Home Car Stories Alley Finds 1968 FORD Torino GT- Vancouver, BC
1968 FORD Torino GT- Vancouver, BC PDF Print E-mail
Written by Double Dragon
Sunday, 10 May 2015 10:11

1968 FORD Torino GT- Vancouver, BC


Writing and photography copyright D. S. Brown

68 torino gt van gas cap

The nice GT gas cap lets everyone know that this is the optional GT version of the Ford Torino which is the top model of the Ford intermediate body style for 1968.

The crest below appears on the C pillar of the vinyl roof. The crest projects a fancy image intended to reflect the Torino's intended high end image. Over at General Motors the upscale version of the Oldsmobile F-85 intermediate car was named Cutlass. In 1966 a high end lavish version of the Cutlass was introduced named Cutlass Supreme. Ford couldn't have failed to notice the success of this well appointed intermediate sized car and clearly went after that segment of the market with the Torino.

68 torino gt van vinyl top logo

The 1968 Ford Torino has the classic 1960s long, low and wide proportions available in 2 and 4 door formats. 1968 marked the debut of the Torino name as an upscale version of the intermediate sized Ford Fairlane. The inspiration for the Torino name comes from the major auto producing city of Turin, Italy. The Italian pronunciation is Torino. Lee Iaccoca was flying high at Ford during this period as Vice President and destined to be President. It is generally assumed that the choice of an Italian name was a nod of recognition sent his way.

68 ford torino gt front

The intermediate sized Ford model line up for 1968 began with base Fairlane followed by Fairlane 500, then Torino and finally at the top sat Torino GT. This particular Torino GT is a formal hardtop, but the Torino was also available in 'Sportsroof' configuration.

The fastback roof was a craze in the 1960s. Everyone had one. AMC had the Marlin, Dodge had the Charger and Plymouth offered one on the Barracuda. All the 1968 GM intermediates were redesigned with very steep fastback roofs on the 2 door models. Ford had offered a fastback back on the 1965 Mustang. Now when you ordered a fastback Ford named it the 'Sportsroof'.

68 torino gt fred lautz to vancouver front

Aside from great looks, the steeply sloped rear Sportsroof helped Ford gain some aerodynamic assistance in stock car racing. The original Ford fastback used on the Galaxie stock cars (and the Mercury equivalent Marauders) was tame by comparison with the new fastback. Even the 'regular' rear roofline (named 'formal hardtop') was fairly racy with a pronounced slope as can be seen on this ALLEY FINDS Torino GT.

This Ford Torino GT originated in South San Francisco, California before it eventually made its way up north. The license frame on the rear tells us the car was purchased from Fred Lautze Ford in South San Francisco, California. See a story on Lautze in the DEALERSHIPS section of this website filed under CALIFORNIA/ SAN FRANCISCO Area.

68 torino gt fred lautz to vancouver drivers front

The final digits of the VIN are not shown here in order to protect owner privacy but the first few digits provide the basic information of this car.

8A44C2xxxxx decodes as:

8= 1968 Model year

A= Atlanta, Georgia final assembly plant

44= Torino GT Formal hardtop

C= 289- 2 Barrel engine

2xxxxx= Sequential build number

68 torino gt fred lautz to vancouver drivers side

The interior is stock with the exception of a period correct aftermarket 3 spoke Grant steering wheel. These real wood rimmed wheels were common in the 1960s. When Ford and Mercury dropped the sporty 3 spoke steering wheel of 1967 in favor of a 2 spoke padded item for 1968 it prompted a rush to the aftermarket. The 2 spoke 1968 wheel was likely implemented in conjunction with safety regulations. A lot of guys switched out the 1968 wheel for a 1967 wheel or went to the aftermaket. The Grant wheel on this car features 3 chrome spokes with holes punched out.

The factory automatic transmission console shift is intact as are the front buckets. The Bay Area of California doesn't get quite as hot as Southern California and Texas so this car has plain vinyl seats instead of the 'Comfortweave' perforated vinyl seats optionally ordered in severely hot climates.

Four deep pods house the gauges. Standard was speedometer and fuel gauge with idiot lights in the other pods although an optional clock or tachometer could fill out the blanks.

Eventually the Fairlane name was phased out leaving just the Torino nameplate for the intermediate Fords. Over at General Motors the same thing happened with the upscale intermediate names Cutlass and LeMans which replaced the low rung names like F-85 and Tempest.

68 ford torino gt rear

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 June 2015 20:14 )