Daniel Mahn had a very nice Ford Torino that he preferred quite a bit.
When he had the chance swap the automobile even-up for Torino he preferred higher, although, he simply couldn’t say no.
About 20 years in the past, the South Milwaukee, Wis., resident got here to the Iola Automobile Present with the thought of possibly purchasing for a brand new Torino. Not solely did he discover one, however the man who had it was prepared to make a commerce — saving Mahn the difficulty of getting to promote his personal automobile.
“I at all times wished to have a big-block convertible. I had a 69 Torino with the formal roof. It was pink with black and it was all restored and every thing,” Mahn says. “So I used to be at Iola with a buddy of mine and he was out within the automobile corral and he knew what I used to be searching for. He mentioned, ‘Hey, there’s two of them on the market.’ So I walked on the market and located his one and talked to the man who had it. He didn’t actually wish to do the deal, however later that evening we went again to our resort room and he was staying in the identical resort and he received to see my automobile, and he determined he wished to do the deal. He wished to do a commerce.”
“He was a vendor out of Minnesota, and my automobile being pink with the black, it was ‘resale pink’ as they are saying, and he in all probability thought it was simpler to promote. So he was extra eager about that. I don’t assume he actually knew what he had with this automobile.”
On the return journey residence, Mahn discovered himself behind the wheel of a pleasant 1968 Torino GT convertible. Not solely did he get the big-block that he was after, however he additionally received a a lot rarer automobile. Of the 100,384 Torino GTs constructed for the 1968 mannequin 12 months, solely 5,310 have been ragtops. And a ragtop with a big-block 390 was an particularly good catch, so far as Mahn was involved. And it was a convertible with air-conditioning!
“It was a really strong automobile. It wanted a paint job from being out within the solar and the inside was sort of baked from the solar,” Mahn famous. “We tore it aside that fall and over the winter we restored it and as we have been tearing it aside we discovered it was a numbers-matching engine and transmission. And every thing was there for it. We had the inside out of it and located the unique construct sheet and located the codes and every thing was appropriate for the automobile and every thing was all unique. Even the air-conditioning was unique.”
Mahn says he has but to see one other automobile within the flesh that resembles his Torino GT — a Diamond Blue exterior, white prime, two-tone blue inside and black GT striping. It’s uncertain he’ll.
“I stumble upon one or two [’68 Torino GT convertibles] within the Milwaukee space the place I stay, however solely a pair and they’re modified. That is unique, so it’s uncommon.”
FORD’S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Quiz a Ford fan someday and see if they will title all of the fashions FoMoCo provided in 1968. There have been fairly just a few: Fairlane, Falcon, Falcon Futura, Galaxie 500, Mustang, Mustang/Mustang GT/Mach1, Thunderbird, and new-for-1968 Torino/Torino GT (bonus factors in the event that they keep in mind your entire truck line: Ranchero, Bronco, Customized, F-100, and Econoline Membership Wagon and Van).
The 1968 Ford Torino GT was the sporty model of the Fairlane 500 and was based mostly on that mannequin. The Torino GT really got here in three variations. Mannequin 65D was the two-door hardtop, which bought for $2,768.17, weighed 3,194 lbs. and had a manufacturing run of 23,939 items. The convertible—Mannequin 76D—was a lot rarer. Costs for the ragtop started at $3,020.40 and it tipped the scales at 3,352 lbs. in showroom inventory situation. The true picture automobile was the Mannequin 63D two-door fastback, with its $2,742.84 window sticker, 3,208-lb. curb weight and 74,135 items produced. Dubbed the “SportsRoof” by Ford, the hardtop automobile had plenty of purchaser attraction in its period.
Fairlane normal gear included government-mandated security gear, a 200-cid six or a 302-cid V-8 and seven.35-14 tires. The usual Torino fashions (sports activities coupe, sedan or wagon) added wheel covers and an electrical clock. The sporty Fairlane GT included all this plus a vinyl bench seat, a GT dealing with suspension, argent silver styled wheels with chrome trim rings, F70 x 14 vast oval tires, GT physique stripes, a grey GT grille, GT nameplates and a 302-cid/210-hp V-8. Energy brakes have been required if the optionally available 390-cid big-block V-8 was ordered.
The 390-cid engine got here in two variations. The 265-hp version with a single two-barrel carburetor added simply $78.25 to the value of a Torino V-8. The 325-hp four-barrel model was $158.08 additional and likewise required an extra-cost transmission (both the heavy-duty three-speed at $79.20, a four-speed handbook at $184.02 or Ford’s Choose Shift Cruise-O-Matic at $233.17).
