What more than a sportsroof and a deep V8 burble could a man possibly want from life? Achieve that and you will have succeeded. After all, who wants a coupé when you can have a sportsroof instead, and why settle for a small European 4-cylinder when you can waft along on a tsunami of American V8 torque?
More importantly, we should never forget that variety of the spice of life. I know this because I used to be absolutely fanatical about classic BMW’s – and only BMW’s. Eventually, even I figured out that I was missing out, and it was all my own doing as well. Starting with a Sunbeam Imp Sport, I began letting other classics into my garage, and I can truthfully say that the pleasure I get from our hobby has grown exponentially since. However – probably not unlike many other European classic car enthusiasts – I have still not had the privilege of tasting American V8 ownership. But I want to!
Then last weekend while attending the Classic Car Spectacular at Tatton Park here in the UK, my dear wife resolutely feel in love with a landyacht of a fifties pink Cadillac, while both our daughters choose a black “Banditt” Firebird Trans-Am as the car they most wanted to take with them home. That’s when I remembered that only days prior, my Danish mate, Steen Petersen, had sent me a link to a seriously cool Ford Torino GT Sportsroof which is currently for sale in Sweden. Was it a sign?
In 1968, Ford introduced the Torino as an upmarket subseries to their popular Fairlane model. However, by the time they introduced the second generation in 1970, the Torino became a model in its own right. Much of the mechanical components were simply carried over from its predecessor, and like many other American cars of that era, they were simple but robust. Yet the styling was all new for the ’70 model and while growing in practically every dimension, it was also much sleeker with a profound coke bottle theme, very raked windscreen and a lower roofline. Typically for American manufacturers, Ford offered a wide variety of body styles ranging from your conventional 2- or 4-door sedans, a hardtop version, station wagon, convertible, and then my own personal favourite, the sportsroof, which is essentially Ford’s way of saying fastback or coupé. Only Sportsroof obviously sounds much better! I particularly like the way the baseline of the side window kinks abruptly upwards for the rear side window and how that works in conjunction with the slooping roofline which is vaguely concave when viewed in profile. It’s a little unorthodox but ever so cool…
While the lesser models of the Torino could be ordered in base specification with a 250 cu in straight-6, the GT Sportsroof was destined for more. Here the 302 cu in V8 became the smallest available engine, with an option for a 351 cu in V8 before reaching the range-topping Cobra models which were true muscle cars which came as standard with a 4-speed manual transmission, a Hurst shifter, competition suspension, limited slip differential and much, much more. Especially the infamous 375hp Super Cobra Jet became legendary when Motor Trend road tested the car in 1970 and achieved 0 – 60 mph in only 5.8 seconds and then charged on to complete a standing quarter mile in 13.99 seconds. Not bad for huge coupé weighing in at well beyond 3,000 lbs.
But the 1970 Ford Torino for sale in Sweden is no Super Cobra Jet. Which in some ways is probably a good thing as that would have launched the asking price towards the stars and beyond. Instead it makes due with the 302 cu in V8 mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission. It’s the smallest engine available for the GT Sportsroof, but it still looks amazing with its non-functional hood scoop, colour-coded sports mirrors, chromed Magnum 500 wheels, signature laser stripe down the flanks and full-width rear light cluster. Sadly, this one doesn’t have the optional full-width grill with concealed headlamps, but short of that, it really does tick all the boxes in the looks department.
This Torino was imported into Sweden shortly after the millennium. The owner explains that the car has never been repaired for rust but it has received a full respray during its time in Sweden. It’s also had new wheels and a new roof lining. The air condition apparently works, and having recently been treated to a new servo pump and a water pump, the Torino is claimed to drive perfectly. Here are a few pictures which we’ve borrowed from the advert:
The Torino has been with the current owner for seven years now. He emphasises that it presents entirely original and unmolested, and when translating his Swedish advert to English, he goes on to describe its condition as “This is a car for someone who does not want to work on his car, but merely wants to enjoy it”. All of that sounds rather tempting at SEK 189,000 which currently equates to approximately £ 15,800 or Euro 17,700.
Ideally, I must admit that I dream of picking up my first American classic from the States. That way, I could fly over and spend the first three or four weeks getting to know my new V8 friend while roadtripping through parts of the US. But there’s no denying that there’s a cost involved with that too. Alternatively, Sweden is probably the best country in Europe to go Yank-tank-shopping. Here’s a link to the full advert: 1970 Ford Torino GT Sportsroof
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org