HomeCar Culture1968 Ford Torino GT Packs Cobra Jet Punch

1968 Ford Torino GT Packs Cobra Jet Punch

David Sullivan had his dad's old car restored to perfection


Say what you will about the Internet, but the power for it to do good is unimaginable until you experience it. Yes, 40 years later it’s possible to find your long-lost orphan sibling, but we’re talking about cars here, so let’s get some perspective and focus on what’s important: a man and his father’s 1968 Ford Torino GT hardtop.

1968 Ford Torino GT fastback

David Sullivan’s late dad bought one of these cars new. The Longview, Texas resident spec’d out his car in black with red bench seat interior, but what truly made this car different from most Torino GTs was that it was built with the 428 Cobra Jet. Ford’s mid-size series was all-new for 1968 and featured two new models at the top: Torino and Torino GT. The latter replaced the 1966-67 Fairlane GT, while the Fairlane 500 and Fairlane continued to hold the lower end of the series. While the hardtop and convertible were carried over for the Torino GT, it was joined by a new fastback.

Standard power was the new 302cid V8 offering 210 horsepower with a two-barrel carburetor (later, the trusty 289 became the standard engine), with a pair of 390s being optional, the better of the two offering 325 horsepower with a four-barrel carb. A Cobra 427 V8 with 390 horsepower was the top engine, though only available with an automatic and only for the hardtop and fastback.

However, after many promises, the 427 was discontinued in April 1968. Why Ford never supplied its factories with the 427 is a topic lost to posterity, but patient Blue Oval fans were rewarded with the introduction of the 428 Cobra Jet. Though rated at 335 horsepower, the true output was closer to 415. Like the 427 that never happened, it was only available with an automatic transmission, something quite different from the Mustangs and Cougars that were built with this engine in 1968.

Torino GT fastbacks with the CJ, though rare, are much more common than the hardtop, so it was with some excitement that I discovered a post on Reddit several years ago by a gentleman who claimed he had his dad’s Torino GT and he needed help finding someone to work on it. Considering the car’s rarity and somewhat enigmatic status (when’s the last time you’ve seen one?), I knew this car needed the right treatment. I PM’d the gentleman, told him I had co-authored a book on Cobra Jets, and told him I’d be back with help.

I then messaged Marty Burke, the most knowledgeable Fairlane guy I know. Not only does Marty have connections, but he also lives in Texas, which is where the GT was located. I had them exchange emails and then that was that … until this past November when the car was unveiled at MCACN.

David Sullivan, the guy I had chatted with several years before and the son of the original owner, is an actor who may be familiar to those of you who are into movies and television. He really pulled out all the stops with the unveiling, bringing his family from Texas, as well as a small film crew to cover the event because, after all, this car is a part of his family now that Dad is no longer with us. Special kudos must go to Billups Classic Cars for their expertise in bringing this Torino GT to a level not often seen.

Check out the above trailer on David’s dad’s car and its life-changing restoration. You may also enjoy Kevin Oeste’s Muscle Car of the Week for an in-depth look at this special 1968 Torino GT hardtop.

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


  1. I had a 1970 Torino in Celery Green and dark green interior with the 351 Windsor.
    I broke the motor mounts numerous times from the raw power of that basic 351 V8.
    Lots of great memories of that car being I was a young Man in 1974 when I purchased the Torino from my Dad.

  2. My was a 1975 Gran Torino. It lasted a long time. I bought it for $500.00 in 1980 or 1981. I rebuilt a lot but was a good car. It got me to college and work.

  3. I had a 1968 Torino. 289 red and white, well optioned. Almost a gt. I bought it in the Air Force from a guy who had orders. Cost me a months pay. 172.00..

  4. I’ve still have my 68 GT Torino convvertible fully optioned down to the delay wipers and pw window and top. Got it went I was only a kid in 1975 right out of a chicken coop pen for 200 dollar. My first car…

  5. My first car, bought used 68 Torino GT in 1972 after I graduated high school. It was white with maroon vinyl interior. Just the 302 2 barrel automatic trying to pinch pennies and insurance rates. But I traded my expertise wiring a buddy’s house for black metalflake paint job. It looked great,seeing this car made me think back.

  6. Please send feature of 1968 Ford Torino GT, with Cobra Jet and specs…..had one and sadly let it go …Gary ,Watertown ,Ct


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