1976 Ford Gran Torino Showcased in “Starsky & Hutch”


To be completely honest, I wasn’t even alive when the iconic TV series “Starsky & Hutch” made its debut in April 1975. Nevertheless, I have a fondness for television shows from the 1970s (including MAS*H) and, many years ago, I used to enthusiastically play the “Starsky & Hutch” video game. The Ford Torino, particularly the 1976 Gran Torino model, holds a special place in my heart as my second favorite Ford after the Fairlane. So naturally, I can’t help but get excited whenever a 1976 Ford Gran Torino, featured in this beloved TV series, becomes available for sale.

Acquiring an authentic “Starsky & Hutch” car is a challenging endeavor, primarily due to the abundance of conflicting and vague information surrounding them. While some sources state that Spelling-Goldberg Productions utilized seven cars for filming, other sources, like the advertisement for this sale, assert that only two cars were featured.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that Ford produced at least 1,000 replicas for the public, many of which were later modified to resemble the movie cars. Nonetheless, it appears that this particular Gran Torino is the genuine article, as the seller claims to possess documentation verifying its use in the TV series.

This car’s exterior and interior are impeccable, beginning with its iconic Bright Red and Herron White livery. There are no dents or signs of rust, and the chrome trim gleams just as it did when the vehicle left the factory. It even comes equipped with the removable red police light.

Despite its four-year stint as a movie car, the Gran Torino boasts an interior that is almost flawless. While some signs of use can be observed on the upholstery, there are no tears or cracks on the dashboard, door panels, or seats. Additionally, it retains its original features, such as factory cruise control, AM/FM radio, and a tilt steering wheel.

The police accessories added to the car during the series remain intact, including a Motorola radio, a scanner, and sirens. Notably, the driver’s side sun visor bears the autographs of both Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) and David Soul (Hutch), while the glovebox contains signatures from other actors who appeared in the movie.

Another remarkable detail lies beneath the engine hood. Although these cars were initially intended to be equipped with 5.8-liter Cleveland V8 engines, the producers managed to convince Ford to install 7.0-liter engines that had been discontinued in 1973. These V8s were enhanced with aluminum Super Cobra Jet heads, an Edelbrock Air Gap intake, and other performance upgrades.

While the exact power output and torque figures remain undisclosed, it’s reasonable to assume that the 429 engines were significantly more potent than the underpowered V8s offered by Ford in 1976. The engine bay is also flawless, indicating that the Gran Torino runs excellently.

For those who still harbor doubts regarding the authenticity of this car, the owner includes a letter from the company that supplied the Gran Torino for the TV series as part of the sale. Additionally, the car comes with an impressive assortment of “Starsky & Hutch” memorabilia, including police badges and IDs of the main characters, posters, and diecast models.

Currently up for auction by “maxmotive” on eBay, the Gran Torino has already reached a bid of $50,200 with nearly four days remaining. Although the reserve has not been met, considering the “buy it now” price of $109,300, it’s safe to assume that the seller expects a considerably higher amount than $50,000. While it may not be the most exorbitantly priced movie car on the market, it certainly doesn’t come cheap either.

If you’re a true fan of “Starsky & Hutch” or a passionate collector of vintage cars with a penchant for nostalgia, this 1976 Ford Gran Torino is a rare gem that shouldn’t be overlooked. Its authenticity, coupled with its well-preserved condition and accompanying documentation, adds significant value to this iconic piece of television history.

As the auction on eBay progresses, the excitement builds, and it remains to be seen who will ultimately claim ownership of this coveted automobile. Whether it finds a home with a devoted enthusiast who will cherish it as a cherished relic or becomes part of a prestigious car collection, there’s no doubt that the 1976 Ford Gran Torino from “Starsky & Hutch” will continue to captivate and evoke memories of the thrilling police drama that captivated audiences decades ago.






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