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History of the Ford Gran Torino Sport

Ford Motor Company has been around producing American cars since 1903, and with that history, it has brought a few beautiful classic gems. One of our favorites is the Gran Torino Sport.

Torino Evolution

Originally designed to eventually replace Ford’s Fairlane model, the Torino was introduced as a spiffy sports sedan in 1968, although Ford kept the Fairlane name around for several years as an economy version of the Torino. The Torino featured a powerful Cobra V8 engine that was accompanied by flashy finishes with the trim, molding, and newly designed wheels, and mirrored the Ranchero with the front end design, although that feature changed in 1969. The Torino GT was also offered up as a higher end Torino model with slightly different aesthetic features. These cars became an icon of their time and stuck around through 1976.

Over its tenure on the Ford lineup, the Torino saw its fair share of style upgrades. The original design largely stuck around until 1970 when Ford upsized the Torino in both width and length and lowered it toward the ground. The engine also saw an upgrade in 1970 with the introduction of the Cobra Jet, Super Cobra Jet, and 429 Thunder Jet as options for the Torino. The 1970 Torino GT also saw the addition of many popular model customizations that made the Torino a car everyone could make their own. Buyers had the options of a four speed manual transmission, large Magnum 500 chrome wheels, and hideaway headlights, just to name a few. The GT also featured glitzy laser stripes on the sides.

In 1972, the Torino saw another major change with the swap of the Gran Torino Sport in place of the GT model. The Torino had been redesigned once again with a new front end look, eliminated the convertible option which had been available in previous versions, and touted luxury interior finishes. Around this same time, pressure to lower emissions and consumer push for safer and more practical cars caused Ford to pump more metal in the body for crash protection and modify the engine to cap emissions. This made the ’72 Gran Torino Sport heavier and its engine a little less powerful than those seen in previous models. Despite this, the Gran Torino Sport remained one of the most high-power cars on the market at the time.

 

Our '72 Gran Torino Sport

 

Gran Torino Sport Impact

The Gran Torino Sport was only produced in 1972 and 1973. With only two years’ worth of production, it’s a rare treat when you run across one available. When the revamped Torino debuted in 1972, it outsold some industry classics like the Chevrolet Chevelle.

The ’72 Gran Torino Sport came back into the spotlight in Clint Eastwood’s 2008 work Gran Torino.The film’s main character builds unlikely friendships with his neighbors amid the backdrop of caring for his own cherished 1972 Gran Torino Sport. One of the iconic scenes from the movie is a shot of Clint Eastwood shining the car with the Gran Torino Sport fender trim emblem gleaming beside him.

Between its popularity at the time of production, its rarity, and its place in pop culture, the ’72 Gran Torino Sport has become a darling among classic car enthusiasts.

We brought a ’72 Gran Torino Sport into FatMan’s last month, and we’ll be parting it out. If you’re looking for parts for your restoration job, be sure to check out our listings here!

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