|The 1973 Ford Gran Torino Brougham was perfectly capable of hauling a good-sized trailer from St. John's to Victoria and lots of places in between. The four-door sedan carried a sticker price of $3,768 when fitted with the V-8 engine.|
Torino was Ford’s intermediate offering in 1973. Since the average consumer was focused on smaller than full-size rides, Ford bragged that its Torino was the “mid-size that’s big on comfort, confidence and quiet.” Oakville’s 114-inch wheelbased intermediate (118 inches for four-door models) had been completely redesigned in 1972, so for the 1973 selling season there were refinements in the four series. The front grille was opened up substantially and—in anticipation of new safety regulations from the Ministry of Transport—a much larger and now impact-absorbing front bumper was fitted to the body.
Carrying its own distinctive fastback roofline, the 1973 Ford Gran Torino SportsRoof boasted a list price of $3,776.
Except for the Sportroof model, all Torinos were powered by Ford’s 250-cubic inch six-cylinder engine, married to a three-speed manual transmission. The sassy Sportroof was a faster Ford, tearing up the asphalt courtesy of the 302-cubic inch V-8 mill, though it was still mated to a three-on-the-tree manual transmission.
If one wanted to get “there” in a hurry, extra-cost engine choices included the 351 two- or four-barrel V-8s, the 400-cubic inch two-barrel eight banger. In a category all by itself stood was the mighty 429 cubic-inch, two-barrel V-8.
The base Torino came as a no-frills two-door hardtop, a four-door pillared sedan and a wagon. “Where value speaks louder than words,” was the hue and cry wordsmiths chose to show off the stripper. While the car was as basic as tap water and the flooring of rubber, the interiors were finished in easy-care vinyl in Beige, Black, Medium Green and Medium Blue.
| The 1973 Ford Torino Squire carried faux woodgrain trim and listed for $4,197.|
The Gran Torino wagon was a bargain at $3,722 f.o.b. Oakville.
The Gran Torino featured the same three models found in the base series but added a dressy Squire station wagon to the model mix. The mid-priced, mid-sized Ford was “leading a quiet revolution.” Much was made of the quietness and of the extra “heft” in the car itself. “On the road, comfort is king with deep cushions and plenty of head, leg and shoulder room. Room enough, in fact, for six adults to sit comfortably.”
Gran Torino interiors could be had in luxurious pleated cloth and leather or a Sport Cloth in Ginger or Black. The Pleated Vinyl Seat trim was only available on the Squire wagon which was also blessed with the 302 V-8 as standard equipment.
The Gran Torino Broughams came as a posh pair—a hardtop and a four-door pillared sedan. These sirens of the highway promised that “splendour was the inside story” and whispered of “luxury and quality you might expect to find in high-price fine cars.”
Interiors in the Broughams were finished in nylon cloth fabrics with “leather-like vinyl” seat trim and door panels. Colour choices were Tobacco, Beige, medium Blue, medium Green and Black. The Flight Bench seat boasted a fold-down front centre armrest.
|Instrument panel of the 1973 Ford Gran Torino is seen here with the optional three-spoke Rim-Blow steering wheel.|
The Brougham’s instrument panel carried “woodtone inserts” to highlight the instrument cluster, the glove box panel and the deluxe two-spoke steering wheel.
The Gran Torino Sport hit the asphalt as a two-door hardtop and a two-door Sportroof model. “Call it responsive, call it rakish, call it fun!” advertising bubbled unashamedly. These two came with the 302-V8 as standard equipment stuffed under the hood and a host of other unique niceties including a special ornament for the grille, F-70x14 raised white letter Wide Oval tires, special accents, wheel lip mouldings, dual racing mirrors and trim rings.
Interiors for the Gran Torino Sport were thickly padded and pleated. The vinyl seats, with their low-profile head restraints, were designed to be supple and sporty. Colour choices were Black, Beige, Medium Blue and Ginger.
Diamond Lustre colours for the exterior were available in Black, Bright Red, Red Metallic, Fuchsia, Light Blue, Medium Blue Metallic, Bright Blue Metallic, Silver Blue Metallic, Bright Green Gold Metallic, Bright Lime, Medium Aqua, Medium Green Metallic, Dark Green Metallic, Light Green, Medium Ivy Bronze Metallic, Pewter Metallic, Ginger Metallic, Ginger Bronze Metallic, Tan, Medium Chestnut Metallic, Light Goldenrod, Yellow, Medium Bright Yellow, Bright Yellow Gold Metallic, Medium Gold Metallic and two—not one—shades of White. Metallic paints cost extra and there were optional Tutone paint jobs available for the Gran Torino Sport.
The list of optional equipment was as long as the Trans-Canada Highway. Goodies included trailer towing packages, a three-spoke Rim-Blow steering wheel, SelectShift Cruise-O-Matic Transmission, AM/FM stereo radio, SelectAire Conditioner and electric clock. There was an Appearance Protection group that included door edge guards; rubber floor mats and an anti-theft spare tire lock, electric power door locks, and colour-keyed dual racing mirrors.
New for 1973 was a selection of steel-belted radial ply tires. One could order the electric rear window defroster, bodyside mouldings—to protect against dents and dings, power front disc brakes, numerous wheel covers or chrome wheels, a deluxe bumper group, six-way power seats, rear seat speakers, a tachometer, engine gauges, power steering, power tailgate window, a rear-facing third seat for wagons, interval wipers, power side windows, high back bucket seats with centre console, a leather wrapped steering wheel, vinyl roof tops, four-speed manual transmission with a Hurst Shifter, heavy duty battery, competition suspension and a Traction-Lok Differential.
Ford-Meteor dealers sold 30,804 new Torinos in calendar 1973. That made Oakville’s mid-sized car the sixth best selling nameplate in Canada, positioned neatly between Plymouth Valiant in the Number Five spot and Dodge Dart in seventh place.
Copyright James C. Mays 2007 All rights reserved.