Dave T.'s Limited Production
1976 "Starsky & Hutch"®Ford
|The "Saga of Dave's S&H Torino"
is very sad at times, but ends on a happy note, so get out your hankie and read on ...
Dave has had two S&H Torinos, and even owned them both at the same time for a little while. But, he said, it
"seemed a little excessive, a bit too rock star-ish to have two!" So, one of them had to go. The first
was a 1974 Gran Torino Sport (see below, left) that had been painted like Starsky's Torino since 1976. It looked
nice with the traditional Gran Torino Sport red trim on the black interior, and was in great condition having only
covered 60,000 miles in all its years. Dave had the paint freshened up, he says, and it was "all good."
|But then Dave found out about a place
in San Diego that was making S&H replica Torinos, and he went to visit their shop while on tour with his band
Sex Pistols Experience. He was impressed
enough by their work to order a Torino from them. A "rather tired and battered" PS122 (Factory Original
S&H Unit) then came into the shop owner's possession. It had been in a crash many years before, smashing the
passenger side in. It was still drivable, but far from roadworthy, and it was deemed worth saving due to being
one of the few S&H Torinos originally built with a 460 engine. It's rarity made it worth putting in the hours
of time and money to bring it back to life. It was totally re-done - every single nut and bolt was given attention.
NOS parts were used when possible, it was repainted, retrimmed, welded up with body parts from a donor Torino,
and lovingly restored.
|Then the car was shipped over to Dave
in the United Kingdom, and here the story turns grim. Got that hankie handy?
The car builder in San Diego used DAS Autoshipping to send the car to England, and when the car arrived there,
the situation was anything but "all good."
Dave found that somebody had been smoking the tires and not only left burnt rubber up the insides of the rear wheel
wells, but also smashed the ignition barrel off, and blew out the new engine's main bearings. So the Torino needed
a new engine block. DAS and the car's seller admitted joint liability, and DAS sent the seller $6,000 to fix the
However, Dave's car never got shipped back to the USA, and so it never got fixed by the seller, and the $6,000
was never seen again. Dave had to undertake getting the engine replaced in the U.K. with his own funds! And ...
it gets worse. When Dave finally got the car up and running in June of 2007, he had problems with the Holly carburetor
jamming open, and eventually the engine caught fire and damaged the paint on the bonnet (that's the "hood"
to us in America) which then needed to be completely repainted!
I know, I know. I promised you a "happy ending." Are you ready for it?
|Over a YEAR after he received his Torino,
Dave was FINALLY able to take it to a show for American Cars in late July of 2007. The sun was shining, which Dave
says is unusual for the U.K., and there were plenty of great cars in the show, but Dave walked away with 'Best
in Show" award! Isn't that great!?! After all that time, effort, and expense, Dave finally got to enjoy sharing
his S&H Torino with other people, and they obviously liked it as much as Dave does!
Dave seems like a very patient and understanding guy. Why is it always the nice ones who have such trouble? Maybe
so they can set a good example for the rest of us. Dave kept his eyes on the prize, and eventually won it!
One last thing, because by now you must be wondering - the vehicle on the right (above) is Dave's "other drive,"
a very rare 1973 South African Jurgens Autovilla. He just finished restoring it in 2006. Seeing the red and white
Torino next to a camper-like vehicle might remind you of a certain movie from a few years ago. Which one would
YOU drive if you were a "cop" going "undercover?" They're both pretty cool, and about equally