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Joe S.'s Limited Production 1976
"Starsky & Hutch"®Ford Gran Torino®


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Joe's car was built in March of 1976. Paul S., a long-time friend and co-worker of Joe's father, Ray, purchased it from Stinger's Ford in Dayton, Ohio on April 2, 1976. It has a 351W engine with 2 bbl carb, a C4 automatic transmission, black vinyl bucket seats with floor shifter, an 8-track player, and dealer-installed air conditioning.


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Joe grew up loving this car, and says that for years he harassed his dad about asking his friend to sell it. Finally, Paul S. sold the car to Joe's dad in February of 1999. The car had about 80,000 miles on it at the time. Ray enjoyed the car a great deal, Joe says, and took it to many local car shows and cruise-ins. "He got a real kick out of the attention the car got, particularly after the 2004 movie was released." The car was first featured here, under Ray's name, in December of 2003.


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Sadly, Ray lost his long battle with cancer in 2005, but passed the car along to Joe shortly before. On a whim, Joe and his son brought the car to our S&H Torino Reunion at the Fairlane Club of America's National Meet in Cincinnati in June of 2007. You can't see the other cars in these photos because Joe arrived after all the S&H parking places were full, but there were 11 more S&H Torinos right across the parking lot from Joe's.


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Like many of us, Joe says, "I now own the car that I grew up being infatuated with. I drive it mostly on weekends and to the occasional cruise-in. My children, who are about the age I was when I first fell in love with the car, seem to have developed a similar appreciation. They frequently ask, 'Can we drive the Starsky?' I usually give in, and my wife and I load the kids into the car, go for a ride, and all end up with smiles on our faces."


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We were all glad to meet Joe and see his car in Cincinnati. Although it was completely repainted after a fender-bender when it was only a couple of years old, it hasn't been changed since then and still has all of the factory installed hoses, air cleaner, smog controls, and everything else (including factory paint daubs and chalk marks) under the hood. It still has the original 8-track player and dealer-installed Air Conditioning (which works), and even sports its original Magnum 500 wheels with trim rings. It is also one of very few S&H Torinos I've seen that has not had a black pinstripe added around the white stripe (although none of them came from the factory with black pin-striping, most owners add it to make the car look a little more like it did on the TV show).

When Joe opened the hood for all of us other S&H Torino owners, it was like Christmas morning. I've never seen so many people excited to see an original air cleaner, but the fact is that most of them - just like the Magnum 500 wheels - have long ago been replaced with some fancy chrome thing. Although I've seen about 100 of the original 1,000 (or so) S&H Torinos, this is one of only a handful that still looks almost exactly the way it did when it rolled off the assembly line in 1976. Thanks for sharing it, Joe!

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Created September 5, 2007. All Rights Reserved. Photos are the Property of the Car's Owner.

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