1972 Gran Torino Sport: Not Everyone Has One

My, my, my, what a handsome car. Don’t be like the last buyer and flake on this deal if you win it. At the moment, the bidding on this 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport is at over $26,000 here on eBay, with the reserve not met. You can be the winner if you come up with the magic number, and then get to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to pick it up. Maybe even think about driving it home. If it’s as good as represented, you might just make it without the help of the Auto Club’s towing service.

Why isn’t this model on more people’s radar? If a similar car in GTO guise came up for bid, it would be up over thirty and heading to forty grand. And maybe this one will get there. The Torino was produced by Ford from 1968 to 1976, and restyled for 1972. The Gran Torino Sport model debuted in 1972 and came with a base 302 V8. This one’s got the next engine up, the 351 two-barrel. That came only with an automatic transmission, which might also hold this car back from muscle-car status. But look at the commanding presence. How can you not be impressed?

I’m a Mustang guy, but not a Ford guy. When it comes to anything past the original Pony Car, I like the GMs—the Cutlass, the LeMans, the Skylark. Those are my cars. But when I saw the picture of this Ford, my heart skipped a beat. From a distance, it looks like it could be Starsky-and-Hutched. But look closely, and you realize that there’s way too much character here to adulterate. Look at the scoop adorning the hood. The chrome accents on the lower body. The wheels. Check out that fastback roofline. Crawl inside and spy the bucket seats and the array of gauges. Lastly, see the generous 351-CID engine. Sure, it’s no 429, but there’s plenty of motivating force available from this mill that comes out of the last of the muscle era.

So it’s totally original. Maybe, but a couple of receipts from years ago as all the documentation on this car leaves me wanting. It’s fine if it doesn’t go for a stratospheric price, but if it does, I want some more proof of provenance. I’m not entirely sure why someone would put an open-element air cleaner on it, but the Ford air cleaner cover is apparently part of the deal. But then look a little further, and you see in the posted Q and A’s that the car has “obviously been repainted and clear-coated,” and so despite the fact that it’s in its original color, it’s not all-original. But if you can forgive that, and if you believe the claim that 26K miles are all that have rolled under the tires, then you might just see this as your GTO-alternative. Everyone’s got one of those. You’d be the only one at the cruise in with this model.

 

Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    I love EVERYTHING about this one, except the vinyl top, but I would’nt evict it from my garage! Last ear before the “chromed railroad tie” bumpers. What a beauty! GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 15
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    This one was written up by Russ a month ago. My sentiments remain the same: very nice car in great shape, a highly desirable model, respected by even those who are not Ford fans (like author Brian). I agree, it’s handsome.

    Like 15
  3. ThunderRob

    Oh geez..never threaten to Starsky and Hutch a 72′ sport..that’s heathen talk..you should sit in the corner for a couple hours and reconsider your actions.

    Like 30
    • SubGothius

      Indeed, wrong year and bodystyle for a Starsky tribute. Those were ’74-75 coupes, by which time the front-end styling had changed twice (IMO for the worse) vs. the ’72, and the fastback SportsRoof was no longer available.

      Like 13
    • Grog

      I would imagine they put the open air filter to help with gas mileage. Beautiful car for certain even for a Ford.I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes $30k

      Like 2
  4. Stan

    Lovely Torino. Pop on a 4 barrel autolite carb and cruise it. 2.75 rear gear is perfect for a hwy cruiser.

    Like 9
  5. JustPassinThru

    There is a reason these don’t command what GM musclecars bring.

    These are not driver’s cars. The look is there, outside and in; but in practice…this was a 5000-pound boat with Ford overboosted, numb power steering.

    It helps to remember, also: That car, aside from the roof lines, is the same car as the four-door “pillared hardtop” (the only way they made those) and station wagon, was. There was some optional upgrading on suspension; but heavier-duty shocks does NOT turn a road locomotive into a rally car.

    In this day and age, it probably doesn’t matter. Hard driving isn’t so wise with a 50-year-old car, no matter its make. It’s going to be one of a VERY few at classic meet-ups – and there’s a reason for that, Fords rusted horribly. At the time, the company was all-in with recycled-steel sheet-metal; and it corroded quickly.

    Anyway…in the style of Detroit, 1945-1980, it’s just a different roofline on the same car. As was the Nomad. As was the Impala SS the same car a 150 was, under it all. As the Duster was just a variant of Grandma’s Valiant.

