The new mid-size model from Ford is first introduced in 1968. The starting signal of a 9-year, successful construction period. Here are a few sample pictures of the respective models:
|4-door station wagon|
|Engines:||200 cid (3.277ccm)||straight-six engine|
|289 cid (4.736ccm)||V8 Windsor|
|302 cid (4.949ccm)||V8 Windsor|
|390 cid (6.391ccm)||V8 FE-Series|
|427 cid (6.997ccm)||V8 FE-Series|
|428 cid (7.014ccm)||V8 FE-Series|
|Transmission:||3-speed manual transmission|
|4-speed manual transmission|
|Wheelbase:||116,0 in (2.946mm)|
|113,0 in (2.870mm) - station wagon|
|Length overall:||201,0 in (5.105mm)|
|203,9 in (5.179mm) - station wagon|
|Width overall:||74,6 in (1.895mm)|
|Curb Weight:||2.932 – 3.514 lb (1.330 – 1.594 KG)|
In 1968, the Ford Motor Company introduced an intermediate model with a new style and new appearance. It was the Ford Torino. He replaced the Fairlane, which was still built until 1970, as a middle-class model. The Fairlane was located one level below. For the Torino, however, the same wheelbase as in 1967 was used. The styling changed significantly. The new middle class has increased in size and weight and a new hatchback model was offered. The twin headlights are at the outer edge of the slightly recessed radiator grille. The parking light was placed at the outer edge a little further down and also served as side marker lights, which were mandatory from 1968 in the US. The taillights in the form of a rectangle are also placed at the very edge and just above the bumper. In the middle are reversing lights integrated. At the edge were the red side marker lights. The Fastback model (also called SportsRoof) had a gently sloping roofline that dropped to the end of the tailgate. This body version had very good aerodynamics, which proved also on the racetrack as an advantage.
Ford offered 14 different mid-range models in the program in 1968. The base model was the Fairlane, which was available as a coupe, sedan and station wagon. Something more high class is the Fairlane 500. This was offered as a coupe, coupe fastback, convertible, sedan and station wagon. The Torino as a coupe, sedan and station wagon. And finally, the Torino GT Coupe, Coupe Fastback and convertible.
All models were delivered from the factory with drum brakes, but disc brakes were offered for the front. The steering was converted to a recirculating ball system and optionally with power assistance. Everything has been redesigned in the interior. A new dashboard with 4 equal fittings around the steering wheel. However, not with accurate indications but only with warning lights, speed and fuel gauge. The speedometer went up to 120 mph (190 km / h). The two ads on the right were empty. These were available for tachometer and clock, which were offered as an option. Ford had many upholstery on offer. New was a kind of embroidered vinyl with the name “Comfortweave”. This unique option allows you to “breathe” and offers more comfort during hot weather, unlike traditional vinyl.
Also a whole set of engines was offered. All models were shipped from the factory with the 200cid six-cylinder engine, with the exception of the Torino GT models, which were delivered with a 302cid 2V (dual carburetor) Small-Block V8. Also on offer was a 289cid 2V Small-Block V8, a 302cid 2V Small-Block V8 (for all models except GT), a 390cid 2V and a 390cid 4V (4-speed carburetor) V8. On 01.04.1968 then a 428cid 4V (Cobra-Jet) engine was offered, which is however relatively rare due to the late introduction. The Cobra-Jet was the strongest engine by far. Specified were 335 HP (340 hp / 250KW). This engine was delivered with a 3-speed manual gearbox, but for a surcharge also a 4-speed manual and a 3-speed automatic transmission.
The Torino models were offered with carpets and interior trim in body color. The Torino coat of arms was attached to the C-pillar. The Torino GT models had bucket seats, GT emblems on the hubcaps and interior lights on the doors. Offered were the Torino GT with a GT handling package with stronger and harder springs and dampers, and with stronger wishbones on the front axle.
Although there were already faster cars in 1968 than the Torino GT, but the GT was an excellent combination of performance and handling. The ‘Car Life Magazine’ tested a ’68 Ford Torino GT SportsRoof with a 390cid 4V, C6 transmission and a 3.25:1 ratio. From 0-60 mph, he made it in 7.7 seconds, the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds with a top speed of 90 mph. In the magazine “Car and Driver” was a ’68 Ford Torino GT with a 428 Cobra Jet tested with ram-air (air-scoop), a C6 automatic transmission and a 3.91:1 ratio. He made the quarter mile in 14.2 seconds with a top speed of 98.9 mph. The surcharge for this engine was $ 306, which was then around € 450 that times.
As already mentioned, the station wagon came off the production line as “Fairlane”, “Fairlane 500” and “Torino Squire”. All versions are equipped with the “Magic Doorgate”, a kind of 3-way tailgate and an optional remote third row of seats, which made the 6-seater an 8-seater. Torino models were equipped with a imitation wood exterior trim and had finer upholstery in comparison to the sedan. Also available were electric rear windows.
1968 was a successful year for the Torino. There were 172,083 units (including Fairlane 372,327) produced. Even with the press, the car arrived well. In the 500 miles of Indianapolis, a ’68 Torino GT Convertible was even used as a pace car.