Americans know the city of Detroit as the “Motor City,” and rightfully so. Detroit has always been the hub of auto making in the United States. However, other countries have their own versions of the Motor City. In Italy, the city of Turin is the equivalent of Detroit with regard to automobile manufacturing.
Ford decided to blend the two when they came up with the Ford Torino. In Italian, this is how you spell Turin.
The Torino was initially introduced as a version of the Ford Fairlane. It was rolled out for the 1968 model year, and by 1970, the roles were reversed. At that time the Torino became the intermediate standard-bearer for Ford, and the Fairlane became a lower-end Torino.
The body style for the 1970 Torino was eye-catching, to say the least. It was long and sleek in the front, with a low sitting top and a quickly tapering rear. There was the standard Torino which came in four different body styles, including a station wagon.
The Torino Brougham was the upscale offering. It also came as a station wagon, along with a two-door and a four-door sedan.
Those who were looking for a more sporty edge could turn to the Torino GT. You could get the two-door SportsRoof GT, or a Torino GT ragtop.
The performance minded could opt for the Ford Torino Cobra. When you have the chance to buy a car called a Cobra, if you ask me, you have to pounce. The standard engine in the 1970 Torino Cobra was the 360-horsepower, 429-cubic-inch Thunder Jet.
One step up was the 429 CJ or Cobra Jet that was rated at 370 horses. At the top of the heap was the 429 Super Cobra Jet, which was available with or without Ram Air induction.
Executives at Ford had to be pleased with the way that the 1970 Torino was received by the buying public and the automotive intelligentsia alike. During that model year Ford was able to churn out over 230,000 Torino units. If that wasn’t enough, the 1970 Ford Torino was named Motor Trend Car of the Year.
That was not the final chapter for the Torino. The Gran Torino was introduced for the 1972 model year, and we will look at that car when we tell the rest of the Torino story in an upcoming post.