Thank you to Michael Courtney
It’s even a Brougham !, almost.
In the useless trivia department, 1972 Gran Torinos had a “Brougham interior Option “,
identified here by the C-pillar emblems.
It was upgraded to a full model the next year.
That’s not useless! That’s awesome!
The colours really pop out on this one, especially when surrounded by a sea of grey, black, white, and silver vehicles.
For some reason ten year old me had a real dislike for the front on the 72’s. I much preferred them in the later years with the big bumper on the front.
Yes I was as weird about cars as a kid as I am today.🤓
Maybe you had something against hexagons?
I had a 1972, and I can say I prefer that look to the safety bumpers… Four door, in this color. I didn’t lose it in a parking lot in the 1990’s.
Yes, the front end of these cars didn’t suffer as much as some other cars with the addition of 5 mph bumpers/battering rams, but I still prefer the 1972 front end.
My father had one for a year, in 1972, as a temporary company car. It had the 429 engine and was a two door in gold. What do I remember? One, the car wasn’t fast despite the 429. Two, the interior was plasticky compared to my 1968 Cougar. Three, driving the car out from where I lived along a curvy narrow one lane each direction road was no fun. Given your sitting position and those high front fenders one couldn’t see the front corners of the car. That curvy road with cars down one side and masses of trees on the other side one was never sure if you would clear or hit something.
I did like the front end though compared to the succeeding years. Still the car was bloated compared to the earlier years especially so when you were sitting inside. It was just something you felt.
I am surprised you couldn’t see the front corners of the car and found the fenders high? I am not sure what seat option that Torino had, but it must have been a low seat. In my Torino, the visibility out the front is great, better than most modern cars. Maybe in comparison to some 1960’s cars, it is not as good, but I have never had issue seeing the front corners, mind you I pretty tall. Then again, even my dad, who was only about 5’11”, always though the visibility out the front was good too (he came from a ’65 Impala). The rear vision out the fastback though, that is not very good, although still not as bad as some modern stuff i have driven.
The N-Code 429 was not a powerful engine in 1972, in particular in CA emissions guise. The P-Code Police Interceptor 429 would have ran with the top dogs of GM and Mopar for 1972, had it been available in civilian cars. That said, the Q-Code 351-4V Torinos could ran mid 15 sec quarters, which was pretty decent performance for the day and not far off most 1972 Big Block competitors.
Here’s a picture of a 1973, BTW.
The fastback lines show strong family resemblance to the Mustang II of the era..
I always had a chuckle about the “Mustang II ‘GHIA’ ”
Come on, it was just a Pinto ! !
It’s true, although I was never a fan of this generation of Torino/Montego. Too chunky. Prefer both the Mopar B-bodies and the GM As.
What’s amazing to me is Ford tooled up an entire front clip for one year – and they knew well in advance the new bumper regs were coming. I wonder if it was a another case like the one year only rear clips on the ’73 GM A-bodies, where launch was delayed a year? GM had the ’70 strike to blame. What could have been happening at Ford? Could the Bunkie interregnum and its fallout be the culprit?
As the first FoMoCo midsize NOT being on a Falcon platform, it disappointed in that its interior space utilization was so inefficient. But this and its successors sold on looks, for a few years, anyway.
Also the only FoMoCo midsize generation using body on frame construction, which helps explain the inefficient space utilization. I assume they went to BOF to compete with the GM midsizers, which used BOF from ’64 to ’88 and would have had better road isolation.
Ford spent a lot of money on in the earlier seventies on this and the Pinto, but both platforms were dead by 1981. Contrast that with the Fairmont and the Fox body platforms, both of which lasted 15-20 years.
Yeah but the 1972 Torino chassis did menage to span the 1974-76 Cougar and later, the 1977 T-bird and the Continental Mark V.
Still, I wonder what if GM had released the Colonnade intermediate originally planned for the 1972 model year instead of delaying to 1973? How Ford would had reacted?
Unless I’m mistaken, the Mark V continued to use the Mark IV/’72 T-Bird platform, not the mid-size Torino platform.
Keep in mind much of the engineering in the 72 intermediates frame and suspension was closely related to the 65 full-size cars, and the Panther chassis was somewhat derived off of these as well. These were a pretty safe bet, it would have taken considerable engineering to get the Falcon derived platform on coil springs in the rear and achieve the kind of isolation that was becoming ever important in the segment to compete with GM.
