Torino Twister Special

1970 Ford Torino Cobra Twister Special

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-16, 2021

Photo – Mecum

What a great looking car. The 1970 Torino is one of Ford’s styling highpoints of the era. This model year had a dizzying assortment of models, sub-models, trims, body-style, and engine combos. The Torino Cobra was the top sport-level trim, slotting in above the Torino GT. It was available as a two-door Sportsroof fastback only.

The dealers in Ford’s Kansas City sales district were selling a limited edition Twister Special of the Mustang for 1970. Only 96 were ordered. Alongside those, the dealers opted to outfit 90 Torinos with a similar package. Only 30 of those had a four-speed manual transmission like this car has.

Power is from a 7.0-liter (429) Cobra Jet V8 rated at 370 horsepower when new. The Twister Special package added some blacked-out trim and graphics. This car has rear window sport slats and spoilers up front and out back. Fully restored, it’s going to sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $236,500.

Torino Talladega

1969 Ford Torino Talladega

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Palm Beach, Florida | April 6-8, 2017

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The 1969 Ford Torino was actually the last Torino produced as a sub series of the Ford Fairlane. It would become a model in its own right for 1970. So, I guess, this is technically a 1969 Ford Fairlane Torino Talladega. The Torino was the top trim for the Fairlane, above the 500. The Talladega was a limited edition fastback produced by Ford for 1969 only.

The point of the car, of which Ford only built in the first few weeks of 1969, was to homologate their new NASCAR racer. The sloping fastback was named for the high speed racetrack of the same name (that also opened in 1969). It is powered by a 335 horsepower 7.0-liter 428 Cobra Jet V-8.

This is a classic, super rare muscle car. It’s a factory racing special and while most would mistake it for just another 1960s sports coupe, it’s that big fastback that gives it away as something much more unique. Ford only built 750 of these and this was the second-to-last completed. Mercury had a version, too. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson in Palm Beach.

Update: Sold $41,800.

Intermeccanica Torino

1968 Intermeccanica Torino Spyder

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 2-6, 2015

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

We’ve featured a couple of Intermeccanica’s cars before and neither of those two really look all that different from this one with the exception that this is a rag top. Intermeccanica was founded in Torino by Frank Reisner in 1959. Since 1981 they company has been based in Vancouver and now specialize in replicas.

But in the late-1960s they were churning out sporty Italian coupes and convertibles, like this Torino. The Torino name was short-lived because Ford protested and the name was changed to Italia. The Torino was new for 1968 and lasted (as the Italia) through 1973. It is powered by a 4.7-liter Ford V-8 making 225 horsepower. The body is hand-crafted steel and the whole car will do 155 mph.

Total production of Torino and Italia Spyders number around 400. This car supposedly escaped the factory badged as a Torino when it should’ve had Italia badges and is thus the “only known” 1968 Torino Spyder. At any rate, these are actually really nice, Italian sports cars from the 1960s/1970s. And they’re rare. This one should bring between $100,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $159,500.

IKA Torino Sedan

1970 IKA Torino 380S

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 15-16, 2013

1970 IKA Torino 380S

It’s not often you see Argentinian cars come up for sale. Most people probably don’t even realize there are cars native to Argentina. Here’s the brief history of IKA: in the early-1950s, some Argentinians met with U.S. automakers, hoping to lure some production to South America. The only manufacturer to take the bait was Kaiser and they created a wholly-owned subsidiary known as Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA).

They built mainly Willys and Jeep products in the early days before becoming a joint venture with Renault in 1959. In 1962, they formed another joint venture – this time with AMC and they built Rambler-based cars, such as this Torino. 1975 was the end of the road for IKA, when it was absorbed entirely into Renault.

The Torino was introduced in 1966 and built as an IKA model through 1977 (and as a Renault-badged vehicle from 1978 through 1982). This is a very famous car in Argentina. Why? Because in 1969, IKA sent three cars to the 84 race at the Nürburgring. The team’s manager was none other than Juan Manuel Fangio himself – the most famous Argentine racing driver of all time. One of the Torinos finished first but was not awarded the win due to penalties. It was a big deal in Argentina.

This particular car was Fangio’s personal ride. It’s all original and is being sold by his family. The engine is a 3.8-liter straight-six making 215 horsepower. There is no pre-sale estimate available, but you can read more here and check out the rest of Silverstone’s auction lineup here.

Update: Sold $45,644.

Torino King Cobra

1970 Ford Torino King Cobra

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 18, 2013

1970 Ford Torino King Cobra

The Ford Torino Talladega was Ford’s 1969 NASCAR ringer car. It had a highly sloped fastback and a 428 Cobra Jet engine. For 1970, Chrysler seriously upped the game with the Plymouth Superbird, which would dominate NASCAR.

So Ford designer Larry Shinoda designed this aerodynamic coupe based on the Torino. Everything from the firewall back is standard Torino, but that sleek, downforce-creating front end was all new. The grille was relocated to below the bumper and the hood was blacked out. And there were headlight covers planned for the NASCAR teams (this car has them).

NASCAR upped their homologation requirements for 1970, mandating that 3,000 copies of a car must be built in order to compete. This led Ford to abandon the project after only three prototypes had been built. It was never raced. Each car had a different engine: one had the Boss 429, one a 429 SCJ and the other a 429 CJ. So this car has either an engine rated at 370 or 375 horsepower (the lot description is currently blank for this car). It is one of only three and should bring a pretty penny, even though Torino’s are not (for whatever reason) highly collectible. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Failed to sell.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2019, $192,500.

