To celebrate the fame brought by the Starsky and Hutch The TV series Ford released a limited edition Gran Torino “Starsky & Hutch” car for the 1976 model year. 1,305 were built, all of which featured the iconic red paint scheme with the “vector” white stripe on each side .
Starsky and Hutch First appearing on television screens in 1975, it quickly became a cult classic with stars Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul in the lead roles. The show follows the police detectives they play, David Starsky and Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson, on the streets of the fictional town of Bay City in Southern California.
Quick Facts – The “Starsky & Hutch” Ford Gran Torino
- Interestingly, the car originally slated to feature in Starsky & Hutch was a green and white Chevrolet Camaro, as series creator William Blinn had owned one before and loved it.
- Ford Motor Company’s Studio-TV car loan program was the rental provider for Spelling-Goldberg Productions that year, producers ultimately chose a bright red two-door Gran Torino with a white “vector” stripe for the make it unique and memorable.
- After the custom paint jobs were completed, the cars used for filming also received rear air shocks to give the car its nose-down stance, along with “US” branded five-slot aluminum-alloy wheels with larger rear tires.
- A number of cars were created for filming, Ford released a “Starsky & Hutch” version of the 1976 Gran Torino and sold 1,305 – one of which was used as a backup car during filming.
The Ford Gran Torino
The model name “Torino” was almost used as a name for the Ford-Mustang. For some reason it was on Ford’s shortlist and its time finally came in 1968 with the release of the Ford Torino – originally developed as an upgraded version of the Ford Fairlane.
Video above: This is the intro and outro of the original TV series of the first season. The Ford Gran Torino made several appearances, it became very popular with viewers and today is called the “third star” of the series.
The Torino would be sold by Ford over three generations between 1968 and 1976. It was available in a variety of configurations, the two most popular being the four-door sedan and the two-door hardtop coupe.
A number of engines were offered during Turin production, starting with the 200 cu in (3.3 litre) straight-six, sizes steadily increased to the Ford FE V8s 427 and 428 cubic inches (7.0 liters).
Although the Torino was discontinued after the 1976 model year, its underpinnings survived until 1979, providing the platform for the Ford LTD IIFord Thunderbird, Ford Ranchero and Mercury Cougar.
The Ford Gran Torino “Starsky & Hutch” shown here
The car you see here is one of 1,305 examples of the factory made Ford Gran Torino “Starsky & Hutch” limited edition model – one of which was used as a backup car during filming.
The stunt cars used on screen Starsky and Hutch received a host of modifications for filming, the “vector” white stripe being the most famous, but they also had rear mounted air shocks to lift the rear of the car to give it its unique stance.
Five-slot “US” branded aluminum-alloy wheels with larger rear tires were also added, and a chrome tip was added to the exhaust pipe.
Ford didn’t include these modifications in their own “Starsky & Hutch” Gran Torino models, they basically got the vector stripe, but many owners over the next few years modified their cars to look more like the Used cars on screen. .
The car you see here is one of those customs, it started out as an original “Starsky & Hutch” Gran Torino built by Ford, but has been given a full range of upgrades to make it perform as well or better than the series cars.
The stock engine was replaced with a high performance 409 cubic inch crate V8, it received an upgraded radiator to keep it cool and an Edelbrock fuel injection system. It has a custom exhaust, cross-drilled disc brakes, upgraded dash instrumentation, and upgraded suspension for better handling.
The car is now set to go up for auction with RM Sotheby’s in late March with a guide price of US$44,000-50,000.
If you want to know more about this car or register to bid, you can click here to visit the list.
Images: ©2022 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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