Ford had an alternative to the GTO and Chevelle

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“Chevelles are fine and GTOs get a lot of attention, but if you want to stand out from the typical muscle-car crowd, this 1969 Torino GT (Sports Roof) coupe is the only alternative,” notes the dealership offering the Pick of the Day on ClassicCars.com.

“With a strong-running 302 cubic inch V8, it’s the Blue Oval’s answer to the ubiquitous A-body. Better still, it’s a bargain compared to its bowtie-wearing rivals and quite a bit rarer to boot!” the dealer adds.

Ford introduced the Torino in 1968 as the top trim version of the Fairlane model. Torinos were available in sedan, coupe, convertible, station wagon or as a 2-door GT hardtop with a sleek fastback roofline that appeared to have been designed for aerodynamic advantage in stock car racing, which was, indeed, the case. Ford driver David Pearson won the NASCAR championship in 1968 and again in 1969.

“A bit sleeker and more aggressive compared to its hardtop siblings, this Torino GT Sports Roof adds a lot of style to the vintage performance game,” the advertising dealer says. “All the Ford hi-po styling cues are in place here, including the blacked-out hood scoop, C-stripes, GT grille, trunk moldings, rear pillar inserts, and styled GT wheels, so there’s no mistaking it on the street. 

“It was painted sometime this decade and it still looks very presentable and fresh, and the code Y Indian Fire paint shines up beautifully under the sun. 

“There’s a ton of sheet metal in those quarter panels but it’s all quite straight and crisply rendered and panel gaps are very good all around, a testament to a life lived clean all of these years. You don’t see these cars all that often, so you’ll find a lot of enjoyment in the little stuff, from the grille and the matching insert in the hood scoop, and the lovely tail panel and tight-fitting bumper.”

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Inside the car has front buckets and rear bench.

“The seats are in very good condition, and we strongly suspect that everything inside is original to this car, so even though there are signs of use that typically accompany a survivor, it has an all-of-a-piece look that’s very appealing,” the dealer points out. 

“The original Philco AM radio is still in the dash, but it’s not working so an upgrade might be in order.”

Torino GTs came with Ford’s 302cid V8. The one in this car is the stock 2-barrel version and is linked to a C4 3-speed automatic transmission with a 9-inch rear. 

The dealer notes that the car recently was updated with a dual exhaust with Glasspack-style mufflers.

The car is located in Lavergne, Tennessee, and is offered for $26,995. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

19 COMMENTS

  1. A Torino with a 302 may be an alternative to some Chevelles but not an alternative to a 400 c.i. GTO.
    If you want a Torino comparable to a GTO it needs a 428 Cobra Jet engine.

  2. 2X on the 428cj, the 1969 Cobra based on the Fairlane was a separate model and came standard with the 428cj. Available in fastback or coupe was a budget musclecar for sure! Without the CJ engine the Torino/Fairlane was easy pickings for big block mopars and chevys.

  3. I had a 390 in my 69 GT

    The integrity of the car even new was poor. Water in taillights, door closing properly. Ford had really cheapened their product in 69. I love the looks and the car, but the unibody was poor compared to framed cars. Same with Mustangs and Cougars in ‘69. The cars had been cheapened

    428 was the top of the line

    Not sure about 302’s. I know 351’s were available

  4. My first muscle car was a 1969 Torino, 2 door coupe, with a 351 Cleveland. Not super fast, but for my first car in High school it was a lot of fun to drive. I found her on blocks with the engine partly disassembled. My dad and I had her running in two weeks. Just about the time I was ready to paint the front quarter panel to have it in prefect condition I wrecked it. Darn, if only I had more sense back then. I have not seen a nice Torino in 20 years what happened to all of them?