Although these Torinos were hardly space efficient, the interior room was slightly better than the 1970-71 cars. While the 4-doors were a fair bit larger for 1972, the 2-doors were pretty much the same size going from 1971 to 1972. Ford was focused on improving road isolation and ride with these cars, which was part of the reason for the switch to BOF. Ford was also copying GM, the leader in this segment. The BOF allowed for reduced costs to have the 2 wheelbases.
Like Matt says, this platform wasn’t really a clean sheet design. The chassis itself was really not much different than the fullsize Ford chassis that dated back to 1965. The front suspensions were actually identical (sans some minor production changes), and the rear suspension wasn’t that different (just a 4-link vs 3 link coil spring setup).
After the first Mustang’s success, the long hood/short deck look absolutely infected everything in Detroit and killed space efficiency until a few years after the gas crunch when cars designed with that reality in mind started hitting the market.
People seem to prefer the frontal styling of the ’72 Gran Torino over what followed, and while I think it looks okay, it has always looked a little like a blowfish to me. I’m in the minority that likes the ’73 front end better (a la Tom Halter’s picture above).
Thank you Mr. Dennis, for something that I had never considered but will never be able to un-see after this. But I certainly see it now that you mention it.
Blowfish. Thanks Joseph. Now I can’t unsee that.
Or perhaps Whaleshark, although this fish looks like another car in the front, but I just can’t place it.
The original photo was featured in the 67-69 T-Bird article.
This photo kind of resembles an E type Jag,
Thank You Phil… I thought of the Jag after I hit post. Completely forgot about the T-Bird, and I love T-Birds.
Please dont encourage the best grill in the industry that way. Chevy only fishmouth.
What alternate universe did I wake up in where the 73 isn’t considered the WORST compromised 5-mph monstrosity? It looks like a Mustang II with quad headlights proposal hastily cobbled together to fit the and the most beam like bumper of the era, blunt shapeless yet grotesque.
The 72 has a gaping maw, yes. So does the 70 Camaro RS people wax poetic about(I prefer the standard split bumper by a mile, myself). It was the look at the time, but getting past that the rest of the front end is so much better executed than the 73s in attention to detail and fit
I’m with you on this Matt!
I would have agreed with you about the bumpers until I saw that Mercury Comet the other day. Did the Comet have those bumpers in ’73? If not, then the Torino wins.
That said, I like these Torinos for some odd reason. Even in barfy colors like this one. At least it’s rocking the white-lettered tires (and smooshing one into the curb). Points for effort.
My aunt had one when I was little. It was green and had a black rubber material for the seats. As a tot I thought it was kind of gross, but now I’d dig it for the rarity and the time-capsule of extreme Ford-cheapness.
Man you would so love the FG series Falcons, I run a 2011 XR6 Falcon coupe utility, it’s an awesome car, six speed ZF auto and the Barra in-line six driving through the rear wheels, sure it’s the base engine, but with 200kw it’ll get to 60mph in well under 7 seconds. My company car is a Ford Ranger XLT buddy I cannot understand why anyone given the choice would deliberately by a Ranger over a Falcon (well obviously the point is moot now the Falcon has ceased production). Anyways totally off topic, keep posting buddy, you’ve got good taste.
While the ’73 has grown on me, and I like it much better than the ‘Starsky & Hutch’ 1974 version, I’ll always like the ’72 the best.
I think that CC’s own Vince will agree with me on that one. ;o)
Thanks Rick, I much appreciate the shout-out. I am sure you know what boat I am in when it comes to ’72 vs ’73. My dad always said had he been car shopping in 1973 he wouldn’t have bought a Torino purely due to the styling.
These cars had a really large variety of configurations that really could change both the personality and the appeal of the car. For me, this ’72 Gran Torino with the brougham package basically zero appeal to me. It is mostly likely equipped with the adequate H-Code 351-2V, stock overly soft suspension, and while I am sure it is comfortable, it would have zero driving appeal.
Road Test Magazine named the Torino’s sister car the Montego as the car of the year for 1972. It lauded the Cross-country (aka HD) suspension option as drastically improving the driving manners of these cars. While not quite the Competition suspension that was standard with the Rallye Equipment group option package, the cross country suspension eliminated the wallow and was still exceedingly comfortable. From the Marti Reports I have collected over the years, the suspension options were relatively common at least in the Sport models.
