High Options, Low Miles: One-Family 1975 Ford Torino Elite

When the United States began to crack down on bumper laws in the early 1970s, many cars did not wear the new look well. Most manufacturers slapped shock-absorbing bumpers onto pre-existing designs and accommodated for the new space between the body and the bumper with plastic filler panels. Although pretty much no car was flattered by the new design, I have to say that Ford products looked particularly terrible. This 1975 Torino is no exception, though I’ll admit it still appeals to me! It is rare to see a car from this era still in good condition, let alone in excellent condition still wearing its original wheel covers and impact bumpers. Find it here on the Thompson Family Motors website in Ohio with a steep asking price of $12,700.

If this car interests you at all, I highly recommend looking at the full ad. The dealership includes a large amount of information, as well as 94 detailed photographs of the car. Naturally, this car is sporting the ever-popular white paint with red interior color combination. The interior looks like it has never been sat in, and justifiably so as the seller claims the car has only covered 8,505 miles since new! Based on the condition of the seats, dash, and steering wheel I have no reason to doubt the legitimacy of that statement. I can definitely see grandma only driving this car to church on Sundays, and grandson selling it because he is afraid to be seen in it.

Under the hood is what appears to be a well-maintained 351 Windsor, and with a good cleaning and detailing I think this car would show nicely as a survivor. Visible under the hood, and in some of the undercarriage photos is mild rust stains that make me wonder how air-tight the garage this car was stored in. Oddly enough, this car is equipped with a radio delete and a tachometer, so maybe the original owner liked racing, though with 143 horsepower, I doubt it. You’ll note that there is an air conditioning compressor in place, and the dealership states that it works well.

Whether you like the look of it or not, this Torino is in fantastic condition. It looks to have been well-maintained, and is touted to be ready to go with no work needed. It even has the original tires and belts, and although the dealer claims they are in good shape, I would likely replace them for safety’s sake. This car has the original manuals, bill of sale, and is all original minus some minor body repair done in 1977. If big beautiful bumpers are your thing, and low mileage cars are your game, this is definitely the ride for you!

Fast Finds


  1. Steve R

    You are right, radio delete and factory tach, that’s as close to a factory race car you could get from Ford in 1975. For that reason alone it should bring big money.

    Steve R

  2. Miguel

    Once you accept that the car makers had to comply with bumper requirements from the government, you can stop complaining about them.

    Acceptance is the first step to healing.

    Like 2
  3. scott

    Featured on Barnfinds last year sold for 12K 11,000 miles on the clock

    Like 1
    • Steve

      Much nicer car

  4. nessy

    Nice car but did you say this car has “High Options”? Crank windows and a radio delete are not what anyone would call high options. The interior, nice as it looks, is not the deluxe interior that was offered on this model. It’s even missing the bumper upgrade package. The 460 was available which this high option car also does not have. Pick pick pick. Just kidding. I like the 2 Lincolns behind it too.

    Like 1
    • RoselandPete

      What that means is whoever ordered this car was “high” when they checked the options list. :)

      Like 2

    12,700.00, really? I had a high school friend of mine that had a Torino with a 460, dual sunroofs, Crager’s, a killer stereo, dual exhaust and a super hot girlfriend back in 1981. I actually like these cars, but the engine in this thing would be like running a mile with a head cold wearing a snowmobile suit. I’d pay 12,700.00 if it’s a time machine and go back to 1981.

  6. Tommy D

    A bloated, overweight, poor handling whale of a car without a/c, somebody will love it???

    • Rich S Member

      Car has AC, but no radio.

      Like 2
  7. Superdessucke

    I remember growing up in the ’70s and thinking the Ford midsize products were particularly hot lookers. There was of course the neat Cougar XR-7s, Starsky and Hutch’s tomato red Torino with the white slash, the cool LTD II squad cars, and, especially, the 1977 Thunderbird.

    Though the new “small” ‘Bird was really just a cynically rebranded version of this car, I thought they were so awesome when they first came out. Seeing a zonked-out Cheryl Tiegs driving one and taking off into the sky in a coke-fueled haze in that commercial was a highlight of my youth.

    With time though, I think you’re right. Those bumpers look just hideous if you focus on them. I guess back in the 1970s they didn’t stand out near as much because every car had them. You could practically use those things as a diving board. Wow.

    Like 2
    • Superdessucke
      • Superdessucke

        Today, driving in that kind of condition will land you a six-month license suspension and an ankle bracelet. But man was it beautiful back in the seventies. A much simpler time.

