whats not to love? I have a 390 2v 4 speed in my 57 ranchero, and will get rubber in 3 gears. Its all this ol grey hair needs! Stay safe and Good luck.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 2
  17. Ron

    I’d like to know the story on the blue Charger next to it.

  18. JimmyinTEXAS

    I agree with all the comments except how grossly over priced it is. After a PPI and if condition is as good as visible in the photos 28K doesn’t sound bad. Make an offer and get on with the enjoyment of cleaning up and driving a true classic. Or maybe a little modding, EFI, electronic distributor, disk brakes… plus all the general stuff to wake it up after it’s long slumber.

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