Spotless Special: 1971 Ford Torino Halo Edition

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At one point during the 1960s and 1970s, it seemed that manufacturers were releasing special editions of their existing models every second day to bolster sales. It seemed like overkill, but it was a clever market strategy. One such vehicle was the 1971 Ford Torino 500 Halo Edition. Its vinyl top provides a distinctive look, and this one is a gem. Once again, Barn Finder T.J. has unearthed a great classic, and I must say a big thank you for that. It is listed here on Craigslist in Gibson City, Illinois. You could become its new owner by handing the seller $23,950. If that’s a bit rich, they may entertain reasonable offers.

One attraction of most special edition vehicles is that they effectively cost the manufacturer nothing. They generally draw the components required from their parts inventory, and since they’ve already paid for them, they add little to the production cost. The company then charges a price that makes the buyer believe they received a bargain while the manufacturer turns a healthy profit. That was the case with the Torino Halo. Ford offered it in three paint shades from their regular color palette. This car wears Code 5 Medium Brown Metallic, although Code 9 Peppermint Metallic and Code V Light Pewter Metallic were there to cover most buyer tastes. The combination on our feature car proved the most popular, selected by 14,587 buyers. It presents extremely well, and this rear shot allows us to see the distinctive vinyl top that gave the Edition its name. The paint shines deeply, the panels are straight, and the vinyl is perfect. Someone added a GT hood, which probably occurred when the Halo underwent a repaint around a decade ago. There are other changes that we’ll cover shortly, with the seller including the parts for reversal if the buyer chooses. Whether the original hood is in that collection is unclear, but it’s a question worth asking. The seller indicates the car has zero rust and no history of prior problems. The chrome and tinted glass are excellent, while the Magnum 500 wheels add a touch of purpose to the car’s appearance.

I admit I did a double-take when I saw the listing because this Torino looks similar to one featured a year ago in this excellent article by Russ Dixon. However, I have confirmed it isn’t the same vehicle. If a buyer ordered their Halo Edition in Medium Brown Metallic, their interior trim choices were Code 1F Ginger with Yellow accents, or…that was it! This Torino features its original interior, and its presentation is virtually flawless. There is no wear or damage and no crumbling plastic. The car retains its factory AM radio, but the aftermarket speakers in the rear parcel tray suggest a more modern stereo could be hidden somewhere. There aren’t many optional extras, but the ice-cold air conditioning will be welcome during the upcoming summer months.

Powering this Torino is its numbers-matching 351-2V V8 that sends 240hp to the rear wheels via a three-speed automatic transmission. The mechanical package rounds out with power steering and power front disc brakes. Although the “500” wasn’t the performance offering in the Torino range, this car’s ability to cover the ¼-mile in 16.4 seconds on its way to 121mph is still pretty respectable. The seller states this Ford runs and drives as well as it did the day it rolled off the showroom floor. It has no issues or vices and no evidence of any fluid leaks. The engine sports some cosmetic enhancements, but the original parts are in the trunk, and the seller includes the factory steel wheels in the sale.

Total Torino sales for 1971 was 326,463 vehicles across all derivatives. Of those, 32,900 were the Torino 500 Halo Edition. For a car that some considered obscure, it represents 10% of total sales for that year. This one presents superbly, although some might object to the changes it has received. Reversing them is possible, but splashing the cash on the correct hood if the original is gone may be hard to justify considering the sale price and the car’s potential value. However, taken at face value, the price still looks realistic in the current market. Have you heard of the Halo, and are you tempted to make an offer on this one?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Barzini BarziniMember

    I never heard of this edition but it’s one of the best looking and most interesting cars I’ve seen here in a while.

    Like 12
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    I didn’t remember this model from back in the day. This one looks good, I like it.

    Here’s my question, maybe you experts can chime in: how does the window sticker describe the car? Does it say “Halo Edition”? Or is it by definition a “Halo Edition” because the specific paint/trim made it a Halo Edition?

    Another way of asking my question: if one were to have stumbled upon this car and the owner wasn’t into its history and there was no window sticker or Marti Report and one didn’t research the specific paint/trim, how would one know it is a Halo Edition?

    Like 5
    • Dave

      It’s just a way of describing the vinyl roof. It doesn’t go all the way to the door tops, it “hovers” above them like a halo.

      Like 12
    • Racer-X

      My daughter owns a near duplicate of this Torino with 27k miles. The window sticker and bill of sale list the “Spring Promotional Package” for $115 MSRP.

      The package includes; Brown Halo Vinyl Roof, Vinyl Seat Trim, Trim Rings / Hub Caps, Bodyside MLDG / Vinyl Insert, Rear Hood Molding, GT Door Trim Panels, Accent Paint Stripes.

      When I serviced the transmission a couple of years ago, I found the trans dip stick tube shipping plug still floating in the pan. Ford designed custom rail cars to ship the Torinos vertically. Saved shipping costs. The plug ensured Tran fluid wouldn’t drain out the dip stick tube. Upon delivery, the dealer would insert the dipstick, popping out the plug.

      Like 7
      • Papa Bear

        It was not just Torino’s that had the plug, most Fords in those years had them. Serviced a lot of LTD’s and Granada’s that had those plugs.

        Like 1
  3. Big C

    There’s not many of these around, that’s for sure. If this car looks as good in person, as it does in the pic’s? It’s worth the money.

    Like 10
  4. Joe Kirwin

    Gorgeous car. I would be concerned about the unevenness of the vinyl below the right rear glass. Possible rot?

    Like 1
  5. Randy L Parsons

    I had one of these. Bought it off the floor with a 302 automatic. It didn’t have a lot of options but I didn’t care. Wish I still had it.

    Like 2
  6. Ksrl

    In the Chicago area they were called “Spring Special Editions”.
    Three colors that were listed, hubcaps with yellow stripes and trim rings.
    “Jim Moran,Your Courtesy Man”, “Courtesy Ford”.

    Like 3
  7. Howie

    Yes sweet ride!! In Illinois but still has CA plates.

    Like 2
  8. Terry

    These are my favorite Torino’s, the top sets it off really well. Wish we still had style today instead of the spaceship looking junk we do have

    Like 4
  9. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I like the 70-73 Torino’s. $23,950 for a ride over the century mark is a lot to me. $18,500 is a better price. I do like the intake and 4-bbl setup. Also the dual exhaust. This will give a kick better than the stock setup. Yes it’s clean looking and I do like the GT hood better than the stock flat hood. Good luck to the seller.🐻🇺🇸

    Like 2

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