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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gran Torino

1-15-09 Apex, NC... I have to smile when I think of Gran Torino. The new Eastwood flick of that title will force me to go see the movie, love the car. Now Clint Eastwood is no slouch either, but the draw is the car itself, a one year wonder made to look that way only in 1972; it was called the Ford Gran Torino Sport, 351 Cobra Jet (CJ), Cleveland Small Block V-8, six miles to the gallon on premium gas. I had one. Bought it in 1973 for $2700. Sold it for the same price in 1983. It was fast. It was big, solid and comfortable. Considered an intermediate sized car, it had a large foot print driving down the road. Wall-to-wall genuine imitation leather and crank windows, but it was a two door coupe so it didn't matter. The best thing about it was the Goodyear Polyglass GT H60's on the back that matched up well with the dual exhausts. It had a very cool presence. The rumble of those exhausts still ring like the sound of angels in my head, even after all those years. The design for Ford was brand new for 1972. The Gran Torino came in a fastback (remember) and a much rarer hard top. I had the hardtop. Looked cooler. And you honestly could not break the C-6 automatic tranny. I sure tried. There was also a regular Torino that year as well, but that usually had four doors and a 250 straight six, and the front end was different. It simply was not a Gran.

Sadly, they put a huge safety bumper on all the cars in 1973 and that killed the cowl look. In many circles that 72 was the car of the year.

As we see the Big Three facing such challenges today, remember that your first car probably was Detroit sheet metal. And when you started it up good things were soon to happen! Your best cruisin' memories did not happen in a Hyundai...

Happy selling!

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