    True differences in models would come later. Of course, we’re back to uniformity, with four-door blobs, sometimes lifted to make CUVs…

    Like 10
    • Don Wilson

      At least they don’t over heat like chevy small blocks.

      Like 4
    • ThunderRob

      Only a bit off..a 1972 Gran Torino Sport weighed 3496 lbs dry,so probably around 3800 with all fluids and driver

      Like 21
      • Idiot Boy

        It was a boat. Too much T-Bird, not a whole lot of GTO

    • Big C

      Torino’s were competition for Monte Carlo’s, Olds Cutlass and Buick Regals. I dare say, by ’72, those cars were just as slow and mushy. The Torino’s just looked better.

      Like 11
    • Rob S

      JustPassing, not really true…. have you ever driven a 72 Q code (351 cobra jet) with 4 speed?? With competition suspension? If you did you wouldn’t have written that.

      Like 15
      • RSparks

        Agreed. Those who talk down about the Cleveland don’t know much about it. It was specifically designed for racing. Huge canted valves and intake runners made these air pumping monsters. My 73 Q code 351 4 speed with 370 trac lok and performance handling package was pretty impressive in high school. In fact my best buddy numerous times would ask to swap me his 68 Chevelle 327 automatic for the night because he loved the way my Stang performed. I liked driving his Chevelle too but it was more of a cruising experience rather than a performance ride. I do agree that this particular car not being the actual sport model hurts it a bit on the collector status but a really clean non sport model will still fetch a premium.

        Like 1
    • Jimmy

      Hahaha… ALL American auto manufacturers were cutting corners in the ’70s and not painting the underside was just one of those corners …

  6. Troy

    Its amazing what a Hollywood movie can do for some cars before the Clint Eastwood movie you could buy this car for under $10k now they bring a lot more

    Like 8
    • Mike76

      In fairness, back when the movie “Gran Torino” came out, most of these cars that are being sold for 25 and 30k were around 10 grand and under. I know because I sold a 1970 Olds Cutlass S, porcelain white with dark green buckets, console, and a swapped out 350 for a built 455, turbo 400 and type 0 posi with 3.23 gears for 10k in 2009. All of these cars have gotten more expensive. All of ’em.

      Like 1
  7. Bick Banter

    Sorry. My New Year’s resolution is going to be less of a smart a** and more empathetic and nicer in general.

    But it’s not New Year’s yet. No kidding they bricked! They offered to pay 38 grand for a 1972 Ford Torino, as i recall, with a common engine. Hopefully, they picked up a newspaper and realized what’s going on with the economy and EVs. Purchases like these will be among the first to depreciate, fast.

    Like 2
    • Big C

      So, you’re hoping to get top dollar for that mid-decade Prius, huh?

      Like 8
      • Bick Banter

        I don’t understand your comment. I don’t own a Prius. Nor do I think you have to realize that this would be a dumb purchase at what it got bid to.

  8. RMac

    Hey Rick “GET OFF MY LAWN”!!!!!LOL

    Like 1
  9. angliagt angliagt Member

    “Rick’s not here man” – at least not yet.

    Like 2
  10. RMac

    Fat fingers I meant to say hey Bick(banter) “Get off my Lawn” !!!!!

    Like 3
  11. Robert Levins

    “Bick Banter”- is totally right. The “New “ economy that is heading our way starting next year, yes the recession, and going forward, will take a lot of new Classic car owners straight to the cleaners. Just look at the ferocious volume of classic cars for sale right now. Everyone that has one knows – you better sell now – because in a year from now you will be lucky to even find a buyer let alone get a high price. That’s the classic car corner we’ve boxed ourselves into.

    Like 4
    • Bick Banter

      Yes. You understand. Even the kinder 2023 Bick Banter is going to say that still. Just in a nicer way!

      Like 1
    • Idiot Boy

      Hold. Everything is cyclical. The shortsighted shortchange themselves.

      Historically proven desirable physical assets including sought after collector cars – particularly elite survivors – may indeed be a hedge against an increasingly valueless dollar and the looming currency transition to Fedcoin.

      But Bick is correct in that a repainted ’72 Torino 2-barrel “survivor” has limited upward trajectory and isn’t exactly blue chip at $38K.

      • Bick Banter

        Fedcoin will give the government power to potentially regulate your spending to keep you within your carbon footprint. I would oppose that!

