The Ford Torino was a car produced by the Ford Motor Company for the North American market between 1968 and 1976. The Torino was a mid-size car by American standards of the time - quite large by modern standards, but smaller than the full-size Ford Galaxie. It replaced the Ford Fairlane, although that name was retained for the base models with different trim than those that wore the Torino name.
Some models of Torino were performance cars, because Ford chose the Torino as the base for its NASCAR entrants during the early years.
The new 1968 Torino was a larger car than the Fairlane it replaced, and was available in a number of body styles; two-door fastback, two or four-door hardtop, a four-door station wagon, and a two-door convertible, while the Ford Ranchero car-based pickup used the same front end. Engine choices ranged from a 302 cubic inch small-block V8 to Ford's FE series 390 cubic inch big-block. The Torino GT was the upscale model, with extra 'sport' trim.
1969's model changed little, but for the introduction of the Fairlane Cobra that came with a Ford 428 Cobra Jet engine, floor mounted 4-speed manual transmission, uprated suspension, dual exhaust and bucket seats. Optionally the engine breathed through a functional 'shaker' hood scoop for extra power at high speed; also available was a Traction-Lok limited-slip differential.
1970 brought a completely new look, with a pointed grille and sleek lines. The engine choice was all-new; the Ford 351 Cleveland small-block V8 at the low end and the new Ford 429, available in Thunder Jet, Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet levels of performance. 1971's cars were for all practical purposes identical.
Having only been redesigned two years earlier, 1972 saw another remake. The already somewhat aggressive look was exaggerated with a large 'fishmouth' grille. The convertible was killed off, but all other body styles remained; also, the Torino GT became the Gran Torino or Gran Torino Sport. Emissions and fuel economy requirements were taking their toll; although '72's Torino was a heavier car, the only engine available was the 351 Cleveland, though optionally in Cobra Jet form.
1973's model saw front end changes to meet with new Federal regulations; a larger bumper replaced the almost body-fitting chrome one previously used. It didn't look as good, and 1974 saw a redesign of the grille and front end. Although the Gran Torino was still offered, the tide had definitely turned against performance cars and the performance options were being eliminated year by year. 1975 and 1976 saw few changes, though a '75 Gran Torino was used in the popular TV series 'Starsky and Hutch'. After '76, Ford discontinued the Torino. With the general downsizing of cars at that point, the new, smaller LTD was becoming the same size as the Torino.