  5. lol don’t for get fx 390 gt lxi 429 supper cobra jet and dule overhead cam 427 ford super jet.cobra jet lol…with fmx c6 transmission with short tail shaft for shelby mustang mercury cougar montego and ltd lx….two door with Lauriette package vinyl roof leathered anterior and the sleeper four door police inter Interceptor with 4 speed manual transmission tilt away steering as on the 66 t bird with a what kind of rear end Some of the finest cars ever built these vehicles would take any Chrysler or General Motors product hands down every single time for beaten by the 429 and the 428 and the for 427 super Cobra jet engines even the 390 super Cobra jet that was offered in the LX LTD in 1969 1970 special option equipment package nice car and don’t forget the syclone that was a car to go up against the super bee and supper bird and yanko chevelle and again no comparison and red line 7to 9 when everyone
    else wat 11.1 12.1 13.1 camero and it would kick its tail..and wave as it walks past the competition Last but not least let’s not forget about the forward 400 M and the 351 Cleveland 4 barrel pollarded polished and ported heads in Tech put now over 370 Horsepower I like your add I like your article if it was a big block car out by it

    • I am not sure about some of what you wrote , but I attribute that to the website using automatic spell correction and not because what you said was wrong.

      As to the Big Block reference. That term came out again by PHR when Chevy released the new SS396 Chevelle . GM rated them available in 325hp, 350hp, And 375 HP engines. THAT 375 HP motor really put out 425hp. The NHRA RE RATED it up from 375hp to 425hp

      GM cheated like Ford and Chrysler did .However Chrysler went far FAR FAR beyond HP ratings .

      1. (Can any of you guess what they did? I’ll tell you at the end)

      2. (do any f you know who built the first Funny Car?)

      3. (Do any of you know how it got the name Funny Car?)

      ANSWERS!

      1. CHRYSLER started winning a lot of races . Far more than before. One day while a few people stopped to look over the Chrysler’s in the pits and a few made comments that " they (the cars), look funny". It became the topic of the day at the track . Even NHRA staff kept looking over a few of the "Team Chrysler" cars until one of them said " the wheel wells look kinda funny" eventually they spotted a non team racecar and kept looking at both while scratching their heads until one guy measured the wheel base and space from the front bumper to the front of the tire and the back of the rear tire to the front of the back bumper, then measured a non Mopar team car that was in the area where Chrysler set up with all their factory sponsered cars when a NHRA Tech inspector noticed 2 cars that "look funny" and discovered the cars were modified by Chrysler to move the front suspension as far front as possible and did the same with the back suspension, only a bit more to the front where someone wking past the cars who I forget if he was an NHRA Tech OR another racer, or a spectator?

      That started a whole new Drag Race Class that lasted a few years before they stopped looking like Super Stock drag race cars and advanced the name Funny Cars along until they used tube frames, blower motors and really funny looking fiberglass versions of whatever kind of car or manufacturer they were sponsored by!!!

      2. While Chrysler did invent the funny car class by altering the wheel base of their cars for real Super Stock racing, the actual name came from a couple of guys who kept talking and saying things like " those cars sure do look funny"

      I forget if they were just fans walking through the Pits or were they NHRA Officials, or were they fellow racers who noticed the different but we’ll hidden modified wheel bases?

      3.. Just as I said above. We really don’t know. I lean toward the NHRA Officials who said "That Car looks funny". If you have some old car magazines ESPECIALLY Popular Hot RODDING from 1963 to 1969 I think you’ll find out who got the credit

  6. Therin lies the problem with Ford back then. GTO came standard with a 400, although a two barrel economy 400 could be had, SS 396 came in three horsepower levels, the 442 had a 400, GS Buick had a 400, then there the new Road Runner again standard engine was a 383 with the 426 hemi optional, RT Chargers, Coronets got the 440 same as GTX. Stiff competition, right? That’s not all of them either. A 302 2 barrel even in a Mustang has no hope against any of these super cars, some will say a bone stock s code 390 had little hope either. 428 Cobra Jet and the drag pak super cobra jet evened the playing field, Image on the street was everything when it came to this type of car and a 302 or 289 2V was not it. That hurt Ford maybe a little in ’67 when the Fairlane GT came standard with the 289 instead of the 390 like the previous year. Ford pushed hard on the Mustangs anyways, that was their market.

