In the 60’s and 80’s my dad had a Ford dealership so I had many “Hot” ford cars but my favorite is the 1972 Gran Torino Sport formal roof. When I met Angie in 1974 she had a 1972 Gran Torino Sport that my brother drove for a while. We always wanted another one and in 1996 I started having problems from a lift time of diabetes and we sold our HD (which we loved) in 2000 when we found our dream car our 1972 Gran Torino Sport formal roof w/ 351CJ 4-spd, A/C and OW.
There are a few things we wanted to change so when the timing chain jumped I pulled the 351 and drivetrain out and rebuilt everything Adding cam, roller rockers, arp bolts and a slight .030 bore because of a bad previous build. A little shaving and slight polishing will yield the power I want for a good street ride. I went through the top loader and a gear change to the Track-Loc rear to a 3.50 this will also bring her back to a little better performance and still maintain a good long trip driver. I have also replaced the bench seat with a set of 73 factory buckets which I re-foamed and recovered with factory covers and I’m restoring the factory console to match. I still have new carpet, underlayment and some other interior parts to install. I had never done interior work so that was a learning experience but fun and I wanted it perfect.
It got to a point to where I may not be able to get us home at times so the bike had to go. I am disabled and do what work I can now on the car as I can no longer do the heavy work because of a KP (Kidney/Pancreas) transplant so the body work we need done may have to wait for a while. We love driving this car and it has always been and always will be a daily driver not just a weekend driver (no bad weather though). My wife drives her to work; we go to the store or out to dinner and to car shows and on trips. It is something we love doing together so when she is pulled out of the garage it is a fight as to who is driving. We just love cars.
We also own a hot rod 1994 Ford Lightning. I will go out to the store or somewhere and find out the truck is missing, that means my wife drove it to work. It always comes back empty (she has a heavy foot). The GTS was in Detroit and I tried for months to get her delivered so I borrowed a trailer to go get her. We drove her all the way back because she would not fit in the trailer. It was a great trip and all the stares and thumbs up we got were a hoot. Everyone wanted to talk to us about it when we stopped and she did draw a crowd. She is down now but I am slowly getting her back together and can’t wait to drive her. Angie asks me when is she going to be ready?
Angie loves going to car shows and she laughed when a young teen parked next to us at a show and asked “if she could drive a stick”? We love this factory 4-spd!!! If I can ever get a little help putting her back together she will be back on the road. I have many parts I have found and they will be put on soon. I hope.
I found Cool Rides Online on Facebook and love looking at all the cars and trucks posted here and it shows just how large our sport car collecting is. Cars designed today or at least not many of them will ever be collectible as they all look alike so our sport just grows and that is great. We both love the 1972 Gran Torino Sport and it brings back so many memories from almost 36 years ago. Nothing could ever replace her and I hope I will be able to finish the 351 and get everything back in as I get weaker and less able to do a lot of work on her but I am plugging away.
We just want to get her running and go for a cruise. So remember keep your ride clean and covered it will last longer. Just drive them till the wheels fall off and do it all again because they just don’t make them like this anymore.
Thanks for adding our ride and you can look for “BirdHunter” on “COOL RIDES” to see our pics and I will be adding more as I finish more projects on her.
P.S. If anyone lives in the Birmingham, Alabama area and needs help working on their ride I will be more than happy to help. I may be physically challenged at some of the work but can bring the “Fried Green Tomato Samiches and the Buffalo Rock”!!!
Enjoy your Cool Rides!
By Tommy Coker – BirdHunter
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