  12. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I love the 1970 to 72 Torino’s but this year the drivetrain is weak. It’s a beautiful ride. My idea would be pull the engine and transmission. Put in a 69/70 setup of 460 with a C6 beef up the rear end with 3:73 gears or 3:50 Nice dual exhaust setup and have fun.Then the looks would match the drivetrain. Good luck to the next owner. 🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

    Like 5
  13. David Sawdey

    Poetry in motion,or sitting still

    Like 4
  14. Richard heide

    Beautiful car! Beauty doesn’t get you in trouble, speed does. Beauty over speed anyday police might agree. Had one 72, loved it but never was one for speed!

  15. RMac

    Well Bick and Robert I say if prices DO DROP like you thin( and I doubt they will drop and stay down) then it will open the door to people like me who buys cars because they love the car and love to drive them but not good for folks ( like you apparently perhaps)? That see cars only as an investment to buy and sell to make money
    And both of you can “get off my Lawn”!!!

    Like 10
    • Bick Banter

      No, perhaps not. I just have an aversion over paying for things because i want it now. Cars are a poor Investment in all but a few cases. You can virtually always make more money long term putting your cash in stocks than in a collector car.

      That’s why you should drive and enjoy cars. I think I’ve said that a million times on here.

  16. HC Member

    She’s a head turner for sure. Not anything wrong with its 351 either, as it can easily be warmed up if you want, without a complete rebuild. It will probably hit $30k no problem.

    Like 4
  17. Lathebiosas

    For that much $$ I need all the tires to be the same make…..

    Like 3
  18. Jost

    This is a beautful car , and I would love to own it. But they don’t command GTO money because this was not a muscle car. It was more of a “personal luxury car” and the sport morphed into the Gran Torino Elite later in the 70’s. The power train is docile, its comfortable and quiet. A perfect cruiser that is beautiful, but not a musckle car.

    Like 8
  19. Lance Platt

    Beautiful car. Looks great in red and white. Bucket seats are a plus. Automatic makes it easy to drive. The 161hp V8 is not the stuff of muscle car legends but would be the perfect midrange engine to smoothly push a heavy intermediate car.The muscle car was killed by high insurance premiums for high horsepower,zealous speed trap enforcement, later gas mileage and fuel embargo worries and changing consumer tastes toward more luxury than straight line performance. This Gran Torino is representative of what the average buyer would have wanted as a practical but sporty looking family or personal car in 1972 not a teens dream car of smoking tires and stoplight to stoplight street racing to show off.

    Like 6
  20. Psychofish2

    Gag.

    And people mock 74 Matador coupes, Mustang IIs and 60 Valiants for being over styled. This polyester mess gets a pass.

    Looked like a bloated Pinto then and still does.

    Still, better than the ’73/’74.

  21. Wayne Hardy

    Funny comments about handling…I had a ’71 Torino drove pretty well. Had the 351Cleveland V-8, a nice engine, and certainly it never in it’s worst bloat day ever weighed 5000 lbs.Pretty sure the listed weight was UNDER 3200 lbs. Also had a 71 version of the same car but in Mercury Montego dress, and it too was fun to drive, especially on a dirt circle track. Just hard to believe it gained 1800 lbs in one year model. Guess you were not a Ford Family.

  22. Kevin

    Don’t knock that 351 gm boy. I owned a 72 mustang with the 351 Cleveland. No Windsor. It shredded every set of rear tires instantly until i put 15 s on it.

    Like 5
  23. RSparks

    I had one of these except mine had black interior and the laser stripe. Original Q cone 351 car that had been transplanted with a 429. I sold it to a friend of mine and a couple of useless teenagers went into his storage shed and chopped it up with a pick axe and a splitting maul. His insurance company (not a collector car insurance company) gave him $500 and he gave it back to me. I saved the front seats, gauge cluster, shifter hump, console and rear end. I still have all this stuff. Engine and transmission did not come back to me. Such a shame. The kids only got probation.

    Like 1
  24. Pnuts

    50 years later they’re still ugly to me.

  25. Howie

    $26,000 not sure how you came up with that, it is at $23,997 now. Looks great but too much white for me.

    Like 3
    • Bick Banter

      A bidder may of pulled out (or got canceled) and then that dropped the price down. That has happened in some of my eBay auctions before.

      • Howie

        Thanks Bick, as i click on the bids it does say 1 retraction, but it dropped by a lot, ends tonight.

