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Even More Elite: 1974 Ford Gran Torino Elite

1974 Ford Gran Torino Elite

The Torino started as the upscale version of the Fairlane in 1978. Then the Fairlane became a sub model of the Torino and in 1971 the Fairlane name was dropped completely. Here’s another Elite, in perhaps a more pleasing shade than brown. (Not to appear elitist) This Torino is well past the glory days of earlier Torinos and was longer and heavier and more about luxury than performance. It’s a great barn find and survivor. By 1974 they had grown the big ugly bumpers and opera windows were popular. This one is completely original. It only has a little over 26,000 miles and the seller can verify that. The owner kept a very detailed log on his car. The Torino drives well and is “loaded” with all the period options. Everything works, even the tape player. They don’t say how long the car was parked, but that information will be in the book. It would also be nice to know what the seller has done to get is driving again. Thanks to Stu for finding and passing along this great find! This one sadly ended before we were able to feature it, but the reserve wasn’t meet, so here is to hopping the seller relists it! You can see the old listing here on eBay.


The vinyl top is going to need to be redone. Hopefully, there’s no rust under there. The adhesive could be lots of work to remove, but I would consider just painting the top.

inside front

The interior looks really nice in the pictures, amazing if this is really the original interior.

1974 Ford Gran Torino Engine

The 351 Windsor certainly looks original and complete, although by 1974 the HP was down from 350 HP to 150 HP. . It does show the years. The only possible new bit I see is the brake master cylinder.


The trunk shows some surface rust but nothing serious. It looks like you could sand and paint it and find another trunk mat.

Ford Gran Torino Elite

If you look closely there are a few areas of surface rust on both the paint and chrome, but it doesn’t look like much to clean things up. I would love to see what’s in that notebook, to verify this really only has about 26,000 miles. Would you do anything to this Torino except perhaps a top and clean up the surface rust? It’s certainly not a very desirable Torino, it’s just an overgrown personal luxury car, but wouldn’t this be a nice driver? What do you think it’s worth? I look forward to your comments.


  1. Todd Zuercher

    I think your lead sentence should say 1968, not 1978. I’m surprised so many of these are popping up as of late. They all seemed to disappear ages ago, even here in AZ where rust is not an issue.

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  2. Ken Nelson Member

    Can’t think of a more boring car….

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    • grant

      Even a Chevette?

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      • Andrew

        …..or AMC Pacer?

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  3. piper62j

    Actually, they were’nt such such a bad car then.. Lots of them on the road and they had a nice ride to them.. Unfortunately, these models were sluggish with the small V8.

    Nice car and great find.

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    • grant

      Oh I love them. And the power issues can be easily remedied.

      Like 1
  4. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    I believe the first Torinos were more close kin to the Falcon, especially Downunder. This car does nothing for me…there are hundreds of these languishing on back lots in middle America.

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  5. Chebby

    Nice colors on this one (you’re right they are usually brown) but these are horrible cars. 7.5 feet of hood, cramped little cabin with no back seat room, ugly baroque design, built from the parts bin, and crappy mileage from a smog pig engine. Ford couldn’t even be bothered to make it a real model, they just gave it a generic name like Elite. No actual members of the elite have ever been seen driving one of these.

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  6. Alan (Michigan)

    These are Tanks!
    Bought one of them in the early 80’s, running but with issues, for $100. The intent was to run it in a demolition derby. Never got that far, I took a profit of $75 and never looked back. I guess I am (or was) a flipper!

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    • Keith

      It’s people like you who are ruining the car hobby! (just kidding)

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  7. Jim Marshall

    Ford got a lot of mileage out of the original 1972 Torino and Grand Torino’s. Several different models like this Elite, Mercury Cougar, Mercury Montego’s, Grand Torino Sports and Ranchero and even the restyled 77 Tbird and Cougar was on the same chassis.

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    • Clint

      Keep in mind that the Panther platform (Crown Vic, Mercury Gran Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car) was also based on this chassis. It survived until 2011!

      I used P71 (Police) parts on my 72.

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  8. Bryan

    My grandmother bought a triple green 76 Ford Elite brand new and drove it for ten years. She loved the car, especially the practicality of the opera windows…no blind spots!

    I distinctly remember the high dashboard, the low vinyl bench seat, and the sound of Neil Diamond on 8-track.

    Like 1
  9. Walt

    Too many on this site do not speak from experience. I saw a 76 Torino when visiting my sister in punta fords florida 10 years ago. Thought some kid had beefed it up and walked away. Could not get the car out of my mind and called the owner to look at it. The gentleman picked the car up from his buddy and did not know much. HAPPY to say I bought the car showing 46k miles in near mint condition sporting a factory 460 under the hood (headers,electric fuel pump,aluminum intake,and Holley carb). One of my favorite memories driving the car home to Wisconsin (great ride and terrible fuel mileage). Still have car in my house in Arizona with around 47k miles.

    Like 1

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