    • The car is big heavy and NOT a muscle car. To be a musclecar the car MUST be. Midsize vehicle like the 1964 GTO WHICH WAS THE FIRST MUSCLE CAR. The term ‘Muscle Caf’ was originated by Popular Hot Rodding when they road tested the new GTO. They so defined ALL CARS in that class MUST HAVE

      1 a LARGE CUBIC INCH ENGINE either 389 inches or bigger

      2. A mid size car of which Ford has the far better looking Fairlane model which in 66 and/or 67 looked a lot like the 66 & 67 GTO’s. The base car came with a 302 with a 2; or 4bbl carb , thus NOT A MUSCLE CAR

      The 302 4bbl was a fast car, but not up against a GTO or a 396 SS Chevelle.

      If the buyer ordered the Fairlane with the optional 390. THEN it became a muscle car.

      The car shown IS NOT A MUSCLE CAR.Wrong size body, too much weight, wrong size engine!

      The Fairlane had way better styling, a bit less heavy and the optional 390 4bbl motor.

      Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds, Cougars, , Javelins, AMX, Barracudas, Cudas and
      Challengers ARE NOT AND NEVER WERE MUSCLE CARS! They are A PONY CARS of which the first Mustang is the reason for the term ‘Pony Car’

      These names served a reason. TO IDENTIFY THE VEHICLES CLASS AT RACES. GRAND NATIONAL STOCK CARS
      which are CLEARLY full size cars and were never confused with Indy cars or Sports car racing, or competing with AA/ALTEREDS right course not!

      PLEASE STOP SLAUGHTERING THE CLASS OF CARS BY CLAIMING THESE OTHER CARS THAT HAVE TOO SMALL ENGINES ,TO SMALL OR TOO BIG BODIES AS BEING MUSCLE CARS!

      THEY ARE NOT!

      Back in 67 my friend Mike had a White Fairlane with a modified 302, 4bbl carb and 4 speed trans. We raced each other a few time and I always won by 2 lengths , . I was driving my Red 66 389- trip power Ram air GTO.

      THAT Ford was fast and always came real close to winning even though both cars weighed in about the same, we both used Sunoco 260, we were both good drivers who knew how to powershift and the only reason he didn’t beat me at any time was because I had 87 cubic inches more than he had!. If his car had a 390 in it we would make been tied in most of our races with one of us occassionally edging out the other going over the finish line .

      Now let me say I am NOT trying to insult anyone. What it is is what it is and I know of 2 lawsuits where buyers bought ‘ Muscle Cars’ that had small engines. And small bodies or big bodies, neither of which could never even remotely be considered to be referred to be a ‘Muscle Car’

  7. Had a 69 Torino sports roof GT 390 auto. Red on white! My neighbor bought a new Dodge Super Bee 383.
    I beat him every way possible.

  8. My first car was a 54 Merc that had a 351 engine. My 3rd carwas a 61 Jag XKE That I put a 289 into (small block Chevies wouldn’t fit ) I flared the fenders for big fat tires on 8" Ansen Aluminum Rims and got rid of the bumpers. I regret selling the Jag but that made me go home to a long line of 55,56 and 57 Chevies, Corvettes and Chevelle’s

    My favorites were my two 66 GTO’s, my 66 396 Chevelle that ended up with a 454 in it and my 69 390 AMX.

    Mike was a friend who had a. 66 289 Fairlane . That car was FAST those little
    289’s. Could move!

    I never liked fast back styling EXCEPT for the 69 & 70 Mach 1. For the most part in my opinion , I just never liked the styling of Ford’s (except mustangs) or MOPARS (except the 69 Cudas) back then .

    The fastback Torinio bodied cars just never seemed to catch on around here or anyplace I went to. They were just too big for me.

    Cars are like Baskin Robbins , 57 flavors gives buyers lot of choices

    As for Torino bodied cars being muscle cars no way.

    To be a MUSCLE CAR , as defined by Popular Hot Rodding who came up with the term Muscle Car, The car had to be a midsize car and had to have a large cubic Inch engine with 4 barrel or multiple carbs, high compression pistions and highift cams.

    While the car featured was indeed a pretty nice car it simply was not popular nor was it a "Muscle Car" The good things about this car included it’s good condition,good mpg and the fact you can go on long drives and rarely have any problems. It’s a great fun car for family outtings or to car cruises.PLUS it qualifies for very low cost classic car insurance .

    As for the price? That’s up to the buyer to decide after having a body man check the quality of its fit and finish which does look good in the pics, but in person it could be good or bad

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