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Police Cars

StarskY & Hutch CarStarsky & 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 sport mirrors.

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.

Starsky & Hutch
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
  • air-conditioning
  • anti-theft package
  • complete tinted glass
  • styled steel magnum wheels
  • heavy-duty suspension

TRIVIA NOTE:  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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