My 1971 Ford Torino
First taste of American muscle and it doesn't disappoint!
I grew up in a very Ford heavy family. My grandpa worked for Ford for 34 years so it was always Fords or nothing. As a young kid I would annoy my friends with constantly going on and on about how great Fords were and especially the Mustangs (neither of which I had even driven at that time). As I grew older I never lost my love of Ford but it really grew into a love of American trucks and muscle. So about eight years ago I had the chance to purchase this 1971 Ford Torino off a good buddy. The car was a runner but just barley! It had really shoddy wiring, no charging system, the front seats were shot, tires were flat, but it had so much potential! I brought it home and had great and glorious plans for her! New engine, paint, new interior, all the goods! But as it always happens I had neither the time or the money for such crazy plans and so the car just sat, unused and unappreciated. The worst was when I'd look out the window on a rainy day and see her sitting out there in the rain and cold but I knew I didn't have the money to do it right so there it sat.
I would tinker on it here and there, did a little sanding and primer work to try and keep the rust at bay. Cleaned up the engine, gave the valve covers a cool paint job, but it never really went anywhere. Then one day while watching the Motor Trend show Roadkill (one of my all time favorites!) and the host David Freiburger said something very interesting. " Don't get it right, just get it running". And it was such an eye opener and I realized that I was so close to getting this car on the road just as she was and I could just enjoy some classic American muscle!
Like Christmas for a gearhead!
So I went ahead and put in and order to Summit Racing: new front seats, front socks, new door pins, door latch plates, and some other odds and ends. I cleaned up the wiring in the engine bay (mostly just rewired) and discovered the external regulator was both wired wrong and was bad. I welded up some new seat brackets and installed the new seats. Installed the new door pins and the plates to reinforce the latch area. Changed all the fluids. The car was finally coming together!
I even removed and painted the intake manifold so it wouldn't look so bad against my cool valve cover paintjob! Just the little things to get it on the road safely and to be able to have fun.
The cleaned up 351W
Now my car is a good runner and I drive her as much as I can! Its so worth it to just do what you have to do to get a cool project on the road and just drive it! Yes it still has lots of work that is needed and yes I will get around to it eventually but the fact that I can actually enjoy my Torino blasting down back roads or cruising through town just helps keep me motivated to keep working on it. And really, a car like this will never be a full showroom car so why worry about it not being perfect when you can just get out there and have a great time driving it?
So I'll end with the quote that helped my get reenergized about my project and I hope it does just that for you. "Don't get it right, just get it running!"