      • Bick Banter

        Some actually do it as a strategy. That happened to me when I was trying to sell my Volvo 850R wagon on ebay. Going on memory here, a guy put in an early $5,000 bid, which was my reserve. Being a Volvo 850, that princely sum obviously remained the high bid until the second to last day.

        Then the bidder withdrew that bid and immediately started bidding again at $2,000, or wherever the next highest bid was!

        I immediately canceled their bid and blocked them but it was too late The auction ended way below my reserve and I had to start over. It was obvious that high bid deterred other bidders and prevented any bidding momentum, which was their point obviously.

        I’m not saying that’s what happened here but you need to watch out for that in these auctions if you’re a seller. That is why I would never sell a car with no reserve there.

  26. Joe Haska

    When I see a car like this ,it is all about emotions, I don’t try to over think it. YES! I like it. Would I like to have it YES! So what’s the problem, besides time , money and space. Just think 25 K for this or the same or more for a new KIA.

    Like 4
  27. Mike Allen

    I traded in a cherry 1965 mustang when I got out of the service in 1973 for a 1973 Gran Torino sport that looks like this one but with black interior and a black vinyl roof. I traded it in later on another car. I dearly miss them both. Hindsight is 20/20.

  28. Heartbreaker AL

    I’m an engine builder in Chicago area and own a 72 Ranchero. I had to go to Minnesota to find one with a 429 big block. Small blocks are way too much effort to make go fasters out of and the cost is not worth it. If you plan on building a mid sized Ford you made the right choice, they already have beefy trans and rear end components all you got to do is invest in engine modifications. If you can find one like I did with a big block you won’t have to invest much to make it a stock tire smoker. If you’re that worried about gas millage then go find yourself a nice VW bug.

    Like 4
  29. AL

    If you’re not desperate to sell this car be patient and have respect for those of us who own these rare old Fords. This car should see $40k

    Like 1
  30. Idiot Boy

    Ford’s homage to GM’s ’68-’72 A-Bodies was too big and too late

    • Big C

      The ’72 Torino made ANY ’72 GM mid size look like a fat girl in yoga pants.

  31. Johan

    I’ve never personally understood the appeal of this generation of the Torino. It looks bloated and weirdly proportioned to me, but…looks are subjective. However, I do take exception with any comparison of this car to the legendary GTO

  32. Sam

    Still has 3 different tires.

    Like 1
  33. $ where mouth is

    I had to comment, Brian, you are a refreshing writer for BFs, good attitude, humble, respectful of the car; thank you.

    I love the front end of these, more than most all other ‘muscle cars’ , if only the rear quarters and ass end werent so.. so . . ugly ? :/
    As for this particular Torino, ya, too much white.
    A 72 Torino wagon would be sweeet.

    • Brian K Staff

      So nice of you to say that. I have enjoyed my work for BF and continue to do so. It’s a challenge to come up with interesting and accurate things to say about so many different marques, because I see from the comments on many posts that there are a lot of experts who read. I appreciate your comment and all those who participate in these fun discussions.

      Like 2
  34. B Wallace

    Too bad that the original owner did not opt for the 351-4V I think it was about $50 more over the 2V but you got a whole lot more than just a 4V Carb and a 50 HP boost but it required premium fuel. So in his mind he was probably saving $ because the 2V could run on regular. But even so 351C-2V’s are a lot quicker than most people would think.

    Like 1
    • gary

      4V’s are screamers but the 2V’s are indeed pretty stout. I think this car was a cruiser for the original owner, power brakes, windows, steering, a/c, etc. It was probably his “I made it” car. It’s a beauty for sure.

  35. Kathy

    I owned one of these cars in ’74. One of the best cars I ever had, and I truly regret selling it. It was bright red, with the hood scoop, and a 351 Cleveland motor. Looks just like the one pictured above. Of course, I also had a ’65 Mustang, and a ’57 Chevy that I regretted selling even more. I was just a kid at the time… what the heck did I know?

    Like 1
  36. HC Member

    I believe the seller said he had relisted this one on ebay because last winner of an auction didn’t pan out. I’ve never had luck selling cars on ebay. Many guys just want to entertain themselves with the bidding pro ess and have no real intention of buying the car. I’ve supposedly sold 3 cars on ebay and none of the buyers ever actually bought any of them. Waste of time IMO

  37. Howie

    Sold reserve met $26,400.

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