If you follow me on Twitter or Flickr, then you most likely have seen the car me, my brother and my father have restored together. Its a 1976 Ford Torino “Starsky & Hutch” red tomato, just like the one that’s on the TV show and yes…the horrible movie. But the car is mainly known for the TV show and of the famous zebra stripe. In fact in the mid 70s, it became so popular that Ford actually produced 1,000 of 1974 Torino’s that looked like that. They are hard to find today and very expensive.
This is our car.
The Torino between 1974-1976 never came with factory manual transmission expect for some extremely rare 1974 versions and only that model was setup for manual transmission, the others were never designed to have a manual transmission. Our Torino had a TCI Streetfighter C4 3 speed automatic, its a rock solid transmission and can take a beating. Riding around on your secondary roads through towns and what not was alright, but because of the 3.55 posi gearing and only 3 speeds, the car would rev around 3,000-3,200rpm doing 65mph on the interstate. It was loud and sucked up a LOT of gas.
After a couple months of research, we decided it was time for an upgrade (a very expensive one) to make the car a 5 speed manual. That’s right, you heard me. The gearing from 1-4th gear will be setup for street and the 5th gear will be setup for highway.
Since the car was never designed for a manual transmission, there has to be some modifications to fit the clutch and brake assembly. Since they would be redoing the brake system, we had the rear brake drums replaced with Baer disc brakes.