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Tow Truck Required: 1973 Ford Torino

The Torino replaced the Fairlane in the Ford line-up in the late 1960s and would represent Ford in the mid-size marketplace during that time. The car got its name from the City of Turin (Torino, in Italian), considered Detroit of Italy. The cars were available from mild to wild, but most were sold as hardtops, sedans and station wagons for family consumption. This 1973 Torino station wagon, from the car’s third generation, has been keeping a variety of other things company out in the brush, including a children’s play Jeep. Although it ran when it was parked, it doesn’t now and will have to be towed out. The wagon can be found in Santa Cruz, California and available here on Facebook Marketplace for $1,400.

When the Torino was restyled in 1972, it got longer, wider and heavier than its predecessors. It grew a little more for 1973 as the front bumpers were re-enforced to be able to withstand a bump of up to 5 mph. The rear bumpers had to be able to handle half that, which they already did. In the Torino station wagons, the entry-level engine was the 302 V-8, but the 351 up-grade was the common choice. We don’t know which engine this car has due to the seller’s limited information and photos. Station wagons could be had with 1 or 2 rear seats, but we can’t tell if the seller’s wagon was equipped for hauling extra people.

Ford sold nearly a half-million Torino’s in 1973, and yet it was an “off year” because the new Colonnade-styled cars from General Motors stole some of Ford’s thunder. This one doesn’t seem to have anything special to distinguish it, so if you’re looking for an old wagon to restore, this one’s going to need a lot of attention. The seller tells us that the wagon ran when it was parked, but we have no idea how long ago that was. It has rust along the roof and back window and likely more elsewhere that we can’t see. This is one of those cars being sold on behalf of an older friend. Is it worth the trouble?


  1. Steve R

    Santa Cruz is notorious for its morning ocean fog. There are some valleys on the Easter part of the city which are sheltered, but not many. Cars exposed to the elements rust from the top down, where the fog condensed and settles, that’s what sounds like has happened to this car. Assume it’s a parts car, don’t buy it unless there is a title signed by the owner otherwise no wrecking/salvage yard will touch it.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  2. Christopher Gentry

    It’s a shame it’s in such sad shape. This is one of those cars that was every where when I was a kid , then poof there gone. ( my father , who always drove Ford’s , would say there was a reason for that , he hates Torinos. )

    Like 3
    • JoeNYWF64

      & so does Paul Michael Glaser(Starsky) in real life. lol
      Dad must really have liked the “striped tomato” when he 1st saw it on tv(wish i was there that moment), tho the ’72 fastback in “Fear in the Key” looked a lot better.
      I wish the Dukes(their car) appeared on Starsky & Hutch – or vice versa. Would be kinda like when the Green Hornet was on Batman.
      The super heavy ’73 FRONT ONLY 5 mph bumper requirement was very stupid if you were in the snow belt – think about it.
      I would like to see Hutch’s big old junky full size Ford on here – the one with the horn that went off when he opened the driver’s door. lmao

      Like 0
  3. JoeNYWF64

    Being reminded of a Torino wagon makes me hope all ’72 Torino wagon front ends have been transferred onto ’73 two door cars – or damaged ’72s.

    Like 2
  4. Grizz

    Dad had a turd-brown 351C he ran a side business out of painting houses. The 3rd row seat was a confluence of exhaust and paint fumes. It explains my cock-roach type immunity today.

    Like 5
  5. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    For $1,400 I’d take a shot at this wagon and I’ll bet you could get it for less. It’s certainly worth more than that in parts. The big question is the condition of the floors and frame after sitting on dirt for who knows how long. The ad states it doesn’t run though it’s obvious that no attempt has been made to try to get it started. Too bad it’s on the wrong coast, otherwise I’d be interested. This old wagon could have potential.

    Like 5
  6. Al

    Lots of these in the neighborhood growing up. I believe all of them had garbage can lids on the back seat floors so the kids sneakers wouldn’t be dragging on the street. Took about 5 years for them to rot away.

    Like 0
  7. rextreme Member

    Best left for dead and forgotten…

    Like 1
  8. Rick

    I do not understand why people do not clean all the crap off a car before attempting to sell it.

    Like 8
    • JoeNYWF64

      More likely to get on this website? lol

      Like 2
    • Major Thom

      Better to wait for some flipper to get it, drag it home and wash it. Then it will be nice and clean. And back on the market for bargain price of $3950.

      Like 2
  9. Maestro1 Member

    I’m with Rick and i don’t understand it either. If i didn’t already have a wagon I might drive down and look at this.

    Like 0
  10. ADM

    We had a ’72 wagon, that was a complete piece of junk. Except for that poor 302, the new body on frame weight was too much for the drivetrain. The rear end broke in about a month, the transmission broke a few months later, and wheel bearings started going south, within six months. The window mechanisms broke, the front bumper was loose, and by ’74, the rear quarters were rotting out. The 302 struggled on, without issues, for 130K, before my father finally dumped it.

    Like 2
    • bone

      Man, where do you live ? I live in New England right next to the Atlantic , and never seen any car rot away in 2 years, including early 70s imports ! In the mid 1980s you could get these wagons cheap and derby them , and the coupes we ran in Enduro racing and the cars were still solid enough to take all the abuse we could give them .

      Like 0
      • ADM

        We lived south of Boston. I never stated that the car was rotting away, only that the rear quarters were rotting out. I’ll qualify that. The rear quarters were “starting” to rot out. We had the car until early ’77.

        Like 1
  11. Mike

    FB ads represent the laziest sellers, but this owner is even more lazy by getting a neighbor to take pics and post the ad for him.

    Shove the toys off and use a leaf blower. How hard is that?

    Like 1
  12. Christopher Gentry

    Well , could be an elderly or disabled person that’s the owner. We can critique, but not the people , who knows their situation

    Like 4
  13. Matt Fish

    Wrong coast. Otherwise, I would buy it. I love old wagons (had several of them), including a 72 Torino with a straight 6. Amazing that car was still alive and hadn’t been put in a derby. Don’t like the 73 front end, but it’s still an old, cool wagon.

    Like 1
  14. Ike Onick

    I think it is a crime scene. Looks like the owner ran a stop sign at a daycare center and hid the evidence in the woods. Call Husky and Starch to investigate. Call CHPs also.

    Like 1

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