Fastback Project: 1972 Ford Torino Sport

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The Torino debuted in 1968 as an upscale Fairlane – and would replace that nameplate altogether in 1971. With a complete redesign in 1972, the cars took on a bulkier look compared to the aerodynamic strokes on the 1970-71 editions. The Gran Torino Sport was the “top dog,” unless you opted for the performance-oriented GT. The seller’s 1972 GTS may have had a restoration started, which includes a replacement engine, but that motor has problems as do the aesthetics of the automobile.

If you wanted a 2-door hardtop, you purchased either a “regular” Torino, Gran Torino, Gran Torino Sport, or the latter as a fastback. More than 31,000 copies of the hardtop the seller owns were built that year and were probably a distant second in sales to, say, the Chevrolet Malibu. This one was finished in either Light Goldenrod or Yellow paint when new, but much of it is gone now, replaced by other colors or primary. It had a vinyl top which had been peeled off (at least partly).

The first half of the listing for this Ford reads a little like dealer-speak, but we’re told a private seller is involved. When it gets to the practical details, the tone of the ad changes and is more realistic. For example, the windshield and dashboard are cracked, and the driver’s seat needs to be recovered. There is a reference for a new carpet, but we don’t know if it’s been done or needs to be.

A 351 cubic inch V8 sits under the hood, a replacement for the original. But it has issues concerning oil pressure and a possible valve noise. The original motor has hung around, and it will be thrown in. The newer engine is set up with a 4-barrel while the factory was a 2-barrel. The C-4 automatic transmission is said to be okay. It’s a factory A/C car, but the compressor is MIA. If you’d like to undertake the rest of the restoration and repairs, you can find the Torino in Dobson, North Carolina, and here on eBay where $2,550 is the current ante.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    The 1972 Gran Torino is a favorite. I think the expressive body styling gives it “presence”. I even like the in-your-face front grille/bumper (quite different from the simple rear bumper). The Sport models are quite attractive when restored. This one needs plenty of work but I hope someone tackles the project.

    Like 14
  2. HadTwo

    Has the driveshaft been replaced?

    Like 2
  3. Cimmarron

    Can’t see these anymore without thinking of Clint.

    Like 4
  4. Yblocker

    Easily the best looking car of 72, or any other year for that matter, restoration, well built 4barrel Cleveland, only thing finer, would be a 4spd

    Like 9
    • Bry593

      The best looking torino, yes. However, 72 Camaro is best looking usa car of 72. Prices reflect this truth.

      Like 1
  5. Better looks than the Red Tomato Starsky

    It could b e a beautiful car restored after some welding is done on a couple spots. The front of roof line by front windshield will need a plate installed. The black paint and bondo under the roofline black paint still shows a hole etc. and the white fiber is hiding the rest. I hope the trunk is good as the same black is sprayed on top.. Not seeing visible rust thru but would like to see it up close and some under shots of the sub frame. My parents had a 72 Torino with a Cleveland and it ran great! The grille on the front and the redesign was in my book one of the best Torinos made.

    Hope the reserve is not crazy so it can get restored.


    Like 1
  6. rustylink

    I was watching the FBI rerun and at the end of the show Inspector Erskine usually gets into a Ford and drives off (Ford was a show sponsor). The episode I saw shows Erskine getting into a sweet 72′ Torino Sport painted orange shod with Magnum 500’s.

    Like 5
  7. Big C

    I’m partial to the 68-69 Torino fastbacks, but these were a close second. I hope someone brings this car back to it’s former glory.

    Like 4
  8. gippy

    I had a 72 Ranchero- best looking of all.

    Like 6
  9. mainlymuscle

    Even though I understand this is the wrong year and roofline ,I AM going to do one of these up Starsky and Hutch style .I will choose a 72 with a cleaner body to start.

    Like 2
  10. wjtinfwb

    ’72 was a great year for Intermediates. Torino and Montego were all new, with a 4 link rear coil suspension that greatly improved the ride and handling over the earlier cars with leaf’s. It was also the final year for the GM intermediates like the LeMans and Cutlass Supreme before the new (ugly) Colonade styling was intro’d in ’73. Engines were boat anchors but the Torino still offered a 351 Cleveland 4-barrel although not many were sold. The interior of the Torino was greatly improved and could be optioned up to be really nice if the Sports Instrumentation and buckets with console were selected. The next year Ford mailed in the new bumper standards (as did GM) by just bolting a huge chrome bench on the front and rear with zero integration with the body lines. I’d love a cherry ’72 Gran Torino Sport 2dr hardtop (the formal rear window version) with the Brougham interior and the high-back split bench with the Instrumentation group. Add a 351 C, the Competition Suspension option and Magnum 500s and I’d have my perfect throwback ride.

    Like 4
  11. sparkster

    Rustylink , thanks for the memories. I remember watching that show , FBI and ford really had beautiful Torino he would drive off in at the end of the show.
    It would be interesting if anybody could find that Torino once again. 1972 was still my favorite year for these.

    Like 2
  12. Yblocker

    Anyone ever seen a “base” 72 Torino? Completely different front, with a full width grille, they were nice looking as well, and a rare sight today

    Like 0

    In 1972 Torino was a far, far better engineered car than it’s competitor, Chevelle, and Torino outsold the bowtie by more than 100,000 units. I own a ’72 “H” code Cleveland and ’73 “Q” code Cobra Jet and they are both great cars. Don’t underestimate the performance and – more importantly – the handling of these cars. They actually pull stronger than most people think, and they certainly change direction much better than those ’60’ muscle cars that were mostly straight line cars which were “handling and stopping challenged”.

    Like 5
  14. Dr Ron

    The “bulkier look” is probably attributable to the 1972 Torino being an entirely new vehicle with a full frame as opposed to the 70-71 Torinos which were essentially the same unibody design going back to the 1966 Fairlane.

    And as mentioned above, the Sports instrumentation, bucket seats and console cars are the top of the line cars interior wise.

    I’m pretty sure that the ‘72 on full frame Torinos were heavier than their unibody predecessors and Ford equipped them mostly with H Code 2 bbl 351 Clevelands rather than 302 engines.

    As I mentioned in Barn Find comments on the 1970 Torino GT on eBay (relisted with a Buy It Now of $18,000) Cleveland engines seem to have one weak spot and that would be the camshaft oiling or lack of and the eventual failure of the center cam bearings.

    When that center bearing fails the engine and cam will happily soldier on without giving any clue to problems but not indefinitely. The cam will still be supported on either end but runout of the center of the cam will eventually begin to create excessive wear on the lobes adjacent to either side of the missing bearing.. and eventually you will begin noticing rough idling and valve train noise.

    My first 351 Cleveland was in my 1972 Gran Torino Sport. It was Competition Red, white bucket seats, console, C6 automatic. Sports Rally Instrumentation and laser stripes…

    Had to sell it to pay for books and tuition during my senior year in college when Pell Grant money wasn’t enough.. still bummed about that.

    Like 3

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