  8. DRV

    Like a Mustang 2 with 4 more feet of overhang.

  9. Rich Tague

    We had a 75 WELL USED Hand me down 75 Blue 351 Awesome car Had to replace the Driver door eventually , window broke NO Prob , 74 Gran torino , with minor mods we found a new way to get in the car then ….pass door :) worked that way for about a year

    Like 2
  10. Bill Owens BillO Staff

    It appears this is the nicest interior available on the Elite in 1975, but other than that I would not consider it high option; no power windows, door locks or seat. As far as bumpers go, I thought when Ford came out with their 1973 cars, they appeared to have chromed railroad ties for bumpers; guess I got used to them though because I ended up buying a 1978 Thunderbird with those big bumpers.


    Like 2
  11. -Bear-

    I had a RED ’73 Torino 2-door with a 351 Windsor. That car had reasonably good power for the big boat that it was. & it got pretty good gas mileage too! It still had the body hugging rear bumper, but (unfortunately) it did have the newer ugly BIG front bumper.

    My Dad drove a GREEN ’75 Gran Torino 4-door with a 351 M (modified). That car was a SLUG, and never got much better than 10mpg. It had the ugly BIG bumpers front & rear. But it was still a very dependable car.

    My brother eventually inherited each of these cars. & he eventually drove them both to their graves after many many miles of hard use.

    Like 2
  12. Ralph Robichaud

    I have its uptown cousin-76 Merc Cougar XR-7, with @ 17K, a 351
    Windsor, runs like a clock.. Love the car.. you don’t have to.

    Like 2
    • Superdessucke

      I always loved the XR7, especially the earlier round headlight versions. My uncle bought one new in 1974. It was dark brown with a beige vinyl roof and beige and caramel two-tone interior.

      If I owned your car I would put the Magnum 500 wheels and wide 60-series white letter tires on it. That would really make it pop!

      Like 2
    • Bill Owens BillO Staff

      I liked the Cougar on this body style better than the Elite. The body side molding on the Elite may have been properly placed for protection, but looked oddly placed compared to the Cougar, since it didn’t follow the body lines like the Cougar did.

    • Rick A. Loera

      Your car is beautiful. All mid sized Fords and Mercury’s from 1972 to 1979 were all beautiful. I’ve owned a 1972 Mercury Montego MX 2 door hardtop. A 1972 Ford Gran Torino 2 door hardtop, as well as a 1977 Mercury Cougar XR-7. Still have the Torino, but I would love to have the other two back in my garage.

  13. jaymes

    gorgeous elite! thats rust treatment that turns yucky and stays sticky, super hard to remove though.

  14. jaymes

    gorgeous elite! thats rust treatment that turns yucky and stays sticky, super hard to remove though.

  15. Keith

    I actually like Elites, too bad this one doesn’t have the 429. But 5 figures, for an Elite, in any condition, is just silly.

    • Ralph Robichaud

      Six figures would be silly, but five not so. market seems to indicate that these “personal luxury coupes” be they a Ford Elite, Thunderbird, Pontiac Gran Prix, Olds Cutlass Supreme, Chrysler Cordobas, in this generally pristine condition fetch @ $15,000.. and that’s a steal for a 40 year old classic, which has most of the modern car features for drivability,, power brakes, steering, windows, A/C, etc, but a little short on safety features though.

      Like 1
      • Tommy D

        I agree, considering so many cars of the previous generation are becoming out of reach for newcomers and old timers.

  16. Moparman Member

    I had an older co-worker who bought one of these in the brown metallic color. When I commented on the full gauge package (which I thought was wasted on this type of car, LOL!) he EMPHATICALLY exclaimed that he had “no interest in them at all!” :-)

  17. MRE2ME

    Had the 1974 version of this car,351 windsor. First year called GRAN TORINO ELITE. Back in 76 when I bought it Minimum wage was 1.65 per hour & a fill up was over $20.00 & it was a thirsty bugger. (Toronto prices) Coasted to the pumps on fumes many times.

    Like 2
  18. Car Guy

    Since Grandma could not hear she did not need a radio. However she did order the tach so she could make sure she did not over rev the engine… ;-)

  19. Steve

    Owned two of these back in the day. A brown and tan 74 and a gold and white 76. You couldn’t ask for a better riding car on long road trips. The hood seemed like it was a mile long and made parking in tight spaces an adventure.

    Like 2

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