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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 only),
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 one Here!

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!

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Created July 20, 2004. All Rights Reserved.

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The presence of strobe lights, wig-wags, sirens, and/or red revolving lights
in any car that is not an official Police car is illegal in many states.
Check your own State and local regulations!

I make absolutely NO guarantee that these answers are "right" or "wrong."
They are based on the best information I have now, and can change without notice.
Use your own judgment, and consult a professional before doing anything mechanical!