Stored 32 Years: 1971 Ford Torino 500

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Ford introduced the Torino nameplate in 1968 as the high-end version of the mid-size Fairlane. After 1970, the Fairlane name rode off into the sunset, leaving the Torino to carry the torch. The 500 was the mid-range model between the base Torino and the Brougham. GT or Cobra products. This ’71 Torino 500 was last registered in 1992, yet the original owner would hold on to it for another 32 years. It’s a non-running, non-driving project that awaits restoration or possible cloning into a Cobra. What would be your take?

The seller’s car is a 2-door hardtop, not the fastback or SportsRoof body style. Nearly 90,000 of these were built in 1971 as Torino 500s, while another 46,000 were base Torino’s or Broughams. Neither the GT nor Cobra could be had with this body shell. The 1970 and 1971 editions were redesigned and had a more aerodynamic look than the ones that came before or after. Sleek-looking, they didn’t resonate as well with the buying public for some reason, which meant lower sales.

Under the hood of this forgotten project is Ford’s venerable 302 cubic inch V8 with an automatic transmission. We don’t know if something broke at 102,500 miles or if the car stopped running due to an extended lack of use. But the engine tries to turn over but there are no brakes, so be careful when you roll in on or off a trailer.

Besides the dark green paint being worn out and the vinyl top peeled away, there is some rust in the lower quarter panels, on the trunk lip, and around the back glass. But we’re told the Ford is 99% complete, so doing a restoration means you have everything important to start with. From Dallas, Texas, this 53-year-old Torino can be yours for $3,995 OBO here on craigslist. At least this seller doesn’t have visions of grandeur. Thanks, Matt H, for the tip!

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  1. David

    And a beat up 71 chevelle will always sell for double what this goes for

    Like 3
    • Mark

      To get half the quality. A sucker born every minute.

      Like 0
  2. Tony

    Excellent price, easy fix.
    Would drive it as is.
    Texas CAR!!!

    Like 3
  3. Wademo

    Hallelujah! A realistic price! Hopefully an enthusiast will pick this up so it doesn’t become another car being flipped across the internet, raising prices on everything. Sorry so cynical.
    Needs a lot of work, but has a ton of potential. Very easy to work on. Very likely the timing chain/gears need to be replaced.

    Like 3
  4. Ronnie

    I bought a GT in this color back in’78 for $775 but I believe it was a repaint. 302 also, not super fast but more than adequate. Buckskin color bench seat that would eventually tilt back when I hit the gas bc of rotting floorboards. Harhar. First car of my own after a 66 Impala SS convertible I shared w/ my sister. Had for 5 years until the granny went but was dependable. Good times!

    Like 2
  5. Alvin L.

    Ordered a new one this color in Oct of 70, had a 351 Cleveland J. duals, 4 barrel automatic. loved it but wife hated it, so 18 months later traded for a 72 Catalina. Never did top it out as frontend got iffy a 127MPH

    Like 0

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