The Old-School American Muscle: Gran Torino Car

The Gran Torino Car was not an ordinary daily drive but a symbol of high performance. With superb exterior and interior layouts, this car was one to buy.

Table of Contents

Gran Torino 1972

Movie reference

Gran Torino 1972 Clint Eastwood

Gran Torino is an American drama film produced in 2008. It was created by Clint Eastwood as well as directed by him. Eastwood also starred in the movie as the main character, Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran. In this movie, Walt has a prized Gran Torino Car, which was attempted to be stolen from him.

About Walt’s Gran Torino Car

Gran Torino 1972 in Gran Torino movie

Very much loved by Walt, his Gran Torino Car was in mint condition. Dark green metallic was its color, and the styling on the car included freshly chromed bumpers, laser stripes on both sides of the car running from the start to the end while fading, and a Ford Torino Sport sticker on the front fenders.

Gran Torino 1972 in Gran Torino movie 2

As we have seen in other movies, most of the cars have been modified or overhauled from the inside, but Walt’s Gran Torino Car is genuine in this movie. Eastwood’s staff found this car online, and then Warner Brothers bought the vehicle from eBay. The classic car dealer on eBay gave a few options, including Magnum 500 wheels. Upon arrival in Utah, the Gran Torino Car’s bumpers were re-chromed, and everything remained as it was. Clint Eastwood later bought the Gran Torino Car for his collection of cars.

Introduction to the Gran Torino Car

first gen Gran Torino

In 1968, Ford introduced a lineup of powerful mid-sized muscle cars, including the Ford Torino, designed as the top-tier version of the Ford Fairlane. The Torino gained immense popularity, leading to the discontinuation of the Fairlane in 1970. This move made the Torino the sole mid-sized option, combining luxury and muscle. Enthusiasts nationwide, especially those from one of the three generations, admire this car. What sets it apart is simple: the Torino GT offered impressive performance on the track, offering a compelling alternative to the iconic Mustang.

Gran Torino 1972 front

The Gran Torino car was the 1972 Ford Torino Sport. It was a two-door fastback and one of the most beastly Ford production cars back in the day- a proper American muscle. Not much renowned, the 1972 Ford Torino Sport was cast as the Gran Torino Car in the movie Gran Torino, after which it gained fame. In the span of this model, Ford beat Chevy in sales, which was a significant upset for Chevy’s dominant market as 500,000 of the Torino Cars were sold, making it the most successful model in its class. The Torino Car, 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sports, was itself a trim of the Ford Torino- a high-performance version.

Motor Trend car of the year

Gran Torino in a meuseum

Earning the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award is a significant achievement, and in 1970, the Ford Torino GT claimed this prestigious honor. This accolade is reserved for vehicles that demonstrate innovation in design, engineering excellence, safety, performance, fuel efficiency, and value for consumers. Achieving this distinction signifies that the car is exceptional, making it unique.

What’s it packing?

Gran Torino 1972 engine V8

The Gran Torino Car was an actual Ford product that helped Ford in sales and became an icon of sportiness and performance. It had a gasoline-mandated 4-bbl High Output 351ci Cleveland Cobra Jet V-8, also known as the Ford’s “Hot Motor,” paired with automatic, 3-speed, or 4-speed manual transmission. It produced 300 hp or 248 hp by today’s horsepower standards. The 0-60 mph run of the Gran Torino Car is just under 7 seconds.

Also known as the SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic, Ford had three different automatic transmissions to offer in the Gran Torino Car:

  • C4
  • FMX
  • C6
  • Manual front disc brakes and rear drums were offered as standard
  • 14-inch steel wheels shod with E70 white sidewall tires.
Gran Torino 1972 steel wheels

Base car for NASCAR

Gran Torino NASCAR

In 1968, the Torino was developed as the foundational car for NASCAR in collaboration with the Ford Racing Group. Due to its superior performance on the racing circuit, the Torino GT became the go-to choice for drivers. This model secured 27 race wins and 26 pole position placements for nine years. Remarkably, in ’68 and ’69, the Ford Torino clinched first place in the overall series, earning the title NASCAR champion for two consecutive years.

How’s the drive for Gran Torino Car?

Gran Torino 4 door on road

With anti-roll bars, the ride was smooth, and even with stiffer suspension, handling the Gran Torino Car was pretty much satisfying. The smaller V8 engine was less powerful but had to be included with technology. This affected the speed of the car more and more.

Gran Torino Car from the inside

Gran Torino 1972 interior

The Gran Torino Car sold very well because of the posh interior. The bench seats were offered in various colors and patterns, while the dashboard and the console have a sleek design. Some passenger service functions include air conditioning, radio, and power steering.

And from the outside?

Gran Torino 1972 in yellow

No doubt the looks of the Gran Torino Car are spot-on. A muscle enthusiast would still say it looks wise; it is one of the best cars ever made. Ford put their finest of ideas while making the Gran Torino Car. The Gran Torino Car was bulky in size and was meant to be a high-performance beast with the perfect styling in the market.

Gran Torino 1972 in red from front

The car has a sleek silhouette, with the windscreen set at a 60-degree slope. As the Gran Torino Car was only offered in two trims, a fastback or the formal roof, it had racy DNA. Exaggerated Coke bottle bulge complimenting the racy flanks, integrated bumpers, and Faux scoops, which were only available in the Ram Air option, and the oval egg-crate grille were the exterior elements of the Gran Torino Car’s exterior that made it stand out. In the movie, Walt shows that the Gran Torino Car gives the strong urge to buy one and keep it as prized as Walt kept it.

Gran Torino Car priced at?

The Gran Torino Car can hit an estimated high of $15,000 to $20,000 and a low of $ 4,000 to $6,000 with an average price of $10,000 to $12,000. Note that these values are estimates or the actual market value nowadays and can differ per owner’s demands.

Real-world MPG

According to Fuelly, with 83 fuel-ups and 9,804 miles of driving, the fuel economy of the Gran Torino Car was a combined average of 8.35 MPG. Numerous other enthusiasts ‘ reviews have also noticed an average MPG of 15 to 18. But still, it’s a significant achievement for a car like the Gran Torino Car.

The downfall of the Gran Torino Car

Gran Torino 1972 in red from back

The Gran Torino Car was undoubtedly the best seller in its introductory year, but in 1973, new regulations regarding safety and emissions came into practice. Ford had to opt for the 302 small block V8 to improve emissions, which reduced the performance of the Gran Torino Car—the 0-60 mph time also dropped. Later, the need to install a catalytic converter because of more strict emission standards found the Gran Torino Car lagging more than ever, drastically increasing the 0-60 mph time. Because of all this, the Gran Torino Car fell prey to discontinuation.


Gran Torino 1972 3rd angle

The Gran Torino Car was not an ordinary daily drive but a symbol of high performance. With superb exterior and interior layouts, this car was one to buy. Also, beating Chevy in sales meant the Gran Torino Car could dominate any vehicle in its class. Starring in a couple of movies, too, raised the fan base of this old-school beast.


What is the current market value of the Gran Torino Car?

The Gran Torino Car’s value ranges from $4,000 to $20,000, depending on factors like conditionconditions and owner demands, making it a sought-after classic car.

What makes the Gran Torino Car iconic?

The Gran Torino Car is celebrated for its powerful performance, sleek design, and movie appearances, notably in Clint Eastwood’s film “Gran Torino.”

Is the Gran Torino Car still popular among collectors?

Yes, the Gran Torino Car remains highly desirable among collectors and enthusiasts due to its unique design, powerful engine, and iconic status in American automotive history.

Written by: TAZ

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