Last Update 26th July, 2016
Name: 1976 Ford Gran Torino
Year Produced: 1975-1976
Number Built: more than 1,000 Starsky and Hutch replicas
Body Type: 2-door hardtop
Engine: 351 cu in (5.8L) Windsor V8
Power: 152 hp @ 3800 RPM
0-60mph: 13.3 seconds
Top Speed: 107 mph
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Length/width/height: 214.1 in/ 79.3 in/ 52.6 in
Wheelbase: 114 in.
Base Price: US$4,461
Current Value: US$40,000
From April 1975 through May 1979, detectives David Starsky and Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson appeared weekly on ABC television, keeping the fictional streets of Bay City, California, safe in the crime drama Starsky & Hutch. Though the show’s stars, Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) and David Soul (Hutch), gained considerable fame from the series, Starsky’s red-with-a-white stripe Ford Gran Torino became, arguably, one of the most recognized cars in America during the show’s run.
The show started by showcasing a 1975 Gran Torino which was the choice of vehicle of the series’ characters. It was updated eventually to the 1976 model for its second, third and fourth seasons. These cars were built at a time in history when horsepower was being replaced by fuel economy and environmental standards. Though not the quickest in its class and really wasn’t a muscle car, nevertheless it just looked good.
A variety of Gran Torinos were provided by Ford for use in the filming of the series, ranging from 1974 to 1976 models. It’s not clear exactly how many such Gran Torinos were used in the filming of the series or what happened to all the various cars that appeared on film. Adding to the confusion, Ford produced a run of roughly 1,300 Starsky & Hutch Gran Torinos, which were sold through participating Ford dealerships looking to capitalize on the show’s popularity. While cars with documented histories do exist, the sheer volume of replica cars makes finding an authentic example challenging, and for the true collector, it’s a task that requires a great deal of research. The 1976 Torino was the last and final Gran Torino before Ford replaced it with the LTD name and product line.
This celebrity Gran Torino was sold for US$40,000 on June 14, 2014 at a Leake auction in Tulsa.
Watch this car chase scene from the series and tell us what you think.