I have always loved the Starsky and Hutch Gran Torino.
When I was a kid, I loved the show, mainly because of the car. Well, being a big fan of the 1970’s I decided to set out to find a Gran Torino. After searching, I ended up finding a 1974 Gran Torino in Arizona and had it shipped here to Florida. Originally, the car had a vinyl top, brown copper exterior, and brown copper interior. Luckily, the car was an Arizona car its whole life, so the metal was in overall nice shape except for one spot on the passenger quarter panel which looked like water had dripped from an A/C unit on it for 10 years straight. Once I got the car, it immediately went to Lopez paint and body to begin its transformation. The main thing I wanted to accomplish was to get the vector stripe correct. Luckily, Detective Brent who is big into the Starsky cars makes a stencil, so we could get it right. The car was painted Viper red like the car from the movie, not Ford red like the TV show, mainly because the Viper Red is more brilliant. Of course, the white stripe was Ford Wimbelton White. The engine was an old and tired 351 Windsor so we pulled it and put a 405 horsepower 302 bored 40 over in. Vehicle Recreations did a total ground-up on this car and let me tell you, every bit of it was painstakingly done!
Unfortunately, the car’s motor never ran right and after deliberation, we pulled the motor and replaced it with the 302 out of the Bullitt Mustang (which then received a 390 big block). The interior has been redone in black just like the TV show and a correct 140 MPH, police interceptor speedo has been added in place of the typical 120 speedo.
The car has the red light, wig wags, siren, and original period correct Motorola police radio which is hooked up to an actual police scanner so you can be aware of any crimes committed.
Trim parts for this car were very hard to come by. I mean, who really restores a mid seventies Torino? Luckily I was able to locate everything I needed with the help of a guy named David Starsky. —That’s right, David Starsky!— Also, a company out of Georgia called BlueOval helped me quite a bit! I also was looking for that original exhaust sound from the seventies and ended up scoring some NOS Thrush mufflers from 1975 to give it the extra added touch of sound. I also ended up purchasing the original license plates from the TV show which I put on the front of the car. After adding American Racing slot mags I was ready to hit the streets. The Zebra 3 gets looks wherever it goes.
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