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Joe W.'s Limited Production
"Starsky & Hutch"®Gran Torino®
Joe W.'s Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino
At the starting line, many people might have thought the outcome of this
Battle of Torinos had been pre-destined on the assembly line!
What chance could a 5 passenger family sedan, the 1976 Gran Torino,
have against a "Muscle Car," the infamous 1970 Torino Cobra?

Joe W.'s Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino
But at the finish line, it was another story!

Here's the rest of the story: Joe's Pony Express Mustang and Classic Ford Club
received an invitation by Chandler Raceway Park to the to be the Guest Club
of the Month. They were given the opportunity to run all afternoon at "test & tune"
and then race in the mains at a reduced charge. Twelve Club cars participated.

The run in the picture was between Joe's S&H Torino and a modified
1970 Torino Cobra with 429 engine, 4-speed tranny, 411 posi-traction rear end,
and larger-than-stock cam and carburetor. The S&H Torino's time was
11.02 seconds and the Cobra's was 11.04. Joe caught a near perfect light and got lots
of traction. The Cobra didn't hook up well. So take note, Joe says, "just because
you have lots of horsepower, it won't matter if it doesn't get to the ground."

The track personal commented that they couldn't remember the last time
two Torinos had lined up side by side at the facility.
The run in the pictures, above, was a real crowd pleaser.

Joe was told that on the second run of the day, he burned the tire
(his car has an open axle) the entire 1/8th mile.
The car's best time of the day was 10.05 seconds with Joe's daughter Brandie driving.

Joe W.'s Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino
Joe's "Starsky & Hutch" Ford Gran Torino is pictured here at the
Automotion car show in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, May 19-20, 2001,
were
five "Starsky & Hutch" Torinos gathered!
     

Starsky & Hutch Torinos at Automotion 2001 Wisconsin Dells

   

NO bad guys are going to get away from THIS mean machine!
This '64 Thunderbolt-style cold air induction system is feeding an SVO 460!

Joe W.'s Starsky & Hutch Ford Gran Torino

Joseph found this Limited Production S&H Torino in New-Harmony Indiana in 1991. It was being stripped to become a Saturday night bomber stock car. When he found it, the car had a stock 400 engine, FMX automatic with a 250:1 9" rear. The interior had black vinyl buckets which were destroyed because the driver's door window had been missing for at least 2 years. The grille and at least half the chrome was missing and none of the gauges worked.

Joseph redid all of the interior at home. The driver's door, the hood and trunk lid, both front fenders, and all the glass except the passenger door window have been replaced. The car had a 351 BOSS Cleveland for about 6 months, but the engine swallowed an intake valve at 7,800 RPM on her way to a mid 11 second quarter mile run. The damage was too severe to repair cheaply so in the absence of the 351-C Joseph has installed a warmed-over iron block 460 from a 1977 Lincoln. The engine has the SVO crank rods and piston assembly with an Edelbrock 495 lift, 292 duration hydraulic cam, and valve spring set. It also has an Edelbrock Performer intake and 780CFM 4 barrel carb and Accell ignition. The TCI C-6 automatic and 230 to 1 nine inch rear axle are still there. The car is better than 1976 stock on emissions with two 3 inch converters and two and one half inch dual exhaust all the way back.

The car averages about 12 miles to the gallon on the highway and will still shred a set of 60 series tires. The body and bumpers will need some attention in the future. "But this year," Joseph says, "I'm just gonna drive it and have some fun. The work can wait a while. I have had a number of true Muscle cars, but this one has been the most fun car ever for me. And it does run like the Hollywood car was supposed to!"
 

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Created January 7, 2000. All Rights Reserved.
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Check your own State and local regulations!