The Legacy Of The Torino

Tom torino

I would like to introduce you to my husband’s baby.  It did not have a name – it was always referred to as “the Torino” or “dad’s Torino”.  It was his prized possession – a part of his father – a 1971 Ford Torino.

In 1971 Tom’s father Bob decided to purchase a new car.  So both Bob and Evelyn {Tom’s mother} went in search for a nice comfortable car. If I remember the story correctly, according to Evelyn it came down to two cars, this one which was originally painted green and another car.  Now Evelyn did not drive but she was looking for something that looked nice and was comfortable.  Bob wanted the other car but she talked him into the Torino. When Evelyn was living with us years later, she confessed to me that she talked Bob into the wrong car.  She actually wanted the other one – she did not like the green color and that this one only had two doors.  But it turned out that both Tom and Bob liked the car.  I have a feeling Bob pulled a fast one on Evelyn, to get the car he really wanted. 

After Tom’s father had a stroke that would eventually put him into a nursing home, Bob gave the Torino to Tom as a gift.  Bob and Tom had a special bond; Tom admired his dad and always looked up to him, this would the perfect gift for Tom to keep his dad in a part of his life.

We drove to Tom’s old home to bring the car home.  Tom knew the transmission was bad so he had a friend who is a mechanic go with us.  He got it running and we drove back home, in what should have been a 3 ½ hr drive, it took us nearly 5 hrs driving in first gear.  We got it home and there it sat for nearly a year.  Tom was saving money to get it fixed when he decided to re-enlist in the Army.  So to get the car to go wherever the Army would send us we decided to put in the garage and pray we had enough money to get it running again.  Tom’s little guy went in and we braced ourselves for the cost.  I don’t remember the exact amount we paid to get it fixed, again if I remember correctly {after all, this was 30 years ago!} but his baby only needed something adjusted and it ran perfectly and we had more than enough money saved – what Tom thought would cost an arm and leg actually cost a few dollars.  We would often joke about how the car sat for a year because he thought it needed major repairs when he could have been driving it and enjoying it. He would even start up the little guy to keep the motor good but he never drove it.

While we were living in Florida the Torino needed body work done so a friend painted it for us and the only color he had was brown, so it went from a dull green to a icky brown. But through the years it ran better than our other cars and always traveled with us. But the little guy did not remain brown for long.  Tom had wanted to paint it purple with a gold racing stripe for as long as I could remember and he had the opportunity to do it.  He put it in the garage and had a new engine put in, exchanged the old hood for the hood taken from a 1970 Torino, other parts repaired or replaced and ending with the painting – all told the car was in the garage for nearly a year.  This is the result:

Tom torino 1Now our son has the car.  He had some minor work done to it already and like Tom started a fund to continue with restoring it.  Tom has spare parts in our garage and plenty of books for our son to browse through.  He has also put “dad’s Torino” in its first car show.  He met many other car enthusiasts more than willing to teach him a few things. 

This car has had only three owners, a father to his son, and to his grandson.  I hope one day to have a grandson or granddaughter so that our son can also pass the car on and tell them about a father and son’s love and the gift of the Torino that is living on in each generation.

Tom torino 2


56 thoughts on “The Legacy Of The Torino

    1. Thank you – us women have to put up with our men and their toys!! lol He was always like a kid when it came to that car. I often told him I was glad he never had to make the choice me or the car – I was afraid he choose the car. lol He never denied it or agreed to that statement…. 😀


  1. Legacy, love this. Legacy is big on my list and I think it is such a special tribute of relationship that the father – son – grandson all shared in the experience of owning this car. Beautiful story.


    1. I keep saying Tom would appreciate this article, I actually think Bob would get a kick out it too. He probably never thought Tom would have kept the car going like this.


  2. I too loved this story. I have a cousin and his name is Tom. He had a white Torino that he always picked me up in to babysit for his kids. I loved that car and his wife Judy. I remember Judy driving it and popping the clutch one time and we left black marks on the intersection when she took off. Laughing was always going on in that car. I think it had to much power for two little country girls! I hope you get your wish for that car to be passed down too. It is a wonderful thing.


    1. It is funny you should mention the power of the car, Tom would not let me drive it, said I could not handle the power. He was probably right, I drive out of necessity and prefer something easy to handle. 😉


    1. I have never been excited about cars, I get in turn the key and drive and that is about it ~ lol But that car has become a part of three generations, it is neat to be a part of it in someway.


  3. What a beautiful story! It is really awesome that three generations have enjoyed the Torino.

    Like Parenting is Fun–I also thought about the movie, Gran Torino.


    1. funny you mention that, we would tease Tom and tell him that state police would see him coming, get the radar gun ready to clock him speeding and be disappointed when they realized he was doing the speed limit. Tom was a law abiding citizen and never sped as far as I know. 🙂


  4. I really enjoyed your story. I related to it for several reasons – but the main one is that we have a similar legacy. My husband and I bought a 1961 Porsche in 1962 when he got out of the Army. The car had only one owner previously – and the bucket seats didn’t fit his large frame, so he sold it to us for a very reasonable price. It was my hubby’s baby for 50 years! Last year he gave it to our son who treasures it as much as your son and grandson treasure your Torino. There’s something about a guy and his car, isn’t there? Thanks for sharing, Patty! 🙂


  5. Wonderful story, rich with personal details. I had a 1972 Torino, a nice green but nothing flashy good like your husband’s. I like the idea of father passing it to son and so on. The closest I got to that was when I sold my Torino to my cousin because his car had been totaled and mine was for sale and the right price, but he was never excited about it. A car should be loved and appreciated. Everyone knows when I love my car because I name it.


    1. So do I!! Funny I never named the last one we bought, maybe because we downsized to one car and we both drove it. I should find a name for the ole gal. Tom’s Torino was originally green, he thought about painting it green again but I am glad he did what he did, he loved that ole car.


  6. Patty, I am sad I had missed reading this wonderful story about “the Torino” until now. Full of love and tradition… I have been a Ford fan (started with my dad, too) myself. A couple of years ago, my Mustang club was privileged to have been given a special tour of Paramount Studios. One if the highlights was not only seeing the Harry Potter sedan but… Clint’s Gran Torino…


    1. Mustangs have always been favorite too! How cool to have been on that tour to see Clint’s gran Torino. You will notice the hood on Tom’s Torino is actually from a Gran. (I am pretty sure), he always liked the more fancier hood.


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