We all bemoan the lack of color in new cars. But sometimes that is a good thing. I remember that all of the American manufacturers had something like this yellow/gold/butterscotch pudding color in the early 70s. I have yet to find the car that requires this color to look really great. I don’t think such a car exists. It is a shame that this poor survivor is forced to wear it.
Love the optional wheel covers, those were never seen very often. Unlike this color.
I love this color, Ford’s of this era looked best in it, but best not combined with a brown vinyl top or any vinyl top for that matter.
Every color car surrounding it looks dreary and depressing
The color works well on diesel Mercedes.
Yes! German taxi yellow!
I’m amazed by the shape the vinyl roof is in.
Agree with you on the colors, and it wasn’t just cars. The entire gestalt of the early seventies was various shades of brown, yellow and the like; in clothing, interior design and cars.
Looks to be the same color combo as my 1972 Medium Yellow Gold Maverick LDO. It was quite a nice color, even better in the metal than pics.
A neighbor had a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale hardtop sedan in GM’s version of this color combination.
The 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass S coupe that graced the cover of the November 1972 Car and Driver also sported this color, although without a vinyl roof. With the Oldsmobile rally wheels and no vinyl roof, it wasn’t a bad-looking color.
I also remember AMC offering a version of this color. On the Hornet hatchbacks and Gremlins with the X option, it wasn’t offensive. (Although, as with the Car and Driver Oldsmobile Cutlass S, these did not sport a vinyl roof and were equipped with AMC’s rally wheels, which helped.)
I don’t remember if Chrysler Corporation did.
Those wheel covers are some of my favorites! The large overlay is entirely die-cast metal making these quite heavy and no doubt expensive. The center lucite emblem is striking when you get up close.
I love how so much thought/detail was put into something as insignificant as a wheel cover.. especially one that was only used on one model for only one or two years.
The ’72 Gran Torinos are gorgeous cars to me, especially that delicate nose. The base Torino front nose of this year is much less attractive and very seldom seen.
The color of this car is vile to me. Vile.
Hell yes! Thanks for making my morning. Probably has Ford’s awesome 351C.
I’m just as fascinated by the architecture of the houses in the background as the featured car. Old shotgun houses painted in bright colors — were these taken in New Orleans? The fleur-de-lis on the garbage can would seem to be another clue that they were.
I bemoan the lack of color in new houses almost as much as new cars. I’d love to see more brightly colored houses like these instead of the bland tan or off white stucco found in just about every new subdivision in California.
And if I’m right that this is New Orleans, it makes you wonder how the featured car survived Katrina. Unless, of course, it was brought there later.
The garbage can is the tell tale clue. Definitely New Orleans, city of NO branding. The car may be a recent transplant, as it has no tag, and I believe that they are pretty strict about towing any unregistered cars around there. That would imply it is either moved around regularly or it recently got there.
Do I detect a Bill Watson Ford dealer sticker on the left side of the trunk lid?? A cowboy riding a bucking bronco!! He was a big time New Orleans Ford dealer years back.
The yellow rectangle inspection sticker (aka: brake tag) on the front windshield looks like something out of the ’70s or ’80s. These were exclusive to the City of New Orleans until a big time scandal and the city closed down its inspection stations.
A scandal? In New Orleans? Say it ain’t so.
Sharp eyes, 3 speed!
That is a “Wild Bill Watson” sticker on the trunk; indicated the car was sold new or used from that Ford dealer.
The Bill Watson tv spot of the 1970’s was quite campy. An announcer, dressed in some vague wild west cowboy outfit with a terrible stick on beard, would literally shout at the camera the automotive specials for that commercial.
At the end of the commercial he would get an extreme close up shot and shout “I’m WIIIILLLDDDDDD!” as a arm from off camera would smash a lemon meringue pie into his face.
My Father worked at WDSU TV6, in New Orleans, where these commercials were taped, for 40 years. He said the crucial pie throwing scene was the hardest part of the commercial to get right on target.
I know this car!
It was stored, in a garage under a raised house, in the 2400 block of Burgundy, in the circa 1920’s historic home district of faubourg Marigny, in one of the few areas of New Orleans that did not flood after the faulty federal levies broke on August 30, 2005.
