Ford Authority

This 1976 Ford Gran Torino Starred In ‘Starsky And Hutch’

During a recent visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, Ford Authority was able to check out a variety of cool, unique and interesting vehicles up close. That includes a 1969 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible that appeared in the 1969 James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 from the 1971 flick Diamonds are Forever, Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s 2017 Ford Bronco RTR racer, the 2003 Mercury Messenger Concept, 2001 Lincoln MK 9 Concept, and a 2021 Ford Bronco design study model. Now, we have yet another cool artifact from the Petersen to show off – this 1976 Ford Gran Torino, which appeared in the TV series Starsky and Hutch.

1976 Ford Gran Torino

Years after the Carlisle Ford Nationals paid tribute to the Starsky and Hutch 1976 Ford Gran Torino on its 40th anniversary, this car is one of just three surviving examples from the TV show, which aired from 1975-1979. This particular vehicle is known as “Car #1” from that series, and was ordered from Ford’s Studio-TV car Loan Program by Spelling-Goldberg Productions before it was put into action for small screen purposes.

Starsky and Hutch was a detective television series that rose to fame by depicting the antics of police officers in the fictional town of Bay  City, California, and eventually spawned both a full-length feature movie and a video game. Interestingly, some of the characters and plots were based on real-life New York City detectives Lou Telano and John Sepe, who gained notoriety for their unconventional but effective undercover police work.

1976 Ford Gran Torino

Amazingly, one of the original side-mounted cameras that was used to films actors Michael Glaser (who played David Starsky) and David Soul (Kenneth Hutch) in seasons two through four remains intact and attached to the vehicle, while autographs from both actors – as well as other cast and crew members – adorn the headrests and various other parts of the classic Gran Torino – which is now merely a nifty piece of TV and automotive history.

We’ll have more cool vehicles from the Petersen Automotive Museum to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Gran Torino news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Rick Mitchell

    The 1969 Bond movie with the XR-7 was “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” not “Dr No.”

    1. Brucefrantz

      👍any bond fan knows Dr No was the first back in the early 60s

  2. RWFA

    The Mustang on display does not appear to be from the DAF Bond movie.

    Note the pattern graphics on the side which the movie cars did not have.

  3. Mrx19

    With its weezing, maybe 130 bhp engine and horrendous 5 mph bumpers this would have to be one of the least desirable classics on the planet. But hey, gotta love two undercover cops driving around in a brilliant red car with attention grabbing stripes.

    1. Ford500guy

      Goes to show what some tomato head DOES not know about these cars. Most of the Gran Torino’s used on the show had warmed up 400’s and 460’s that were putting out closer to 300-350 horsepower. Get it right or keep it to your self, Tomato Head…

  4. RWFA

    Distant memory hath called and wants to say that the nickname for this car was “the flying tomato” or some such.

    1. Rick Mitchell

      Do you mean the “striped tomato”?

      1. RWFA

        Could be. Heard it long ago. (I think in a Paul M Glazer interview.)

        Seems there’s more google hits for Striped version but Flying version is also out there too.

  5. RWFA

    This car does not appear to be one of the on screen hero cars as it has chrome deluxe mirrors instead of body color sport mirrors.


    I own my Grand Torino die cast one, by” corgi ” it is wonderful. The real scale Torino seems bulky and out of all proportion.


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