Definitely Not Jeffrey Lebowski's Torino: Welcome To Chile!

Illustration for article titled Definitely Not Jeffrey Lebowskis Torino: Welcome To Chile!

This DOTS Bonus Edition thing has really taken off, with photos coming in faster than I can post them (be patient- my jumble of files rigorously organized system will result in everyone's shots appearing sooner or later). We've seen North American cars and a few in Europe, and now it's South America's turn. Chilean reader Felipe sees this '74 Torino parked in his neighborhood (I forgot to ask which city), and he's gone out and interviewed the owner for us. ¡Gracias, Felipe! Make the jump for the car's story... but before that, let's look at a Malaise Torino that's not quite as nice as this one!


This Gran Torino Brougham from the year 1974, was imported new to Santiago de Chile.
Around the year 1990 it was sold to the owner which I bought it to, it was taken to a southern city called Los Angeles (Not California). There it was well maintained, it was used as a second car, only to drive around the weekends, not a daily driver. Around the year 2004 the owner had to leave Chile, this is when I bought it, the car travelled a distance of 500km with only changing the fuel filter, this means it was in good condition, at least the engine and transmission, when it arrived I noticed that it had some oxide; low part of the doors, fenders, trunk door and the trunk itself was ruined by oxide. Now the restoration begins, all the parts corrode by oxide were cut of and replaced by new metal, the chasis was in good condition so nothing was done there.
After the paint, which was done using the same colors, well originaly the roof had a white vinyl cover, which was taken out and replaced by a pearl white color, no more vinyl. When all the paint and metal was done it was taken to an electric to change completely the cables, and take out all the none original butons, maybe in the states this does not happen very much but here in Chile it is very common to find cars that have an enourmous amount of cables and buttons. Well the electric system was left original, exept for the third brake light and the sylvins were changed to halogen lamps, the orginal AM radio and A/C were left, both working to today. The next step was to complete the car, brand new Cragar ss rims were installed with wider tires (265 back and 245 front), this step completely changed the appearance of the car, it gave it a more aggressive look. All the emblems were installed, the F-O-R-D In the front did not come with the car, but it was an optional for this model so, it still maintains the originality, the other hood ornament (The brougham one) was not installed because personally I don't like it, yes I should not have left that hole in the hood, but I still have the ornament in the glove box. When the car was ready it was taken to get out that v8 sound, independent 2" exhaust lines were installed with mufflers, and inox steel tips, I orderd a pair of Flowmaster mufflers but they came too late, even though, the car sounds very good and it passes every thing legally.
The engine was only enhanced, stickers and stuff like that, it is original a 351 Windsor, also the transmission was left inttact. The car runs great, no smoke, 100%, just gas and you can go anywere, last year I went to the mountains (El Colorado) a ski resort and no problems.
The gas price has gone very high so I don't use it very much now, it has become a second car, the price of a liter of gas here costs $1.20, so you would imagine it's not very cheap to use as a daily driver, I used it every day for about two years. I have owned it for about 4, one year was completely used in restoration, and now I enjoy it in the weekends.

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That looks like the 1976 Gran Torino my dad used to own... only the

one we had was red (like Starsky and Hutch, only without the stripe and

a couple of extra doors), was a 4 door and had the vinyl front bench

seat instead of the upgraded seats this car has.

I remember it was really exciting when we got it as it was our first

car that was kind of sporty looking, had AC, power windows and power

steering. But it still had an AM radio unfortunately.

In hindsight though, the car wasn't that great. It rusted quicker

than average, the window dropped down into the door while on vacation,

gas gauge broke, the heater and AC always had issues, gas mileage

sucked, a tie rod broke while on the highway (no accident luckily) and

the brakes had problems... and that's just the stuff I knew my dad had

to get fixed. I'm sure there was other stuff.