& Hutch Car - When not getting
information from their street snitch Huggie Bear
(Antonio Fargas), detectives Dave Starsky (Paul
Michael Glaser) and Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson
(David Soul) were racing through the streets of
Los Angeles chasing crooks on the police drama
STARSKY AND HUTCH/ABC/1975-79.
These two off-beat,
undercover cops reported to a dyspeptic
commanding officer named Captain Harold Dobey
(Bernie Hamilton). Their radio code was ZEBRA-3.
The boy's street car was an eye catching tomato red,
1975 Gran Torino automobile with a wide white
stripe. The show used two identical Gran Torinos.
One had a camera mounted on its roof to capture
what the detectives saw during chase scenes.
Both cars had 400 CID V-8 engines. Some of the
exterior hardware included bumper guards with
the horizontal bumper moldings, and color-keyed
During the second through fourth
season, the 1975 model was updated to a 1976
Gran Torino. It sported similar exterior
ornamentation and an interior featuring vinyl
bench seats (the 1975 had cloth seats), power
windows, power door locks, power seat, cruise,
tilt steering, AM-FM, 8-Track, auto climate
control, heavy duty electrical, and lighted
visor vanity mirror.
Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson & Dave" Starsky
Because the show's chase
scenes were demanding the Gran Torino body
design, was modified for stunts and given mags,
oversized tires, air shocks and hijackers on the
rear end and heavy duty suspension.
To cash-in on the success of 'Starsky & Hutch' series Ford
Motor Company ordered a limited production (1000
units) of a similar Gran Torino car in March
1976. The cars featured such equipment/options as:
- a 351 V-8 Cleveland engine (400 & 460
V8s were optional)
- Corning Englehard 400 catalytic converter
- bright red paint with special application
- vinyl bench seats with black interior trim
- automatic transmission
- conventional rear axle
- HR78 x 14/B radial W/S/W tires
- sport steering wheel, bumper protection
- anti-theft package
- complete tinted glass
- styled steel magnum wheels
- heavy-duty suspension
If you're interested in early publication about
how the Gran Torino came into existence, look for
the article "Torino Steals the Show" written by
Bill Carroll for Service Life magazine
(Volume 8, Number 2 - March/April 1976).
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