Pick of the Day: 1969 Ford Torino Hardtop

We recently wrote about a mid-size Ford that wasn’t a performance model but was equipped like one. If you dig cars like that, then perhaps you’ll enjoy our Pick of the Day that’s in a similar vein, in this case a 1969 Ford Torino two-door hardtop listed for sale on ClassicCars.com. It’s being sold by a dealership in Tulsa. (Click the link to view the listing)

“Fairlane” is derived from the name of Henry Ford’s estate in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb west of downtown Detroit. The name was applied to a new Ford flagship starting in the 1955 model year but, come 1968, Ford started to disassociate the name from its lineup as a new, fresh name and model joined the roster: Torino. We may say Turin in America, but the Italians call their city Torino, and the Torino and Torino GT replaced the Fairlane 500/XL and Fairlane GT as the top mid-size cars in the Ford lineup. (Mercury did a similar thing, introducing the Montego as it gradually began to phase out the Comet name). 

The Fairlane and Fairlane 500 still continued to play a role in 1968, and the Fairlane and Torino pairs were joined in 1969 by a new performance model called Cobra. Created as a response to the Plymouth Road Runner, the Cobra was a Fairlane-based SportsRoof (fastback) and hardtop model that included all the taxi-cab equipment of the base Fairlane but added a standard 428 Cobra Jet, Competition suspension, six-inch rims with wide-oval whitewalls, color-keyed carpeting, hood lock pins, blackened grille, and wheel lip and lower back panel moldings. Confusingly, the Cobra served as the basis of the NASCAR-influenced Torino Talladega, even though it was not a Torino proper.

The Torino, on the other hand, built up from the equipment of the Fairlane 500 and added full wheel covers, accent stripe, and a different grille that featured a red horizontal bar from end to end. Power teams included the standard 250cid inline-six, 302-2V, the new 351 Windsor in both 2V and 4V forms, the 390-4V, and the 428 Cobra Jet, both without (Q in the VIN) and with ram air induction (R). The 302 and 351-2V were by far the most popular engines for the Torino, but there was a small group of folks who spec’d out a Torino with the 428 CJ.

In the case of this Brittany Blue 1969 Torino two-door hardtop, only nine Q-code CJs  were built with a four-speed manual. The option sheet on this Torino is short but has the good stuff like 3.50 Traction-Lok, Competition Suspension (which was included with the CJ), and AM radio with rear speakers. Looking at the Marti Report, it can be seen that this particular vehicle was originally an export car, though it doesn’t say where. Considering the speedo is in MPH, perhaps it was a service member who ordered it?

Somewhere along the way, this Torino has received an engine transplant in the form of a 427 (which was last factory-installed in a mid-size Ford in 1967) topped by a hood scoop. It is paired to an automatic transmission, “offering a driving experience that’s both smooth and exhilarating,” according to the seller. Other modifications include air conditioning, AM/FM radio with CD player, power brakes and steering, and styled steel wheels.

“This 1969 Ford Torino is a nice blend of classic style, power, and modern features,” adds the seller. “It’s a testament to the golden age of American muscle cars.” For a car with pedigree and tasteful mods, the $40,000 asking price seems reasonable.

Click here for this ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day.