Q: What's the difference - on the outside,
anyway - between a Torino, Gran Torino, Gran Torino Brougham, and Gran Torino Sport?
A: Ford the most part, just trim, but it varies
a little by year.
The "Starsky & Hutch" units built
by Ford were all Gran Torinos. The cars used on the TV show were all Gran
Torinos. The cars used in the movie are
all Gran Torinos. BUT it IS possible to make a S&H replica from a plain Torino,
a Gran Torino Brougham, or a Gran Torino Sport, it just takes more work if you are PICKY about details!
Important Note! A
1974 Torino had
a front end that was vastly different from a Gran Torino - not just the grille, but the headlights and other stuff,
too. SO if you start with a 1974 Torino, you've got more work to do. In fact, I'm not even sure if it CAN be done.
I've never heard of anyone replacing the front end of a 1974 Torino with a Gran Torino front end. Check with a
mechanic or auto body specialist.
However, beginning with the 1975
model year and continuing to 1976, the front ends on Torinos, Gran Torinos, Broughams, and
Sports were the same.
1974 Torino Front End
1974 Gran Torino Front End
(same as 1975 and 1976)
Other than the front end (in 1974
Gran Torinos have several trim pieces
that "plain" Torinos do NOT have.
Torinos do not have these moldings, indicated by green arrows,
that Gran Torinos, Gran Torino Broughams, and Gran Torino Sports have.
Sports and Broughams ALSO have a
piece along the bottom
in the front where the yellow arrow is pointing in the picture.
Gran Torinos and Gran
Torino Sports also have unique emblems
that Torinos do not have. Broughams have hood ornaments (not pictured).
Gran Torino Grille Emblem
Gran Torino Sport Grille Emblem
(same as Sport gas tank emblem)
Gran Torino Gas Tank Emblem
Gran Torino Gas Tank Emblem 2
I'm not sure, but I think the one
on the left was used in 1974 & 1975,
and the one on the right used in 1976. Some 1976s have the
"older" emblem on them, but it's hard to know what's original.
Gran Torinos, Gran
Torino Broughams, and Gran Torino Sports both say "Gran Torino" on the fenders, dash board,
and on the door panels.
Some, if not all, Gran Torino Sports say "Sport"
on the side behind the rear side windows.
I don't know if Broughams say "Brougham"
anywhere on them. They had hood ornaments, though (at least, sometimes).
Gran Torino Fender Emblems
Gran Torino Door Script
Gran Torino Dash Script
Gran Torino Sport Script
Gran Torino Sports also have a "sport"
instrument cluster on the dash, inside the car, MUCH different than a Torino or Gran Torino. Sports sometimes have
a red-pinstriped interior, which is very cool, if you ask me. Broughams (at least sometimes) had a more plush interior
than Sports and regular Gran Torinos.
There are probably other interior differences between
the various models. Find yourself a 1975 or 1976 Torino Sales Brochure on eBay
or at a car
show and you'll know as much as I do. Even
when comparing two cars that are the same year and model, there can be different bumpers, different interiors -
LOTS of visible differences.
If you are building or buying a replica, you have
to decide how much you want it to look like the TV or movie cars, and how much work and money you are willing to
put into it to get it "perfect." But frankly, if they were all exactly the same, I don't know how much
fun the hobby would be.
Even on the TV show, some cars had bucket seats
and some had bench, and the stripes weren't always exactly the same on all the cars they used.
The movie "hero" cars were pretty much
identical - a close eye can only tell the 1974 from the 1976 when the doors are open (hint, hint). The stunt cars
had visible skid plates under their front ends that the heroes didn't have.
Any Torino or Gran Torino made in 1973 or earlier
is VASTLY different, especially in front and back, than the 1974, 1975, and 1976 Torinos. The back end of a 1973
or earlier Torino can be made to match a 1974 or later but it takes a lot of body work! Unless you do it yourself,
having that kind of work done could cost as much as buying the "right" kind of car, so do some homework
before you start. See
a 1972 that's been converted!
There's certainly nothing wrong with having a 1973
or 1972 S&H Torino replica, whether you change the front end or not, just as long as you know what you are
getting before you buy one! They are certainly cool cars, and can be made to match the TV and movie cars if you
do the work or have it done. But if you don't want that much of a visible difference between your car and the TV
or movie cars, and you don't want to do a lot of body work, stick to 1974, 1975, or 1976 models.
ALSO - a 1974 Gran Torino ELITE is
an ENTIRELY different car than a Gran Torino! See
Ford called this model of car the Gran Torino Elite
only in 1974, and just called it the "Elite" in later years. BUT sometimes people sell these cars and
advertise them as 1975 or 1976 "Gran Torinos" when, in fact, they are NOT. Parts for these cars can sometimes
be listed wrong, too, so be careful when buying!