For 1972 Ford stepped back in time and revived the separate chassis frame and body technique to build the Torino and Gran Torino models that were made both wider and heavier in Ford’s relentless pursuit of a comfortable quiet ride, ‘easy handling‘ and not forgetting a good profit.
Behind the basking shark like mouth of this particular Gran Torino sits a mid range 5.8 litre / 351 cui Windsor or Cleveland V8.
The Torino’s improved ride was said in Ford’s publicity to be down to the ‘computer tuned’ suspension and was well received in contemporary press reports.
Styling of the ’72 was typical for the period long bonnet / hood, short boot / deck. The two and four door models were built on 114″ and 118″ frames respectively, allowing Ford to make significant savings in interchangeable body panels.
In a nod to advances in braking technology that had been widely available in Europe for five or six years the Torino along with its Mercury Montego twin became the first US mid size vehicle to have front disc brakes fitted as standard. It’s hard to imagine FIAT, the Italian automobile manufacturer, naming a model ‘Great Detroit’ after the USA’s great motor city but it is probably best not to tempt fate.
Recessed door handles were a new safety feature for the ’72 Torino models. The vehicle seen in these images at the Bristol Classic Car Show belongs to a member of the Norton Radstock Classic Vehicle Club.
The success of the 9 model ’72 Torino range can be judged by nearly 500,000 sales that for the first time since 1964 allowed Ford to eclipse the Chevrolet Chevelle to claim top spot in the mid size market segment. It was probably not by accident that Clint Eastwood chose a ’72 Gran Torino as an analogous model for his 2008 film of the same name to chart the decline of public civility in Detroit.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Easy Handler’ edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !