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Ford Torino 1974 The last generation

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Last year the Torino got a new impact absorbing bumper in front, the 1974 model gets a matching 5 mph (8 km/h) rear to match, as well, the sheet metal roll pan under the bumper is gone. The rear bumper is larger, more squared up, and sits a lot lower on the vehicle. The tail lights are also more rectangular and shorter-they wrap around each fender eliminating the need for side maker lights. The fuel tank filler tube is relocated to above the bumper directly below the trunk lock and no longer hidden by the license plate.

Gran Torino versions have a similar shaped grill to last year but a bit larger and divided into eight equal sized sections with a finer mesh pattern. The parking lights are vertically mounted behind each outer grill edge and a new revised logo is now on the left side of side of the grill. The impact absorbing front bumper is more pointed in ’74 while the front bumper guards are moved closer to the center and the Gran Torino front plate is now mounted on the driver’s side. Other Torino versions have the same front fascia as ’73 models although the bumper is upgraded like the Gran although the plate in front remains in the center for the balance of the fleet. The Gran Torino Brougham retains the full width rear tail lights with the non-functional center portion while both the Brougham and the Squire wagon are now sporting a stand-up hood ornament logo rather than the grill mounted one.

A newly available option is opera windows for any two door Gran Torino although they are basic for the Brougham version-any ’74 two door Torino has fixed rear side windows. You can also choose fender skirts for the wheel wells if you want to give the car a sporty lower look. The Brougham and Sport models have a chromed strip on the lower fender running from the front wheel well to the front bumper. The Torino can be very uptown this year with a leather covered steering wheel, wheel mounted cruise control, split bench seat, and a power sun roof are all on the table as options this year. A one year only seat belt interlock system is mandated by the US government although it is scrapped at the year’s end.

Slight changes in the ’74 line up are the elimination of the fast back and the addition of the Gran Torino Elite two door hard top marketed as a personal luxury with midsized economy. The Elite has unique front end sheet metal, large rectangular but arched grill, twin headlights with chromed bezels, and the parking lights are mounted on the edges of the pointed front fenders. The body line of the Elite are different from the other Torino models but the tail lights are full width similar to the Brougham. The basic Elite is equipped with a two barrel for the 351 CID V8 bolted to an automatic and comes with radial tires. Basic luxury items include vinyl roof, opera windows, split bench with cloth upholstery, wood grain trim and a full complement of gauges.

The bumpers have added 5 inches to the Torino length as well as a lot more weight. Original sales brochures say there is no more 250 six cylinder engine available but some left the assembly line so equipped –one of them was used in the 2004 Starsky and Hutch movie. The base engine is the 302 with a three speed standard transmission. There is a 460 CID engine available with low horse power and a lot of torque but the only high performance option is the 351 CJ with a higher horse power rating and this is also the last year for the four speed standard transmission. There is no more competition suspension offered although a revised heavy duty package is a choice for all models but the Elite. The Gran Torino sport is not what it used to be and the days off the muscle car are numbered.

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Ford Torino 1970-luxury-power or basic transportation

Sales are good for the 1970 Torino and the car receives much praise although the line up could be described as many vehicles under one name plate that are for different applications to fill a variety of needs from function to luxury and performance. The Torino is declared car of the year by Motor Trend magazine.                                    Foed Torino 1970 front© Ananthkrish | Dreamstime.com - Old Ford Torino Cobra Car At The Car Show Photo

The 1970 Torino Brougham features hideaway headlights that blend with the grills design  when retracted.. When the headlights are turned on the covers flip upwards to expose the lights. The Brougham has uptown upholstery, extra sound proofing, special wheel covers, extra trimand sportis the badging to announce its special status. Motor Trend compares the two-door Brougham to the Lincoln Continental for lack of exterior noise in the passenger compartment.

The GT model comes with a non-functional hood scoop, GT emblems, body paint matching sport mirrors, full rear width honeycomb design tail lights, wheel trim rings, fiber-glass belted tires, while the fast back models also have a black rear deck-lid. Options for a GT include, side laser stripe from the front fender to the door and the hideaway headlights. A GT powered by the429 CJ bolted to the C-6 automatic with 3.50:1 rear end gearing can do 0-60 (97 km/h) in 6 seconds and the standing quarter in 14.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 100.2 mph (161.3 km/h).

Station wagons are available in three trim options initially, but the Falcon is introduced as the base mid-year.. The wagons have lfewer body changes, this year, giving them a more squared off look than a sedan or coupe in ’70. The upscale squire wagon has a 302 and front discs as basic while the lesser versions use drum brakes all around. The two way tail gate is standard fare, but power rear window, roof rack, and third rear seat are optional. Wagons can also have a towing pack which includes heavy duty suspension, extra cooling, front discs, heavy duty battery and alternator. This package is only for the 351 or the 429 engines which are only offered with the Cruis-o-Matic transmission.

