ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE STARSKY AND HUTCH CAR FROM THE TV SHOW
Starsky and Hutch “and their infamous red car” is one thing that people around the globe remember about 1970s television drama series. The show originally aired in April 1975.
The tv series revolved around two street-savvy and frequently undercover detectives coping with real-life concerns such as attempting to keep drugs off the streets and the criminals of ‘Bay City’.
The tv show also concentrated on the two characters’ personal affairs, as well as their relationships with other cops and employees at their police station.
Outside the station, the two police also depended on confidential informants, such as the famous “Huggy Bear,” who would provide Starsky & Hutch crucial information about what was happening on the streets. Huggy Bear was originally played by Antonio Fargas.
The main protagonists, portrayed by Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul, became celebrities as a result of the show. But one figure stood out above the rest: their police vehicle. The easily recognized Ford Gran Torino Sport became so famous that even those who had never watched the television program recognized it. We can’t think of a single instance in television history before Starsky and Hutch where an automobile resonated so strongly with the show’s identity.
In this article, we are reliving the memory of watching Starsky and Hutch with their bright striking car and we’ll tell you all about the amazing Ford Gran Torino. So, let’s get started…
The Gran Torino, in bright red with a massive white stripe stretched over the roof and around each side, is one of the most famous automobiles to grace the small screen. With its funky beginning, Starsky and Hutch presented us to the legendary “striped tomato” red and white Ford Gran Torino.
The vehicle is so important to the program that its appearance without credit at the show’s premiere feels more like a figure opening than product marketing.
Fast fact, Starsky originally was supposed to be driving a Chevrolet Camaro convertible since creator William Blinn recalled fondly his green and white one. Unfortunately, when filming on the pilot episode began, Ford Motor Company’s Studio-TV Car Loan Program provided the show’s creators with a lease. They went through the leasing inventory and decided on two 1975 351 Windsor V8-powered “Bright Red” (paint code 2B) 2-door Gran Torino’s.
Both automobiles appeared in the pilot film, one as Starsky’s automobile and the other as a similar automobile that the film’s baddies mistook for Starsky’s car. Both had body-side moldings, a black inside, and vinyl bench seats.
The automobiles were specially painted with the unique white “vector” stripe created by mobility coordinator George Grenier (on top of the original red paint hue). The rear ends were raised with air shocks and Ansen Sprint 5-slot mag wheels with bigger rear tires were installed. The tires were placed such that only the black side was visible, concealing any unlawful markings.
SOME SPECIFICATIONS AND FACTS ABOUT THE STARSKY & HUTCH FORD GRAN TORINO:
What models of the car were used?
The show included models from 1974 through 1976.
They came with 351, 400, and 460 cubic-inch engines, as well as some extras. Stunt vehicles have modified rear ends with lower gear ratios to allow for faster acceleration. The car’s popularity spawned a craze for duplicate paint jobs.
Ford got in on the game as well, producing a limited run of 1,100 cars in 1976. Most Torinos were conventional cars, and generally, the most popular models were the 4-door sedans and 2-door hardtops.
While standard factory Torino models were more often casual cars without the upgraded engines, wheels, and other cool features, Ford put together a limited edition, high-performance model car that featured racing seats, a “Cobra-Jet” engine, and was sold as a more ‘muscle car edition’ street-legal car.
How many Ford Gran Torino’s did Starsky and Hutch use throughout the show’s screen time?
According to ABC, at least ten Ford Gran Torino‘s were utilized throughout Starsky and Hutch’s television run. They were used for high-speed pursuits and stunts such as leaping or running over something. A couple of the original stunt cars are still in existence today. According to Hemmings, these automobiles fetch a high premium at auction. If you can verify it’s an authentic Starsky and Hutch display car, you may expect to get $60,000-$90,000 at the sale.
What was the Ford Gran Torino before it got famous on Starsky and Hutch?
The Ford Torino and Ford Gran Torino Sport were created because Ford was anxious to fill the void left by the replacement of the Fairlane series of automobiles. The Torino was initially known as the Fairlane Torino before becoming known as the Torino and being sold as an upscaled Fairlane. The Fairlane was a lower-tier vehicle base until the line and brand were phased out.
After the airing of Starsky and Hutch, the Torino became popular, and the company extended its product line and engine options.
Then, one day, a Television series came along seeking its “Hero Car,” and everything transformed for the Ford Gran Torino. Neither Ford nor the company had any clue, but on that day a celebrity was born.
Fun Fact About the Starsky and Hutch Ford Gran Torino
Some folks hated the car! While the Gran Torino was almost immediately loved by the show’s audience, both Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) and David Soul have gone on record reporting critiques to the car’s overall performance and handling. Even mentioning the slickness of the seats and the actors constant slipping and sliding off.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FAMOUS CAR AFTER STARSKY AND HUTCH WAS CANCELLED?
Following the cancellation of Starsky and Hutch, the automobiles were handed to Ford’s Studio-TV Car Lease Program and auctioned in a Ford Motor Company auction to A.E. Barber Ford of Ventura, California. Torino #1 was initially sold directly to an Ojai, California homeowner who kept it for a year before selling it privately to an Air Force officer who had it for 17 years.
The automobile was acquired by an Ohio citizen in 1988 and resold to the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in the United Kingdom in 2012. The Torino was eventually sold to Deezer Car Collection in Miami, Florida. In January 2015, Deezer sold the automobile at a closed event to a Texas automobile collector.
It was mainly unrenovated and slightly damaged at the time owing to wear and tear from TV show production and following possession. It had its original 460 V8, upholstery, and color, but the first owner installed Mickey Thompson valve caps and a chrome air cleaner.
Since then, the Texas collector has done a “sympathetic” frame-off repair. Torino #2 was purchased by a New Jersey resident who contributed the principal close-up Torino (seen on movie posters) for the 2004 Starsky & Hutch film.
Starsky & Hutch Movie (2004)
From the first season of the tv series all through the second season and beyond, fans could not get enough of the car, the show, and each of the episodes. In 2004 the iconic tv series was transformed into a full-fledged 101 minute, Starsky and Hutch movie production that aired officially on March 5th, 2004! The movie co-starred Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Ben Stiller played David Starsky (originally played by Paul Michael Glaser) and Owen Wilson starred as Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson (who was originally played by David Soul). The filming took place all over Los Angeles, California. While the original show, its famous Ford Gran Torino, and its episodes were a success, the film received ‘mixed to positive reviews. Sales for the production exceeded expectations grossing a combined $170 million across the globe off of a $60 million budget.