Mecum Des Moines Highlights (7/21)

If you’re in the market for an affordable classic car – one that you can drive and, in many cases, show nicely – then auctions like this are for you. The top sale was $80,000, but over 100 cars sold for under $13,000. That $80,000 car was this 1969 Shelby GT350.

The best-bought car of the auction goes to this 1968 Ford Torino GT Convertible. For only $7,500, I would have, quite literally, purchased it (I seriously wonder where this new love for Ford Torinos is coming from. Just all of a sudden I’m head-over-heels for them. Who knows). There is a lot of crap you can buy get stuck with for $7,500 – but this car looks great, making this price an absolute steal. I’m kicking myself.

Easily the most unusual (and rare) car of the sale was this 1985 Zimmer Quicksilver that sold for $9,250. It’s a Fiero-based re-body, but it won’t be mistaken for a Fiero, that’s for sure.

For complete results, check out Mecum’s website here.

Barrett-Jackson: First Half Highlights

Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale, Arizona auction is so massive, packed with over 1,000 cars. They roll cars across the stage and hammer them sold starting on a Tuesday and go every day through Sunday. The big cars (like they ones we’ve featured from them) usually go Friday, Saturday, and (to a lesser extent) Sunday. But there are still hundreds of interesting cars that more or less go unnoticed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The shadow of million dollar concept cars and ultra-rare muscle cars blots out the shiny patina on the cars of the first half of the auction week. So we present some of the more interesting standouts from the first three days.

First up is this 1981 Pontiac that was used on NASCAR’s road courses in the 1980s. It is a race-winning car having been raced by Tim Richmond, Morgan Shepherd, Richard Petty, and Al Unser Sr. Valvoline-liveried cars have always looked great and with this car’s history (and the fact that it is still being used in historic racing) makes the $25,300 (with buyer’s commission) purchase price seem worth it.

Above is a 1968 Ford Mustang High Country Special – 1 of 251. The High Country Special was essentially a California Special but sold in Colorado. Basically a trim and appearance package and in this case it didn’t do anything for the price, selling for $13,750.

There were also a number of itty-bitty microcars for sale in the first three days. There was a Vepsa 400, some Isettas, and this 1959 Goggomobil TS-250 Coupe. This car is in original condition with a 247cc two-stroke engine that will take this car up to 50 mph. It brought $27,500.

We featured a ’71 Ford Torino GT from Mecum’s Kissimmee auction (which we’ll run down in the next week or so). This is a 1971 Ford Torino GT Convertible and it is awesome. Torinos don’t get the same muscle car love that Mustangs, Mopars and Chevelles get but this might have just become my favorite-looking muscle car. Maybe it’s because I’ve overlooked it for so long – so it looks fresh, but I want it. Too bad I don’t have $37,400 to throw down for it.

One of my other favorites is the 1998 Panoz A.I.V. Roadster. The A.I.V. (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) was the “new” version of the Panoz Roadster. It features a 4.6 liter Ford V8 making 305 horsepower. It only weighed 2,500 lbs. Plymouth stuffed a V6 in the Prowler. I think of this car as having the performance the Prowler should have. Not necessarily the car the Prowler should have been (the styling of that thing is pretty good). But so is this. It just looks like a blast to drive. Could have been yours for $49,500.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday: a 1968 Mitsubishi J23A Japanese Military Jeep. Actually, you don’t see many 1968 Mitsubishi’s period or any pre-1970 for that matter. Foreign military vehicles are something that don’t appear at American auctions all too often so this would have been an excellent time to pick one up. And for $7,150, you could hardly afford not to.

There were a number of other pre-1970 Japanese classics available. When new, Japanese cars were never perceived as being future classics. Well, that attitude made pristine examples 40 years later relatively hard to find. And restoring a $7,000 car isn’t exactly solid economics. My favorite was this 1972 Datsun 510 Wagon (I like wagons). I should have grabbed it for the $8,525 it sold for.

There are customs-o-plenty at Barrett-Jackson: resto-mods, resto-rods, other things that start with “resto” and rhyme with “mods.” And then there are insane customs. Like this “Hot Rod Hearse:”

If it entered production, I imagine the slogan would be something along the lines of “Be The First Person  to the Graveyard!” It’s pretty crazy but unfortunately it is not street legal. It sold for $17,600.

Classic trucks are becoming quite collectible and auction houses realize this and try and grab the best of them to offer. One make you can never go wrong with is Diamond T. They made mostly commercial trucks but also produced a few pickups for “regular people.” They’re among the best-looking old-school trucks you can buy. Like this 1949 201 that sold for $51,700:

And finally, from the Fun File is this 1931 Ford Model AA Tanker. In Texaco livery, it would make a great static display parked near historic pumps or other automobilia. It’s quite rare but, nevertheless, I recommend driving it – it only cost $44,000.

For complete results, click here.

1971 Ford Torino GT

1971 Ford Torino GT

Offered by Mecum, January 24-29, 2012, Kissimmee, Florida

The muscle car era was about to end and Ford had the best looking ever Torino on its hands. There were 14 different Torino models available in 1971 and this GT is second only to the Cobra when it comes to sportiness and muscle. The ’71 Tornio GT was available as a convertible or this 2-door “SportsRoof” bodystle. Under the hood, the GT had Ford’s 4.9 liter V8 as standard.

Ford’s competitor to the Torino was the Chevrolet Chevelle – which is far more popular among muscle car types and is generally more collectable. There are dozens of Chevelles at muscle car auctions but there aren’t nearly as many Torinos. This one looks good in light blue with the gray stripe and black hood scoop.

Unless there is something I don’t know about this car (which is possible, the catalog description isn’t up yet), I expect it to bring no more than $35,000. For more info on the car, click here and for more on Mecum’s Kissimmee auction try here.