Chuck B.'s 1976 Ford Gran Torino®
Once-Blue "Starsky & Hutch"®Replica
|Chuck tried for years to find out what happened to
this car he once owned, and finally found it in 2009! I'll let him tell you the story behind it:
"I owned this 1976 Ford Gran Torino from 1983-1987. I would have to assume that it was a dealer-installed
stripe on factory blue paint. It had a 460, C-6, automatic on the floor, factory air conditioning, deluxe dome
light, locking hood release, plush carpet, and bucket seats with center console. The interior of the car was blue
and white - seats and headliner were white; door panels, dash, console and carpet were blue.
When I sold this car it had Cragar SS wheel on it. I kept the wheels you see in the pictures for the car I have
now. This car was in excellent shape for a daily driver and very reliable. Everything on the car was factory original
and in good shape. The left rear quarter panel just in front of the tail light had a dent from the previous owner
that I had banged out with a hammer. The driver's seat had a 6-inch rip in the middle of it, at the seam. This
car had a 4 barrel carburetor, dual exhaust, and a posi rear end. It had the factory air cleaner and valve covers
on it when I sold it.
I sold the car to a guy with long hair from North East Philadelphia. When he was taking delivery of the car, the
guy said to me he was going to paint the car red with a white stripe."
|"The Saturday before Motherís Day, 2009, I answered
an ad for a 429 motor for free. When I was picking up the motor, the fellow who put up the ad asked what car I
was going to use the motor for. I told him it was for a Starsky and Hutch Torino I had, and he said that he had
a friend who owned a Starsky and Hutch Torino; his friend had owned it since the mid '80s, but had been trying
to sell it for about six years now. I told him I sold one in 1987, but it was blue and white, and I loved it. John
said that he thought his friend's Torino had been blue and white when he first bought the car, but he had painted
it red and white shortly after purchasing it."
"This all peaked my interest, and I thought, 'Hmmm? It has to be my old car.' And, as if he were reading my
mind, John came out and said, 'Hey, this might be your old car.' He said his friend was nicknamed 'Doc.' We both
described Doc as a thin, fairly tall young man with long brown hair and a mustache. I told him that the man who
bought my car looked like Joe Dirt; John agreed. John called his friend, told him the situation and all of the
details of the car purchase - where it was purchased, when it was purchased, and so forth. Doc said that his car,
which was currently for sale, was, in fact, my old blue Torino!"
|"I called Doc the next morning. It wasn't that
I needed another car, but I've wanted my blue Torino back since 1987. Doc was very pleasant to talk to, and he
filled me in on the car's history from the time he purchased it from me to the present. He had painted the car
red and white lacquer within the first year of owning it. The only part that remained blue were the floorboards
under the carpet. He did follow the same stripe that was on the car when it was blue and white. Remember, the interior
in this car originally had white seats and white headliner, and the dash, console, door panels and carpet were
all blue. I asked him what he did with the interior. He replied, 'I painted that too.' Of course, black! 'What
about the headliner?' I asked. Doc said, 'I painted that black too.'"
|"I made arrangements to see the car later that
afternoon. The car was very rotted out, including the floor pans, trunk, quarter panels and doors. The car was
used as a daily driver for many years; even in the snow. I offered $1,500 for the car. Considering the shape of
the car and the fact that the original console shifter had been removed and lost, with a B&M shifter in its
place, the original steering wheel had been removed, lost, and replaced with a Pep Boys special, the original motor
craft carburetor had been replaced with a Holly, the original console would no longer fit with the B&M shifter,
and the driver's side rear fender molding fell off and was lost due to the fender being so rotted that there was
nothing the molding could be anchored to."
"Doc refused my offer because he felt that his neighbor would come through with a better one. I told him to
call me when their deal fell through. He never called me. I'm still waiting by the phone."
"I'm going to drive by and see if the car really is out of his driveway, and if it is, I'm going to drive
around the neighborhood and see if I can find it in the other guy's driveway. Then I'm going to go bother the Torino's
Thanks for the story, Chuck! We're all sorry you didn't get your car back - YET. Let this story be a lesson to
the rest of you - don't sell your S&H Torino!
& Hutch" Torino Home
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