351 V8 Project: 1971 Ford Torino GT

The Ford Torino was introduced as an upscale version of the mid-size Fairlane in 1968, and by 1971 had replaced the older nameplate altogether. In 1971, the GT was the top Torino sold except for the Cobra which was all muscle car. The GT could carry some horsepower clout, too, but most were ordered with either a 302 or 351 cubic-inch V8, which was the case with the seller’s edition. With many of the photos provided on the back of a trailer, this barn find runs and drives but has some cosmetic issues. Located in Parker, Colorado, this Ford is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $10,200 and the reserve is still waiting to be met.

In 1963, Ford went to a semi-fastback roofline to make its race cars faster in NASCAR. As the roof became more streamlined, Ford began calling the body style the “SportsRoof”, which the Torino and Mustang took full advantage of going into the 1970s. For 1970-71, the Torino may have been the sleekest yet with the SportsRoof, benefitting from swoopy “Coke bottle” styling. The unibody cars had striking long hoods and short decks, accented by pointed noses with full-width grilles and quad headlights. The ’71 models would largely be carryovers until 1972 when Ford changed things up once again with bulkier looks.

More than 31,600 copies of the Ford Torino GT SportsRoof were built in 1971. This one retains its original 351 V8 and automatic transmission. Both are said to operate properly although we assume that it’s been down for a while since the seller calls it a “barn find.”  It retains its factory metal shaker hood, too, which implies that a 4-barrel carburetor is present.

While it looks good sitting on a trailer with the tires all shined up, the body of this vehicle has problems. There is rust in the rear quarter panels and the inner fender skirts, at a minimum. The trunk floor is said to be good with no mention of the floorboards. If the car is 100% complete and not rusted worse than we see, it could be an interesting restoration. I don’t remember seeing many of these autos with the green paint this Ford wears.


  1. Larry D

    I believe that color would be Grabber Green which was pretty popular on the Mustang.

    Like 7
    • Gary Bloss

      And the Maverick Grabber !

    • Daniel J Foley

      Parents had a ’70 Torino GT in the Grabber Green!!!

  2. cold340t

    Rode in this or an identical (what are the chances?)one back 1976/77. Best friends older brother gave me and another friend a ride. Ended up running from the Oakland police and getting away. Exciting memories of my youth. If this car was once from Bay area, I always wondered where it went.

    Like 6
    • FireAxeGXP

      Thanls Cold! Stories like this make BF a much more personal and interesting olace!

      Like 4
    • Becky Burtis

      I actually had a New White 1971 Gran Torino which I had for many many years. My father was a Ford dealer in SW Kansas. I loved that car, but I had no idea it was going to be a classic. What I wouldn’t give to have that now!

  3. Ted Syeiner

    For that price with all the rust and other issues put it back in the barn good luck nicer Torino’s out thier for that money

    Like 2
  4. Howie

    Went to $10,300 reserve not met, and then relisted.

    Like 2
  5. Shuttle Guy

    Leave it on the trailer…”Buy it and flip it.”

    Like 1
  6. scottymac

    Russ: “…the Torino may have been the sleekest yet…” Sleek maybe, but not successful for NASCAR. Look at the King Cobra, they were to be equipped with a convex rear window, to shed the boundary layer air that impeded the race cars. Like the ’68 Charger, the Torino had an inset grill, which led ChryCo to patch up the 500. A few independent racers tried racing the Fairlane 500, which used a more aero friendly roof.


    Big dollar teams rolled on with the all conquering ’69 Torinos or ’70 Mercury Cyclones.

    Like 2
  7. Gary Stanek

    I owned a 1970 Torino, with the 302. Same color as this one. Of course it was my first car at the age of 18 and it only stayed on its wheels for a month.

    Like 1
  8. Desert Rat

    I always had a soft spot for these Torinos and in fact have owned 4 of 70/71 versions. To some they are odd looking, too long , too heavy and not well respected in the pecking order of top muscle cars. Still if I could go back in time and order a super cobra jet, well I don’t think I’d lose too many street races in that bad boy.

    Like 3
  9. Steve Olmstead

    I had a 72 Grand Torino 351 cobra jet I bought when i got home from Nam. The car was gold white vinyl top council. I was hit buy truck ran stop sign an totaled that was the best car I had.I’m 70 now and still think about that great car I waxed it all the time!

  10. Robert West

    With the skyrocketing prices being paid for pretty much any car with a carburetor on it, I could see paying around $10,000 for this body style. For a 50 year old car that small amount of rust is a plus.

    Like 2
  11. Jack

    Wonderful just how Google works.was at a Umatilla junkyard. Today and got to see a torino convertible with the 351 Cleveland parked in his yard. Ragtop was shot ,but it’s great to see history in person.

    • Sammy Hart

      Is that Umatilla, Florida in Lake County by chance??

  12. George Birth

    Looking at the photos of this one, they show a lot of work needed both body wise and interior. If the seller is smart he’ll take the high bid offer and be glad to be rid of this mess. The photos seem to indicate this one is overpriced.

    Like 1
  13. Melton Mooney

    These good looking Torino GTs fall squarely into the category of: ‘I really wanted one until I drove one.’

    Like 1
    • Desert Rat

      Why what was the reason you didn’t like the one you drove? The car were well made no worse or that a morpar product, perhaps not as well built aa a gm midsize car but nothing that bad. My biggest gripe were the shock towers that ate up to much engine room,but other than that they were good cars and I say that even though I’m a chevy man.

      • Melton Mooney

        That was back in the 80s. The car I drove was a nice stock 351C GT auto car. Pretty sure a 70. Had hide-away lights. It wasn’t a build quality issue, just uninspiring in every way compared to most of the muscle era stuff I’d ever driven; bench seat, column shift, ran nice and smooth but the power of a trolling motor. Felt like a 2:90ish rear gear, floaty suspension, etc. The only thing sporty about it was the GT emblems. A stock base 70 roadrunner or ss chevelle would have run rings around it in every way.

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