Car Show Classics: 2018 Carlisle Ford Nationals – Part Three – Intermediate and Compact Fords

So far I’ve covered full-size Fords, Lincolns, Edsels and most of the Mercs at Carlisle, so that brings me to the midsized and compact Fords.  There was pretty good coverage of both at the show.  In particular, the Torinos were very well represented, partially because the show was celebrating 50 years of Torino.  I’ll start off looking at the mid-size Fords, then look at the compacts and finish up with the special display for 50 years of Torino.

There was a decent showing of early Fairlanes, but the one that caught my eye was this 1962 Fairlane.  1962 was the inaugural year for the Fairlane and this was very nice survivor.   This Fairlane was owned by the proverbial little old lady that barely drove it. Originally ordered in November 1961 and it was delivered just before Christmas 1961.  The original owner walked to work and to get groceries, so the car only accumulated 39,000 miles.  She was also too scared to drive it during winter, so it wasn’t exposed to the harsh elements.

The car has its original paint and interior.  It was acquired by the original owner’s great-nephew in 1988.  He had to sell it in 1990 due to financial reasons, but was able to buy it back in 2014.  This Fairlane had the smallest Ford small block V8, the short-lived 221 V8, which produced 145 hp @ 4,400 rpm and 216 lb-ft @ 2,200 rpm (gross).  The car was an amazing the time capsule.

There was a decent amount of mid-1960s Fairlanes, but as I constructed this article I realized I had few photos.  It seems I was spending too much time looking at the Torinos near by.  The quality of the Fairlanes I saw were excellent though.

Ford heavily restyled its 1968 intermediate line for 1968 and although it sported new sheet metal, the chassis was relatively unchanged.  There was a healthy showing of Torinos and Fairlanes from the late 1960s.  Torinos and Fairlanes of this era are relatively rare back in Ontario, and so seeing this many in one place was a great experience for me.  I always thought it was strange that many Ford enthusiast generally ignore these cars, and just focused on the Mustangs from this era, while the GM and Mopar crowd have a good following for their intermediate cars.

In 1968, Ford introduced the Torino as the top intermediate model.  This 1968 Torino 4-door sedan was the nicest Torino 4-door.  This car was one of many old cars that suffered under the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.  The car was partially submerged, and was put up for auction with other classics that had been damaged or destroyed.  Fortunately, the car had very little flood exposure and so it was still in very good overall condition.  The current owner won the auction and originally planed to use it as a parts car. However, it was so clean he saved it instead.  The car went under some minor restoration and mechanical repairs, including rebuilding the transmission, installing a 4-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust.  The majority of the car, including some of the paint, remains original.  The owner swapped in 2.79 gears and claims the 302 powered Torino sees up to 19 mpg on the highway.

This 1969 Torino was one of my favourite late 1960s Torino I saw at the show.  Unlike Chevrolet’s Chevelle SS396, Ford’s Torino GT actually had few performance features.  The GT model really just included mostly appearance and trim upgrades.   Standard features were a non-functional hood scoop, GT emblems and stripes, styled wheels and a 302-2V V8 engine.   Late to the game, Ford introduced a real performance model with the introduction of the Cobra for 1969.   The Cobra was all about performance and included a 428 CJ, a 4-speed transmission and competition suspension, but it was based on the plainer Fairlane series.

While a 1968 Torino GT had bucket seats as standard equipment, this changed early in the 1968 model year.  As a result GTs  came standard with bench seat interiors, like this example.  The white upholstery on this car was very brilliant, but I suspect it may not have been original.

This was one of the more rare 1969 Torinos, being a 1969 GT convertible.  There were only 2,552 produced. It originally listed at $3073, making it one of the most expensive Torinos for 1969. This particular example was equipped with a 428 CJ and ram air induction.  I am not sure if the it originally came with a 428 CJ engine, but if so, it is very rare car.

