(first posted 10/9/2012)
(Hopefully) this doesn’t happen often, but if you asked me to visualize a 1970-1971 Torino convertible, I would have pictured…a hardtop. I simply can’t remember ever seeing a convertible Torino of this vintage, and it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with these cars; I worked at a Ford dealer in 1970-1971, and was very familiar with the product. But I never saw one. Even the brochure doesn’t show any pictures of one, except for a little line drawing on the last page. I might well have gone on thinking they didn’t exist, but now CC Cohort c5karl has enlightened me, and with a genuine Curbside Classic at that. It’s one of only 3,939 made that year, which could help explain its low profile. Still…
Maybe it’s because I’m not a big fan of these cars, and wasn’t looking with the right frame of mind. No; I actually like finding cars I don’t like. It’s just that they were trying so hard to look “new” despite their all-too-obvious 1968-1969 roots. Or older, actually.
I sort-of liked the ’68-’69 Torinos and thought the fastback actually worked reasonably well, considering its size. Of course, the windshield was a giveaway that they were merely re-skinned 66-’67 Fairlanes.
That very same windshield, which was used from 1966 through 1971, clearly indicates what was going on under the skin–and I’ll bet the top and side windows also would be interchangeable with the ’70-’71 models.
Reasonable enough, from Detroit’s point of view, but not so to the kid who’s easily suckered into believing that each different generation represented really “new” cars. I learned the windshield trick from Mopars of the “Forward Look” era, when the Imperial used the same windshield from 1957 through 1966. Back then, that was an eternity in car years, especially to a kid.
So when the 1970s appeared with their droopy, anteater snouts and bulging hips, I was sucked in…for about 90 seconds or so. OK, I’m being harsh; maybe 15 minutes.
Of course, the really big giveaway was the wagon. It was virtually unchanged from the 1966 Fairlane and Falcon wagons, save for the new and rather silly-looking front end. Interestingly enough, there’s also no picture of the wagon in the 1970 brochure; this one’s from the 1971 catalog, which also contains a picture of the convertible.
Here it is, perhaps in farewell as the very last of its kind, ever. Not that including it in the brochure helped; only 1,613 were sold in 1971–and good luck finding one of them on the street, especially with that laser streak.
Living proof that there was a convertible Torino for 1970. Maybe we should start a new category: Forgotten Classic. or Spaced-That-One Classic. And just how many other cars’ existence have I forgotten?