I recall walking the area in 2006 and peering thru the dusty garage windows and seeing this car. Even then it looked like it had been parked there for years and years.
When the raised shotgun double house was finally sold and renovated in 2015, the Torino was dragged from the below house garage and pushed to the curb.
Gradually the front and rear ends of the car suffered the fates of parallel street parking in the congested area.
I was going to reply that contrary to popular belief, the entire New Orleans area was not under 10 feet of water from Katrina. I have many friends there and it’s my favorite place honestly. Many areas didn’t flood at all and others (included in that 80 percent of the city being flooded) was only a couple of feet, which most cars would survive) I was just down there two weeks ago and there are quite a few vintage cars throughout the city and surrounding areas. I have friends in Arabi and Chalmette and I saw some cool stuff in those areas as well.
As Jim knows, that color scheme would have been popular in Laramie.
The Montego/Cougar wore the 5 MPH front bumpers better than the Gran Torino. So, 72 is the best year (for me) for a Gran Torino. I prefer the Sportroof, immortalized by Clint Eastwood. If also like the Brougham interior, but it was not available with the Sportroof. But fear not. The notch roof looked better on the Montego, where a Brougham interior was also available.
Since Walt worked on the assembly line maybe he could have had an informal COPO produced: a Sportroof with Brougham interior.
I’ve been waiting for it but it hasn’t happened yet. So….
GET OFF MY LAWN!
A really great looking automobile IMO. Too bad they were poorly built rust buckets.☹️
They were poorly built rust buckets and they handled like big, big, fat assed women on roller skates. No offense to big, big, fat assed women on roller skates.
Fat bottom girls make the rockin’ world go round
This is not entirely true. These cars were absolutely horrid rust buckets, like most FoMoCo products of this era. The build quality was on pretty on par or better than many other domestics of the era. Compared to the many GM products we own from this Era, the Fords were as good or better when it came to build quality. This was somewhat dependent on the plant of manufacture though. Contemporary road tests also generally reflected that these Fords had decent build for their time. That said, this is based on 1970’s standards.
The base suspension was very soft and not good handling, but on it wasn’t that much much different than the competition of the era. We had a ’72 Skylark 4-door that was a wallowing pig of a car as well. Unquestionably, the GM Colonnades base suspension was better handling than the Ford intermediate’s base suspension. However, the Ford base suspension may have wallowed, but was exceptionally smooth and isolating compared to the competition – which was what many customers wanted at that time. Comparing the GM and Ford upgraded suspension options close the gap. Our ’72 Torino had the HD suspension, and it had zero float in the suspension and was a decent handler, although it did have a big dose of Ford understeer. Many GTS’s from 72 and 73 had the competition suspension, as it was part of the Rallye Equipment option group. These cars handled very well for the times.
What people forget is that there was a huge variability on how a Torino or Montego drove based on the options. Painting them all with the same brush is not accurate.
In its November 1972 issue, Car and Driver tested a 1973 Oldsmobile Cutlass S.
The magazine tested a 1973 Ford Torino Sport with the optional handling suspension in a later issue. The reviewers noted that the handling of the Ford was decent, and actually gave a better ride than that of the previously tested Oldsmobile Cutlass S. If anything, the testers were complimentary of the Ford.
The claim that the GM Colonnades had better build quality doesn’t reflect what I have seen among good, never-restored examples of each respective type of vehicle. If anything, the Fords have better exterior panel and trim fit, and nicer interiors. (They were also better in those areas than the Chrysler and AMC competition.)
The GM Colonnades really look slammed together, particularly upon close inspection. But they were more stylish, and resisted rust better. Although they weren’t that much better, and were worse in that regard compared to their immediate predecessors.
Mark it down as good for me. usual shipping address.
Best looking Gran Torino model, unfortunate the model style lasted only one year.
Put me down as a ’72 fan. The big bumpered ’73 doesn’t flow with the rear styling, in my opinion. The ’74 to ’76 models look some better since they have a rear bumper that matches.