This 1969 Fairlane 4-door was one my dad and I really liked.  It was just a nice old survivor car that would be an nice economical weekend cruiser.  A car like this is a great way to enter into the old car hobby without spending a lot of money.  This particular example has a 351W engine,  which was newly introduced for 1969 and filled the rather large gap in Ford’s engine line-up.  This 351-2V engine produced 250 hp @ 4600 RPM (gross), having more than adequate power to keep up with modern traffic.

Like the late 60s cars, there was a good showing of 1970-71 Torinos and Fairlanes.   The Torino was restyled in 1970 and grew considerably.  These Torinos were the largest cars to use the original 1960 Ford Falcon platform.  Overall length grew to 206.2″, wheelbase went up to 117″, and big block powered cars weighed over 4000 lbs.  The engine bay was widened to accommodate Ford’s new large 385 series big block V8’s.

Like in 1968 and 1969 the Torino GT series contained mostly cosmetic upgrades.  New for 1970, the 351C-4V and the 429-CJ/SCJ engines came with a shaker style hood scoop when equipped with the optional ram air.  The twist style hood pins were also a new option.  The 1970-71 429-CJ/SCJ Torinos were the most powerful and best performing Torinos.  Today, these cars are some of the best performing Fords in the Pure Stock Drags.

Although this Torino is all done up with lots of performance goodies under the hood, it is kind of contradictory to its original mission.  This is actually a 1970 Ford Torino Brougham, which was the new luxury model introduced for 1970. The Torino Brougham featured “Hideaway” head lights, a fad that seemed to be at its highest in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

An integrated non functional hood scoop was standard on a Torino GT. This ’70 GT has an optional laser stripe.  Although it might be quite garish to some, they actually reflect light quite well at night. Rear window louvers were another popular add-on.

1971 Torinos only saw very minor revisions, with the easiest identifier being the divided grille.  This 1971 GT also has a laser stripe which was revised in 1971 to be longer, nearly reaching the rear wheel opening.

In this picture I was trying to capture one of my favourite design features on the 1970-71 Torino.  Bill Shenk, the designer who penned the basic shape of the 1970-71 Torino included a rakish front fender line disappeared just past the front door,  while the body line on the door’s top edge becomes the wide hood character line.

This 1971 Torino GT Convertible was the last intermediate Ford convertible.  Other than the Squire wagon, this was the most expensive 1971 Torino with a base price of $3408.  Only 1,613 1971 Torino GT Convertibles were produced, which was a 60% reduction from 1970.  It was hardly surprising that Ford dropped the convertible from the Torino line-up in 1972.

While the majority of the 1970-71 Torinos were performance oriented, this 1971 Torino Brougham was relatively original and stock.  I didn’t note the engine, but it was likely a 351-2V which would make this car a great weekend cruiser.

The Ford Torino underwent a complete redesigned and reengineering in 1972.  The car switched from using the old unitized Falcon platform, to a new body of frame design.  For many years this generation of Torino was looked down upon by enthusiasts, but has developed a strong following in recent years.  There were quite a few of the 1972-76 Torinos at the show, more than I have ever seen in one place.  The vast majority of these cars were the 1972-73 cars, and most those were Gran Torino Sports, which are the most collectible models.

This 1972 Gran Torino Sport was a tribute to Clint Eastwood’s car in the 2009 Gran Torino movie.  The Torino wasn’t originally this colour, but the restoration/tribute was very well done.  This particular car was originally powered a 351C-2V, but has since been upgraded to the most performance oriented engine for 1972, the 351-CJ.  Commonly called the Q-code by Ford fans, the 351C-CJ produced 248 hp @ 5400 RPM and 299 ft-lbs @ 3600 RPM (SAE net).  The 4-barrel engine was significantly upgraded from the 2-barrel engines, with large port 4V cylinder heads, 4-bolt main bearing caps, a high performance camshaft, and a dual point distributor (for 4-speed cars).

