Ford Torino

1968 Ford Torino

The Ford Torino is an intermediate car produced by the Ford Motor Company for the North American market between 1968 and 1976, named after the city of Turin (Torino, in Italian), which is considered the Detroit of Italy. It was initially an upscale version of the intermediate sized Ford Fairlane, which Ford produced between 1962 and 1970. After 1968, the Fairlane name was retained for the base models with lower levels of trim than those models which wore the Torino name. During this time, the Torino was considered a subseries to the Fairlane.

This was followed by the top level "Torino" series, which consisted of a 2-door hardtop, a 4-door sedan, and the Squire station wagon that featured wood grained applique. Finally, the "Torino GT", the sporty version of the Fairlane 500 series, included a 2-door hardtop, SportsRoof and convertible.

By 1970 Torino had become the primary name for Ford's intermediate, and the Fairlane was now a subseries of the Torino. In 1971 the Fairlane name was dropped altogether and all Ford intermediates were called Torino. This name was one of several originally proposed for the Mustang while in development. The Torino was essentially a twin to the Mercury Montego line.

Most Torinos were conventional cars, and generally the most popular models were the 4-door sedans and 4-door hardtops. However, Ford produced some high performance versions of the Torino by fitting them with large powerful engines, such as the 428 cu in (7 L) and 429 cu in (7 L) "Cobra-Jet" engines. These cars are classified as muscle cars. Ford also chose the Torino as the base for its NASCAR entrants, and it has a successful racing heritage.

Ford had 14 different models for its intermediate line for 1968. The base model was the "Fairlane", which was available in a 2-door hardtop, a 4-door sedan, and a 4-door station wagon. Next was the mid level "Fairlane 500", which was available as a 2-door hardtop, SportsRoof and convertible, and a 4-door sedan and station wagon. 

Ford had quite a variety of engine options for its intermediate line. All models came standard with a 200 cu in (3.3 L) six-cylinder engine, except for the Torino GT models, which came standard with a 302 cu in (4.9 L)-2V small block V8. Available engines included a 289 cu in (4.7 L)-2V small block V8, a 302 cu in (4.9 L)-2V (for all models other than the GT), a 390 cu in (6.4 L)-2V FE engine, and a 390 cu in (6.4 L)-4V FE engine. A 427 cu in (7 L)-4V FE engine was initially listed as an engine option for 1968, but was later removed and no Fairlanes or Torinos were actually produced with this engine during 1968. Introduced on April 1, 1968, the 428 cu in (7 L)-4V CJ (Cobra-Jet) FE engine became available as an engine option, but due to its mid-year introduction these engines are very rare. The 428-4V Cobra-Jet was by far the most potent engine available, but was said to be under-rated at 335 horsepower (250 kW). The cars equipped with the 428 Cobra Jets had emblems borrowed from the full-sized Fords (a red-and-chrome badge reading "428") mounted on the fenders behind the parking lamps. All models came standard with a three-speed manual transmission, while the Cruise-O-Matic automatic and four-speed manual transmissions were options.

Source: Wikipedia, 2011