SportsRoof Project: 1970 Ford Torino GT

The Ford Torino, which had been the upscale version of the Fairlane, became the series leader for 1970 and was totally restyled, receiving a low and aerodynamic look. The fastback version was now called the SportsRoof and Ford sold more than 56,000 of them that way with the GT package. This one was finished in Bright Yellow, which meant that you could never lose it in a parking lot. It’s drivable, but just around the yard because the brakes are shot, and the tires are hard as rocks. Located in Batesville, Mississippi, the one bid so far here on eBay is $6,500,

If you put a ’69 and a ’70 Torino side by side, they wouldn’t look much alike, which presumably was Ford’s goal. The hood was long, the deck short, and the roofline on the fastback, I mean SportsRoof, was almost flat, making it nearly impossible to see out of it backing up (too bad back-up cameras didn’t exist back then). The Mustang fastback had the same problem. The SportsRoof had a DirectAire ventilation system as a standard feature which eliminated the need for side vent windows. The Torino GT, like the seller’s car, came from the factory with a non-functional hood scoop molded into the hood, GT emblems, dual color-keyed sport mirrors, and full-width taillights with a honeycomb effect. Visually, it was an exciting car and Motor Trend deemed it “Car of the Year” for 1970.

The seller’s Torino has its share of troubles, yet there’s still hope. The car has likely been sitting outdoors for quite a while, and the scattered rust throughout the car would attest to that. But back in 1970, it was quite the looker. The original paint is still there, but it’s gotta go. The rear quarter panels have rust, the right-hand rocker panel is dented, the grill is broken and the GT emblem missing, but the worst part perhaps is that the floorboards are rusted, and a few good whacks could open them up for Fred Flintstone to drive. The Magnum 500 wheels look to be salvageable and the gas tank is fairly new.

Don’t expect things to approve once you open the doors. Besides the aforementioned floorboards, the front seat upholstery is shot, although the back seat doesn’t look bad (maybe nobody sat back there due to the lack of headroom?). The headliner is falling down, the carpeting is MIA, and I’m betting the covered dash pad is cracked. There are wires hanging down from under the dash and the fuse box has issues, which might relate to some of the outside lights not working. Better call your electrician!

Things under the hood aren’t as exciting as you might expect. A 302 V-8 resides there, but someone beefed it up by giving it a 4-barrel carb, an Edelbrock aluminum intake manifold, and dual exhaust. The transmission is an automatic. But at least the Torino starts, runs, and shifts gears, so have faith. The car has power steering, but the braking is all on you. The car has air conditioning, but it doesn’t work.

I checked with Hagerty and others and couldn’t get much feedback on the value of a car like this. $15,000 was top dollar in a couple of places, but that doesn’t sound right. This GT will take that much or more to make it right, plus whatever the auction will set you back. But you’d have a real stand-out at car shows if you take it back to the way it was when it left the factory.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    I really like Torino GT’s, I’ve owned a few including a yellow one. However, without certain drivetrain options checked, it’s nothing more than an appearance package, just like this one. I’d hold out for one with at least a 351C with either a 4spd, or an automatic with a floor shifter and bucket seat.

    Steve R

    Like 12
  2. Mark

    These were new when I was 10. My neighbor was the manager of Ford Motor Credit in that town, and he had a dark green 1970 Torino GT for his company car. Eventually he bought it from Ford and his wife drove it a few more years.

    Thanks for the memory.

    Like 1
  3. John Purington

    I traded a 72 cutlass supreme for one back in 1979. Mine was Red on black. With of course, the stripes. My car had the Cleveland motor in it with a bench seat. I had a problem with the olds having that high sided center console. My girlfriend could not ride close enough to me. So the bench seat in the Ford worked for me and the power of the engine was on par with the cutlass. I replaced the starter twice in 3 months. Then I scrapped the car for 200 bucks.

  4. jokacz

    I had forgotten about that stupid decal stripe they stuck on the side. Sorry you reminded me.

  5. Mike Carpenter

    A woman that was in the Air Force with me had one. Great car…comfortable and enough room in the back seat for extra fun.

    Like 2
  6. Charles Sawka

    Again, I am looking at a decent candidate for a restomod. These cars have so much style ! They also have a huge engine bay. There’s not much that won’t fit. Floors and other sheet metal parts are available. As a restored to original I believe you’d lose money,but as a cool driver for cruise nights it’s viable.

  7. Rich

    Like the Torinos big time. Very cool cars. But this one? Sorry. Too far gone. Life in Mississippi can be brutal, even for cars. Just say no. 2-3 grand maybe. Just too far gone to restore, would take tons of money and time.

  8. Miguel

    After recently reading again the Motor Trend issue about this being the car of the year, it convinced me I want one, again, but not this one.

    It is easier to start with a car that does not have rear damage.

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