Rusted by the Sea: 1970 Ford Torino GT

The Torino joined the Ford line-up in 1968 as an upscale Fairlane and quickly took over representation of the company’s mid-size line-up. The Torino/Fairlane was redesigned in 1970 and had a longer, lower, meaner look to it. This ’70 Torino GT convertible was parked in an open shed near the ocean 43 years ago and Mother Nature has since had a field day. It will be a challenging restoration or could serve as a donor for another project. Located in Tanner, Alabama, this old Ford is available here on eBay where bidding has only reached $2,275.

If you wanted a Ford convertible in an intermediate body style in 1970, the Torino GT was your only choice. The sportier edition of the Torino, with goodies like hideaway headlights, only saw 3,939 copies with a canvas top made compared to 56,819 fastbacks. This one was driven 78,000 miles before being parked and exposed to the elements in 1978. Salt air has been its biggest enemy and the entire automobile has rusted badly. It has a shaker hood which the seller will reinstall, but the air breather is in bad condition. The doors will not open from the outside and some of the glass is broken out. Yet the convertible top frame, trim, and hardware are said to be intact.

The car retains its original 351 cubic-inch “Cleveland” V8, though it’s stuck now from sitting all these years. The seller doesn’t know what transmission is in the Ford, but whatever it is will surely need rebuilding. The 4-barrel carburetor was stolen off the engine several years ago as were the original wheels, but there are rollers on it now so the car can be loaded onto a flatbed. The Torino does not have a title as we’re told Alabama did not issue them before 1975. So, a Bill of Sale and the 1978 Alabama tag receipt will have to suffice.

You don’t see that many early ‘70s Torino’s running around these days and drop-tops are even rarer. But the condition of this car begs the obvious question: is it worth fixing and, if not, what parts can be harvested for another Torino project? If you brought the car home, what would you do with it?


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  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Ran when docked in Davy Jones’ storage locker.

    Like 12
  2. Cadmanls Member

    So open shed, that car was forgotten and neglected many years ago. My guess air cleaner assy was left on the ground and hood left open when the carb was taken off. Hinges froze and hood pulled off when it was pulled on the trailer. Shame, car was nice looking car new. Rust is mostly surface but definitely a project. Don’t know if it’s worth saving as is, but worse cars have been back.

    Like 8
  3. Cadmanls Member

    My bad, there is one shot where sunlight got through the floor. Parts car!

    Like 4
  4. erik in ri

    ‘M’-code Cleveland motor might be the most valuable thing here if it can be saved.

    Like 2
  5. Macfly

    I can’t believe the bidding on this. It was a very special car at one time. One that i have owned and would love to have again, but there is nothing there that looks useable.

    Like 2
  6. Mike Tuttle

    Damn sharp car when it was new…not any more. bidding is 10k+ right now…

  7. PaulG

    Parked in an open shed…in Sponge-Bob-Square-Pants backyard!

    Like 2
  8. That Guy

    It looks better than I expected, frankly. Unless there is terminal cancer in the frame or elsewhere underneath, it seems pretty restorable. Holy floors aren’t a big deal if the surrounding metal is solid. I’d definitely want a PPI before I bid anything though. Not that I will be anyway.

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