Very Original 1968 Ford Torino Project

Today, you walk into a Ford dealer and you’re met with exactly one car, eight different SUVs, and six different trucks if you count variations on the F-series as one model. In 1968, Ford had fourteen different models just in the midsize segment. They can be narrowed down to basically the Fairlane, Fairlane 500, and this model, the Torino; named for Turin, the “Italian Detroit.” Variations on these three cars spanned muscle cars, sports cars, family sedans, station wagons, and convertibles. The Torino was top-of-the-line for Ford midsize cars, and this first-year example can be found here on eBay.

The Ford Torino was the basis for a not-insignificant portion of Ford’s stock car racing cars, and as a result, the Torino has developed a reputation for being a decent sports car. As time marched on, the Torino morphed into the Gran Torino–an all-out muscle car, rather than a muscle-y luxurious car. This example was equipped from the factory with a Ford 302, a solid basis for any and every Ford muscle car. At some point in its history, the original engine was swapped out for a 460, but even that engine is absent now. The seller says they sold the engine, and they suggest restoration rather than modification, as they mention the buyer would need to source a new 302 and C-4 automatic transmission for it.

The seller doesn’t provide any images of the undercarriage, but they mention there’s some rust; the floorboards and trunk pan are original and solid, though. Floorboards bringing us to the interior. It’s spectacular for a project car. There are no dings, rips, or parts missing. It’s obviously aged a bit in its fifty-three years on this planet, but under that coat of dust, you’re met with a good basis for a well-patinaed 2+2 cruiser.

You may not have access to the engine that came with the car, but the Ford 302 is ubiquitous. They’ve been making a 302 in one form or another for several decades, and the current 302 can be found in the hot Mustangs. A fuel-injected twin-turbo Coyote would definitely open up a whole new world as far as performance goes, but maybe all-out speed isn’t everything. Sure, you could go the obscene hot rod route and put in a blown Coyote and Powerglide, but if you go with the factory-equipped carbureted 302 and three-speed automatic, you’re left with an easy-to-drive, classy fastback. You won’t run 9’s in the quarter-mile, but you’ll have a good classic runabout to cart the family around to Cars & Coffee.

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Comments

  1. chrlsful

    yup, as above, I can remember – 6 motor choices, 3 or 4 trannys, notch back, fastback, waggy, sedan, coupe (we had wages that matched expenses therefore industry could have some) –

    The fastback is incredibly long (in person). I thought a near square tube reinforcement back of back seat (all the way round the skin/body) and you could cut the fastback off and use it to make a lift gate, hinges at top of rear window. I’d get rid of rear seat too. 1960ize the Businessman’s coup of the ’30s.

    Like 2
  2. Dave

    If it’s not a rotbox (remember, it’s the rust you can’t see that gets you!) then the drivetrain choices are wide open. My preference would be a 351W, auto trans, Wilwood brakes, vintage air (or try to source the OEM gear), and make it a dry-weather driver. These rusted as fast or faster than Mopars, that’s why these are so rare.
    To my point, yesterday there was a Ford Ranger vs. house accident in which it looked like the truck’s frame broke causing the driver to lose control and crash into the home’s A/C unit. Video should be up on WTAE.

    Like 2
  3. Mark C

    Coyote and Powerglide? Huh?

    Like 1
    • chrlsful

      mix’n match

      Like 1
    • B302

      Powerglide very common in high horsepower cars, even Coyote powered. I have no doubt that there are people already working on a new case or adapter to put a Powerglide behind the new Godzilla 7.3.

      Like 1
      • Mark C

        I learn something new everyday, I guess. I didn’t realize drag racers liked the pg until I looked it up. Guess it makes sense since it’s a tough transmission and high hps can overcome a tall 1st gear. In my head I always pictured a pg hooked up to a Chevy babbitt pounder or a 283 on a 50s ride.

        Like 1
      • Steve R

        Mark, the Powerglide used in today’s race car is composed of all or nearly all aftermarket parts depending on the class the car is running. The only two things that have in common is the name.

        Steve R

        Like 1
  4. Troy s

    Potential blue oval screamer with the right driveline, putting a bone stock 302 back in there seems kinda dull. Its set up for a 385 series engine now.
    Not ever considered a “sports car”, and the Gran Toriino was an oversized whale compared to the ’70-71 Torino GT and Cobra with 429 power. Just to clarify the article above.

    Like 4
    • Blyndgesser

      SMDH at the thought of the Gran Torino being an “all out muscle car.”

      Like 4
      • chrlsful

        not sure the abreviation, the “…’70-71 Torino GT and Cobra with 429 power…” SCJ was such a winner that movies have been made about it 1/2 century later 8^ )

        Like 1
      • Troy s

        You’re right about the 429 super cobra jet being an absolute screamer, chrisful, here and gone after a year and a half tops, what movie featured a ’70 Cobra or Torino GT with that 375 horse solid lifter mill?? I’ve got to see that one! Not Gran Torino, not the smogger 429. Later.

        Like 1
  5. chrlsful

    what’s the difference between them all?

  6. markp

    A Coyote won’t fit unless you remove the shock towers. There are kits to do it but it isn’t cheap. A 390 or 428 will fit but its tight, again due to those darn shock towers. A well sorted small block would be the easiest way to go and could have as more power than a stock 428.

    Like 3
  7. chrlsful

    would today’s ecoboost have more as well? I
    C a good many use them as well. (I think itsa
    bent6 3.5 dual turbo?).

  8. PaulG

    Gran Torino as a muscle car…sometimes it’s best not to comment!

    Like 3
    • chrlsful@aol.com

      “…sometimes it’s best not to comment!…”
      nah, all ways, Mr. Gee

  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Had a 69 Torino GT fastback at one time. It was a bear to parallel park due to that top profile. Mine had a 302 in it with an automatic, good looking car. It was not the fastest car out there but it was fun to drive if you could live with it’s limitations.

    Like 2
  10. Howard A Member

    This is another very similar car that’s in my neighborhood. One that hasn’t moved since I’ve been here. I’ve long thought of a “BF’s story”, about all the different classic cars, just sitting in back yards here in the hot sun baking the paint off.
    These were great cars. Mid-size, sporty, yet kind of family. The small trunk opening, like all these fastbacks( if it only had a hatchback), limited cargo, but in the 60’s, Ford was just the best car, and Torino appealed to many. ( I’ve been blasted saying I use too many commas) I think Ford was the fastback king then, with the Galaxie, Mustang, and Torino, the others, didn’t have many fastbacks. Boy, that sure changed, huh. Great find, as usual, my thoughts, with restoration costs right up there with healthcare, just go to auction, and buy a nice one and avoid all that foolishness.

    Like 2
  11. Stu

    I owned a 68 Torino GT from
    new, 289, 3 speed manual. Great car, would stay the Ss396 chevelles on the strip.
    This car has the side moldings of the Fairlane 500, but has wheels and grille of the GT.
    All the GTs like mine had the C stripe.

  12. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    San Antonio, Texas

  13. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Jun 13, 2021 , 6:00PM
    Winning bid:US $8,345.00
    [ 28 bids ]

    Like 1

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