Black was not a regularly available colour on the 1972 or 1973 Torinos.  Despite that, you could special order black paint.  This particular car was not originally painted black, and the tell tale sign is the sport mirrors. Gran Torino Sports had dual sport mirrors a standard feature, however, special order paint replaced them with a single chrome mirror. 

The Gran Torino Sport was also available with the formal roofline shared with the Torino and Gran Torino 2-doors.  The fastback outsold the formal roof Sports nearly 2:1, with 60,794 fastback compared to 31,239 formals. Like the Torino GT, the Gran Torino Sport model primarily consisted of trim and appearance features.   Standard features were a 302-2v, an integrated hood scoop (functional with Ram-Air), exterior trim and nameplates and a unique interior.

This 1973 Gran Torino Sport was an amazing find.  It was an all original car, owned by the original owners.  This car was factory ordered with the black paint (note the chrome mirror).   Unlike a lot of survivor cars, this one was used a lot.  It has something like 250,000 miles on the odometer, although the owner noted the engine had been rebuilt.  It has a 351-CJ engine, C6 automatic, air conditioning, and Magnum 500 wheels among many other options .  It originally had a base price of $3094 but with options the MSRP grew to $4835.37.

This particular 1973 Gran Torino Sport was originally owned by a Ford employee.  It had literally almost every option in the book.  Despite its Cragar wheels, and some minor engine upgrades, it was a relatively original car.  This was another Torino that accumulated high mileage over the years.  The current owner had purchased this car when it was about a year old and has owned it since.

I spoke with the young 20 something guy standing by this car and started to ask about his dad’s Torino.  He corrected me and told me that it was his car, and his dad came along with him.  He found the car for an affordable price and he, his dad and other family members did all the work themselves.  A relative even painted the car in a barn, but it looked pretty darn good.  It was nice to see some younger people owning and restoring old cars.

This ’73 Gran Torino had one has the Luxury Décor Package, which I detailed in this post.  It was a nicely preserved original car.

Here was one of the few 1972-76 Torino four doors I saw.  It was in the swap meet side listed for sale.  This 22,000 original mile car was a very clean an untouched car, and probably the cleanest 4-door I have seen.  It was powered by a 351-2V engine and would be a decent weekend cruiser that’d be easy and cheap to maintain.

The Starsky and Hutch Torinos were also at the show. The above three were side by side and were all very nicely done cars.  They were, however, far from stock.  All of them had high performance big block engines making serious horsepower, unlike the de-smogged Ford engines of the era.  One of the three cars reported running the 1/4 mile in the 12 second range.

This Ford Elite was a 460 powered car.  It was one of the few Fords from the mid 1970s at the show, and it was in great shape.

There were some late ’70s midsized Fords too, and this LTD II was the nicest I saw.  It had the Sports Appearance Stripe package, but was repainted at some point.  The Sports Appearance package was an option that included special striping, grille badge and magnum 500 wheels.  The stripes are not reproduced, but the painter did a decent job keeping the car in the same theme.

There was a good showing of early Falcons at the show, and surprisingly many still had six cylinder engines.  Of course, there were also numerous Falcons re-powered with Ford small block V8s like the examples above and below.  Ford’s Falcon did not get a V8 option until the 1963 model year, when the 260 V8 was introduced in February of 1963.

Although this Falcon wasn’t modified in my taste, I was happy to see that it still had the six under the hood.  Note this car has the rear door handles shaved, kind of giving it a look like a 1949-50 Ford Tudor.  The sole engine for 1960 was the 144 six that produced 85 hp @ 4000 RPM (gross).

By 1961 Falcon added a more powerful 170 six to the engine line-up, but the kept dreadfully weak 144 as the base engine.  And this brightly coloured ’63 Falcon is still powered that 144 six.  After looking at those big 1970-71 Torinos its hard to believe they evolved from these tiny little cars.

There were quite a few mid 60’s Falcons, which are my favorites.  In 1964 the Falcon was heavily restyled with a design that better reflected Ford’s “Total Performance Image.” My dad has fond memories of these cars.  In the mid 1960s he used to commute with a co-worker that owned a new ’64 Falcon with a 260 V8 engine.  Unfortunately, the owner drove the car very hard and killed it at a young age.