The Torino Cobra is the power choice and is meant to give performance offering less trim choices than the GT-it comes only in a two door fastback and is equipped with a Hurst shifter and a close ratio four speed standard only. Basic equipment includes competition suspension, seven inch rims with 14 inch raised letter tires, twist design visible hood latches, and Cobra emblems. Available options are 15 inch magnum wheels and flat black sport slats over the rear window-these are also offered for the GT. The heavier Torino in ’70 gives better traction; with the Cobra giving excellent performance from the new 429 engine with the Cobra Jet (CJ) option is rated at 370 hp (280 kW). The four speed and 3.91: gears this engine will do 0-60 in 5.8 seconds reaching 101 mph (162.5 km/h) while quarter mile time is 13.99 seconds other models with the C-6 automatic have marginally slower times.

The engines are mostly all new for the ’70 models with only the entry level power 250 six cylinder and  the base GT/Brougham 302  engine is carried over from last year. The three speed manual as standard equipment on all but the Cobra with the cruis-o-Matic or a four speed as an option on most models. A new 351 can be had with a two barrel carburetor with two variations although each offer the same hp rating and the 385 series 429 V8 four barrel is offered in three variations. The thunder jet puts out 360 hp (270 kW), the CJ offers 370 hp (280 kW), or the SCJ delivering 375 hp (280 kW)-the latter is part of the “drag pack” and is a highly tuned version with some carburetor, engine, and suspension modifications included. The Ram Air package, is also available for the 351, but has been altered this year with the scoop now mounted on the carburetor and is now a shaker hood style.

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Ford Torino 1973 —The Last Generation

The 1973 Ford Torino integrated the new 5 mph (8 km/h) impact regulations into the front bumpers, and it also revised the sheet metal from the firewall forward. The front fascia now was square, and all models sported the new energy-absorbing bumper design, which was a stark contrast to the previous year’s form-fitting design. Because of the revisions, the Torino was now one inch-plus longer and more than 100 pounds (45 kg) heavier, although old standards still regulated the rear bumpers, which had an impact strip and guards. The grille pattern was similar to previous editions although more rectangular and wider now containing both the parking lights as well as the quad horizontally mounted headlights complete with the chrome bezel.

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The lineup of models increased to 11 offers with the uptown Gran Torino Brougham available as a two-door hard-top and a sedan. The rest of the line remained unaltered, but the basic bench seat now had a lower back with the headrests separately mounted on top to increase driver rear visibility. The bucket option stayed with the integral head rest design. Two other new changes were the hood release, now located under the dash for increased security, and optional radial tires to increase handling as well as having a longer life span than bias ply.

The base engine was still the 250-cubic-inch inline-six for all but the wagons and Sport, which offered the entry level 302-cubic-inch V8, but all the engines had a decreased compression ratio of 8.0:1. The power option 351-cubic-inch engine gets a nominal drop of 2 hp (1.5 kW) less than the ’72 models, but the car moves out a bit slower with an increase in the weight, as well. Those were the only engine offerings for civilians. However, there was a police interceptor that had a 460-cubic-inch with a four-barrel new. This package also had 11-inch rear brake drums, which were one inch larger than the other models, as well.

The Gran Torino was the most lavishly upholstered model with a nylon cloth fabric and/or simulated leather, while the bench seat version had a fold-down armrest. The dash had a vinyl wood-grain trim around the instrument cluster, deluxe steering wheel with a two-tone horn, and an electric clock with the foot peddle bright trim pack as well; the Squire wagon came similarly equipped.

The laser strip was still an option, but a revised version for the Gran Torino Sport in ’73 had its own logo, which mounted on the grille’s center as well as covering the trunk lock. The Sport no longer had a hood scoop, bur Ford deleted the Ram Air  in ’73, but other than that, it was essentially the same car. Car and Driver magazine commented that the sport is as “quiet as the Jaguar and as smooth as a Continental” while still maintaining the competition suspension that handled exceptionally well.

Ford tested a fastback version equipped with the 351 CJ, a C-6 automatic, and 3.25:1 gears, and it did 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds, just .9 seconds slower than the ’72 with a quarter-mile time of 16 seconds achieving 88.1 mph in the process. This wasn’t a super car, but it was good performance for a street car. The ’73 was a great success, and Ford gets to again thumb its nose at GM by outselling the Chevelle by more than 168,000 units.

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