This Gran Torino is an early 1976 Ford Dealer paint job. It might have been painted using the stripe diagram that was circulating among Ford dealers at that time, because the stripe on this car is nearly identical to the ones on the factory S&H units. It has about 60,000 miles on the body, and originally came with a 351M/FMX/2.75:1 posi, which was replaced by a 460/C6/4.33 posi running as fast as 13.05 seconds at 105.5 mph. The current engine (see below) is a 545 cube stroker in front of a C6 and 3.55 posi running to the tune of 11.59 seconds at 116 mph on the track (never mind what it's done OFF the track!)
This car came with lots of nice options. It has a bench seat, power windows, power locks, cruise control, light group, and the security package (note the lock on the hood release). Jim has owned it for over 30 years. "I love the car," he says, "and hope it stays with me for the long haul."
The hood scoop was added in 2004. Jim and his brother, Chris, found a 1972 Torino hood, with the scoop, at our reunion in Carlisle, PA in June 2004. Jim had the center part of the hood cut out and welded onto a 1976 hood. The finished product is beautiful! I don't know if the hood made the car go any faster, but this car is FAST! I got to drive it on a 1/8 mile track at our reunion in Evansville, Indiana in September 2004. It was TOO MUCH fun! If you've ever wanted to be an astronaut and experience a space shuttle liftoff but couldn't afford it, just ask Jim to let you drive his car!
In 2005, this car had the most horsepower of any car that took the Dyno challenge at the Carlisle All-Ford Nationals - and that was with a smaller engine than this new one! As reported on the Carlisle Website, Jim's Torino "thundered out 463 Horsepower and 495 lbs./ft of torque on the Axcelerated Motorsports dyno to take the day." This current engine is a 545 cube stroker in front of a C6 and 3.55 posi and runs the quarter mile in 11.59 seconds at 116 mph. If you don't know what that means, here's a comparison - my S&H Torino with completely stock 351 W took about that same amount of time to go just 1/8th of a mile and only made it up to 60 mph! So Jim's car is, essentially, twice as fast as it would be if it was stock.
If you've ever seen a Gran Torino front bumper up close, you'll notice that Jim's is tucked in closer to the car than normal. Sometime before the 2005 Carlisle Reunion, Jim and Chris removed all of the heavy stuff behind the bumper in order to lighten the car, and fabricated their own aluminum bumper brackets and re-mounted the bumper closer to the car than usual. The effect not only looks sleek on the car, but when the car is idling, the front bumper shakes because the aluminum mounts are not really stiff enough to hold it still. It's an incredible sight! You've heard of shaker hoods, this car has a shaker bumper!
Not only is this one of the fastest S&H Torinos on the planet, with an incredibly impressive engine, it's also a super nice car overall, and Jim finally got the recognition he is due when he was a winner in the "Starsky & Hutch" Ford Gran Torino class at the 2006 Carlisle All-Ford Nationals where these photos were taken. Jim is a regular attendee at the Carlisle reunions, and it was only a matter of time before the voters figured out what the rest of us have known for years - this car, like its owner, is a winner!