In the fall of ’72 my dad was looking for a newish car to replace the ’65 Belvedere he bought new. My 16 year old self was working at a used car lot, and we brought in a used ’72 Gran Torino very similar to this one. It was a GT two door with a 302, maroon with a black bucket seat interior. He liked it and made a deal to trade the Belvedere. On the evening of the day he took delivery I borrowed it and went cruising with some friends. I wasn’t paying enough attention, ran a red light and tangled with a Mercedes. It was my first wreck, fortunately no injuries, and the car was repairable. He was, of course upset, but in hindsight he was more forgiving than I deserved. He paid the deductible, and he and my mom suffered with only one car while the Torino was being repaired. I still had my ’64 Galaxie 500XL to drive.
My mom never did like that car, so after a year or so another car lot I worked at sold it for him and I found him a nice ’71 Thunderbird. On the first night of that car I wanted to take it for a drive. He said okay, but please give him more than one day this time.
The car featured looks to be in very good shape for it’s age and is fairly well optioned. I hope it has a good home.
I smile at this story. My dad was strict with some things, but very fair minded. I crashed their van in a snowstorm coming back from the orthodontist like maybe the second drive after I crashed my own car, that I was paying for, also in a snowstorm. I, being young and extremely pissed, took one look at my expensive Italian leather shoes went “Nope, not ruining these” and drove the half mile home after slamming into the curb. I get out and hear sizzle. The front wheel bearings were smoking an insane amount, when I pulled into the garage. Long story short, he made me pay for the tire, allingnment, and some suspension stuff I can’t recall. Years later he confided in me he didn’t have the heart to tell me what it really cost… “We should have just canceled the appointment. I nearly crashed coming home that day as well”. Love you Dad, for so many reasons.
Patrick, you hit the nail on the head with regard to the mismatched bumpers. Though I do like the “face” of the ’73, it’s the misaligned bumpers that kind of wreck it for me. I think the notchback wears this look slightly better than the fastback.
I never fully appreciated my dad’s patience regarding all things automotive until last year.
The same week my son got his license he and a friend skidded in the rain, rear ended a car and pushed it into a school bus.
My van and the other car a write off. Luckily no one hurt.
Everyone (including him!) were quite surprised that I was so calm over it.
I remembered how scared I was when I had my first accident and how much it meant that my Dad didn’t lose his mind over it. So I tried to pass it down the line.
I don’t remember if I said it at the time but where ever you are up there…thanks pops!
If you didn’t have one, be glad you missed them. I had a plain ’72 Torino, an erstwhile friend had a ’72 Gran Torino like this one but in the metallic lime. They did run most of the time but handled lousy with a marshmallow wallowy ride, and the build quality was abysmal ‘What a junky car applies” ‘nuf said!”
Their build quality was typical for a 1970s domestic car, from what I’ve seen. (Granted, that was nothing to write home about, even at the time.)
If anything, the Fords tended to have better exterior and interior workmanship, along with superior interior trim, than the GM Colonnades, which often looked slammed together, and used some cheap materials (particularly the trim surrounding the opera windows, and the bumper filler panels, both of which deteriorated quickly).
Ever since I saw the first one on the road, I thought that the front end looked like a Shelby AC Cobra Brougham.
My Dad also had one of these Torinos as a company car. It was a Chestnut-like 1973 four door, quite solid and comfortable. What I really like here is the stories of fatherly patience with youthful misadventures. My Dad did the same for me, and I will always be appreciative.
I agree with those that find the ‘72 front unique, and the ‘73 suddenly quite conventional. The new mid-sizers for the ‘70s (‘71 Mopar, ‘72 Ford, ‘73 GM Colonnades) seemed to usher in a funky new era, quickly neutralized by bumper standards that favored more prosaic designs.
The progression of these designs in the absence of the Federal regs would have been interesting.
I thought this was one of the ugliest cars that I ever spied when introduced. Time has not diminished that opinion.
I was almost nine when this car was introduced and loved that fish mouth grill. Today (and for the last several decades) I see this an over-styled, bloated, design mess, with horrible space utilization, but I still like the fish mouth grill.
The truant officer at school drove a Torino in a slightly darker color with the same awful vinyl top. It’s ugliness and color combo stood out. I really hated this generation of Torino, but I have to admit I didn’t like Ford’s styling ever, until recently on the trucks and SUVs. The cars are still batting zero, with even the Mustang not being really good looking, IMHO, and the FWD cars are all hideous squished eggs with angry bug front ends. No thanks.
This should have been called the Ford Fugly.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Copyright 2011 - 2021 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.