Actual muscle automobile lovers have been in all probability extra eager about getting a Torino GT with a 427-cid/390-hp V-8. It was a $622.97 choice for all Fairlane two-door hardtops and you can not get it with Choose Aire air con, energy steering, a 55-amp generator, a heavy-duty suspension or optionally available tires as extras both as a result of it didn’t make sense or these choices have been already required.
Motor Development (December 1967) examined a 1968 Torino GT SportsRoof and preferred most issues about it, besides the imaginative and prescient to the rear with the novel fastback styling. Different minor criticisms have been made, however the total impression was constructive. “The brand new breed of tremendous automobile from Ford is a full step forward of its ’67 counterpart,” the journal concluded.
The check automobile had the 390-cid four-barrel engine, which made 335 hp at 4800 rpm and 427 lbs.-ft. of torque at 3200 rpm. It had a ten.5:1 compression ratio, three-speed handbook attachment and three.25:1 rear axle. Motor Development reported 7.2 seconds for 0-to-60 mph and 15.1 seconds at 91 mph for the quarter-mile. Ford merchandise captured over 20 checkered flags in NASCAR inventory automobile racing throughout 1968, with Ford driver David Pearson taking the general championship. In USAC competitors, Ford pilot A.J. Foyt was the highest driver of the 12 months. Benny Parsons and Cale Yarborough additionally made Ford racing historical past this 12 months, driving Fairlanes and Torinos in ARCA contests. A specifically trimmed Torino convertible paced the 52nd Indianapolis 500.
A STELLAR SURVIVOR
Mahn was tickled to discover a big-block ’68 convertible, and much more thrilled that it was an unique, unmolested automobile. It wanted some work to look its finest once more, however for a automobile he believes had been pushed greater than 100,000 miles, he mentioned the Torino GT was in outstanding form.
“I consider it was an Oklahoma automobile initially, and it ended up in Minnesota. After which the man from Minnesota introduced it to Iola to promote it, and it’s been to Iola the previous 20 years now,” Mahn says proudly. “It was over 100,000, however I didn’t have the precise mileage. The engine was nonetheless robust. We solely needed to clean up the heads and timing chain and gears in it. That was about it.”
“It’s received the air-conditioning; the courtesy bundle, which has the completely different lights for the seat belts and another lights… It’s a bucket [seats] automobile; console; computerized; C-6 390 GT…. It’s received the ability prime with the glass window in again. It was initially a two-barrel automobile. I did change that over to a four-barrel simply to get higher efficiency. That’s the one factor I actually modified… The edges on it now are from the ’68 Torino Tempo Automobile. I discovered a set of these Kelsey-Hayes rims and put these on there. I nonetheless have the unique rims.”
One of many causes Mahn says he heads again to the Iola Automobile Present yearly is simply to provide himself a purpose to street journey within the lovely Ford convertible. And when he will get to the present every July he will get to have a good time one other 12 months of possession.
“I like driving it. The factor is a superb cruiser. You may take this factor down the street all day no downside, and it’s simply enjoyable as a result of it’s a convertible. With the highest down you possibly can benefit from the summer time,” he says. “That is undoubtedly only a ‘one-hander.’ I’ve by no means had a automobile that was simply so easy and drove so straight and every thing. It’s only a implausible driving automobile.”
Mahn laughs off the thought of ever making one other Torino-for-Torino swap. He doesn’t ever count on lighting to strike twice, and he says he’d have a really onerous time discovering a Torino that he likes as a lot because the one he already has.
“I couldn’t discover something to switch it. It’s a uncommon automobile and also you don’t see ’em. You see the formal roofs and the fastbacks, however you simply don’t see the convertibles. I’ve a 23-year-old son who says that is his automobile. I’ve a ’66 Mustang additionally, and he’s really driving that now. However he says if something occurs to Dad, that is his automobile [laughs].”
SHOW US YOUR WHEELS!
In the event you’ve received an outdated automobile you’re keen on, we wish to hear about it. Electronic mail us at [email protected]
In the event you like tales like these and different basic automobile options, try Outdated Automobiles journal. CLICK HERE to subscribe.
Desire a style of Outdated Automobiles journal first? Join our weekly e-newsletter and get a FREE complimentary digital problem obtain of our print journal.
*As an Amazon Affiliate, Outdated Automobiles earns from qualifying purchases.