This ’65 Falcon Futura wagon was my favourite Falcon at the show.  While I like to see the sixes in the Falcon, I confess, if I ever bought one, I’d only buy a V8.  And the 289 Challanger V8, producing 200 hp (gross) is quite appropriate in a wagon.  This car was very nicely restored and the nicest Falcon wagon I have seen in a long time.

There was a decent showing of ’65 Falcon convertibles, especially considering there were only 6,615 produced for 1965.   Of the total 171,442 Falcons produced, the convertibles only accounted for 3.8% of the total production.

There was a little section of Ford Maverick’s at the show too.  This photo above pretty much shows the selection.  Most of the cars had modified V8 engines.

This ’71 Maverick Grabber was the only one I saw restored to original specs.  The Grabber became a separate model for 1971 but was really a trim package.  It included simulated hood scoops, Grabber stripes and decals, blackout grille and tail panel,  grill mounted road lamps, hub caps with trim rings, sport mirrors, a decklid spoiler, bright moldings and the deluxe steering wheel.  This car is also noted to have the console, but it still had the little 200 six under the hood that produced 115 hp @ 4000 RPM (gross).

The Carlisle show is not discriminating and even the Pintos and Bobcats had their own section.  I can’t say I spent too much time there though, but it was nice to see some cherished.

And we’ll finish of with the compacts with the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr.  Every Fairmont was heavily modified, as many seem to end up today, but the Zephyr actually appeared to be a fairly original car.  Dad and I liked seeing these old Fox bodies, as neither of us has seen one in many years.  We had three of these early Ford foxes in our family.

2018 marked the 50 years since the Ford Torino was introduced, and so Carlisle had a special display of 50 years of Torino.  These cars in the building were the finest examples of the Torinos at the show.  Above is a 1968 Torino GT Convertible Pace Car. There were only 159 Torino Pace Cars produced and 709 cars with the promotional package.  This car was powered by a Ford 302-2V engine.

This was a very custom 1969 Torino Telladega built by Rad Rods by Troy.  It has a Boss 429 engine, a Tremec TKO 6-speed, and an Art Morrision Chassis.

This 1968 Torino GT is a one family car, originally purchased by the owner’s grandfather.  It is 390 powered with only 35,000 miles that has original paint and interior.

And this was the other 1968 Torino GT, the less seen 2-door hardtop coupe.  There were 74,135 fastback built compared to only 23,939 coupes.

Only 19 Torino GT convertibles were produced with the 429 SCJ engine, and this is one of them.  This car also has special order grabber blue paint and is reported to be a 72,000 mile survivor.

The owner of this ’70 Torino bought it in 1979 for $1500 when he was 15 year sold.  It has since undergone a full restoration.  It is powered by a 351-4V engine.

A 1971 Torino GT.

This 1972 Gran Torino Sport is powered by the 351-CJ engine.  It has the Rallye Equipment option package which included a 4-seed transmission, gauge package and competition suspension.  Only 2,091 1972 Gran Torino Sport fastbacks had 4-speed transmissions.

Another 351-CJ powered 1972 Gran Torino Sport.  About 20% of the Gran Torino Sport fastbacks were powered by the 351-CJ engine.  This one also is unique in that it had the trailer tow package.

A 1973 Gran Torino Sport fastback.

This 1973 Gran Torino Sport Fastback was the less common formal roof model, but it was equipped with the 351-CJ and a 4-speed transmission.   With its plant white paint and bench seat interior, the original owner was definitely going for a sleeper look.

And I will finish off with this last Torino, a 1974 Starsky and Hutch replica.  No expense or detailed was spared and it’s powered by a Jon Kaase Boss engine.  I hope you enjoyed my coverage of the intermediate and compact Fords.  Stay tuned for the next instalment.