Original 351: 1969 Ford Torino GT

This 1969 Ford Torino GT has been parked in a shelter for more than eight years, but it does have all of the hallmarks of a great project build. The owner has coaxed its original V8 back to life, but it will need further work before it could be considered roadworthy. However, it is the sort of car that could be driven and enjoyed while the restoration work is performed as time and circumstances allow. Located in Walnut Cove, North Carolina, you will find the Torino listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $5,400, and with the reserve now off, this classic is set to go to a new home very shortly.

Finished in Meadowlark Yellow, the Torino would have cut a dashing figure when it was new. Time has taken its toll on the paint, and there are a few minor exterior rust issues that will need to be tackled before the buyer considers a repaint. These rust spots are pretty minor, and I believe that all of them could be addressed with patches. These include areas on the bottoms of both front fenders and some on the rear quarter panels. It looks like there is also some developing around the rear wheel housings and in the bottom corners of the back window. If I am right on this, those will require attention before they can deteriorate further. The rockers look solid, and there is nothing else that I can spot in the supplied photos. The bumpers will require a trip to the platers, but the remaining trim should respond well to some plain old hard work with the polish cloth. The glass seems to be in excellent order, and the Torino rolls on its original GT wheels.

The seller describes the trunk pan, floors, and frame rails as rust-free in the listing. I’m not 100% convinced by that claim. If you look at this underside photo, it seems like there is a rust hole in the floor close to where it meets the inner rocker. However, it is the only one that I can spot in the photos, and fixing it would not be difficult. It does reinforce my belief that any classic project car should be treated to an in-person inspection before money changes hands. When it comes to spending what would be at least a four-figure sum, I would rather be safe than sorry.

The GT is a numbers-matching car and features an M-Code 351ci V8, automatic transmission, and power steering. When it rolled out of the showroom, that V8 would have been producing 290hp. That was sufficient to send the Torino through the ¼ mile in 15.7 seconds, and while that might not be muscle car territory, it was still a respectable number. This is one of those classic “ran when parked” scenarios, but it isn’t as bad as it could be. The owner recently dragged the Torino out of a shelter, which was a spot that it had occupied for more than eight years. He connected an external fuel source to it, and that V8 coughed into life and settled down smoothly almost immediately. It will need some work before it could be considered roadworthy, but it sounds like it isn’t going to break the bank. It needs at least one wheel cylinder, although I’d go through the entire braking system to ensure it’s spot-on. I’d also flush the fuel system, replace all of the belts and hoses, along with the tires. These last items were virtually new when the car was parked, but the seller says they are showing some cracking that suggests that they shouldn’t be trusted. It seems that getting this GT roadworthy could be achieved if the buyer tinkers for a few weekends, meaning that the vehicle could be enjoyed during the upcoming warmer months.

The first thing that I would do with the Torino’s interior would be to treat it to a thorough clean. The photos that the seller supplies aren’t great, but it looks like quite a lot of the interior trim could be salvaged with little effort by the buyer. It will require a new cover for the front seat and a new headliner, but the remaining trim and the dash look pretty good. We can’t see the state of the carpet, so the buyer may need to spend around $250 on a new set. The wheel also has several cracks, but I have seen owners repair these using an epoxy resin. If the buyer takes their time with this, returning the wheel to a factory-fresh state for under $50 is possible. If those are the only items required, whipping the interior into shape could be an inexpensive exercise. The interior isn’t loaded with luxury features, but it appears that there are no aftermarket additions. An AM radio would provide entertainment on the move, but that is about it. If you crave air conditioning or power windows, you’ve come to the wrong place!

Taken at face value, this 1969 Torino GT shows a lot of promise as a project car. If the rust is as limited as the photos suggest, none of it would require immediate attention. With the owner coaxing the 351 back to life, it would seem that returning the vehicle to a roadworthy state might not be a difficult task for the buyer to tackle. That leaves the tantalizing prospect of the buyer getting it back on the road for the coming warmer months, then treating it to some restoration work when the weather turns ugly once again. With the reserve now off, the Torino will be going to a new home in a few short days. Could that new home be yours?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Snotty

    I had a 69 fairlane formal roof with the 351 windsor, and it ran great when I replaced the motor mount on the torque side. Another one I wish I could of hung onto.

    Like 2
  2. jerry z

    Maybe I should take a ride and checkit out. Being only 1 1/2 hrs from my house, might be worth investigating. Like these over the fastback versions.

    Like 8
  3. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    The -68 and ’69 Torinos are my favorite cars. I’ve owned a ]68 four door sedan, a ’68 two door hardtop(same color as this one) and a ’69 Torino GT convertible, all with a 302. They were all very good cars, definitely not muscle cars but very nice, dependable cruisers. The two ’68s I had were daily drivers and served me well. I like this car a lot though the rust issues give me pause. This one will need a good bit of work; paint, rust repair, re-chroming and some mechanical work but it looks like a worthy project. The 351 is a good motor and you can get a lot more hp out of it if so desired. If the final bid is reasonable, someone will have a pretty good car to restore.

    Like 4
  4. Moparman Member

    The ’69 Torino held a high spot on my List of Likes, but I was always torn between this and the fastback! Looking at it now w/ the benefit of years of mechanical experience, sparkplug changes with those shock towers wouldn’t be fun! The rust is a concern, but I pretty much agree w/ Adam’s assessment. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 2
  5. Troy s

    I like the formal roof better than the fastback version, it’s more Ford style to me for some reason. I hardly ever saw any of these mid sized Fords in my youth(early-mid eighties), but the fastback needed larger tires to look right, at least to me it did.
    Lot of potential in this one.

    Like 4
  6. John Lesperance

    I had a 69 Torino GT and didn’t look like this. Mine had a fastback, no chrome strip down the side and bucket seats. I bought it used. Was mine a special order?

    Like 1
    • Richard Whitfield

      I had a 69 candy apple red Torino 302 with white parallel lines down sides. 68’s lines were not parallel.

  7. Gary Raymond Member

    Learned to drive on a yellow ‘68 Torino GT Fastback with the ‘mighty’ 302-2 barrel, great car. I wanted to buy it from dad when he went to trade it in on a ‘72 Ford Wagon (ugh), but he said “son, the windshield washer pump quit working, and that’s just the first of several things that are going to give out”.
    Dad was not a car guy but there was some wisdom there….

    Like 2
  8. Steve Thompson

    There’s headers on the engine, I’d address any mechanical and road worthy issues, get it running good, do the brakes, put disks on the front, new tires and drive it as I fixed the rest. I’d like to have it but to far away.

    Like 2
  9. Big Al

    Need to look hard at lips on trunk and hood, and the torque boxes,…all rust there bad, ….I know every inch of 68,69 fairlanes, torinos, and mustangs ,this one has potential but you better go look, but is def worth 7-8 grand all day! And u can change plugs on this car with eyes closed,literally…..big block cars are a problem though.

    Like 1
  10. Timmy V

    I was brought home from the hospital in one very similar to this in late 1969. Ours was white with a black vinyl top, 302 2bbl automatic. Sedate, but still a cool car, and a bonafide GT with the hood scoop (non-functioning) and GT wheel covers. We had it for a long while. My sister and I cried and cried when my Dad traded it on a 1975 (used) LTD around 1977. Wouldn’t you??

    Like 2
  11. Will Johnson

    How do I get in contact with seller to buy the car

  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $5,900.

  13. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    This looks like a shrunken version of the car I grew up in.

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