The Ford Torino Twister Special is an exceedingly rare car, just 90 were ever built and only 29 are now accounted for in the Torino Twister Registry.
The most famous Twister Special is the Mustang version from the same year, both the Torino and Mustang Twister Specials were sold in very limited numbers and they’re easily identifiable by the “twister” decals on the rear fenders.
The Ford Torino Twister Special
Both the Mustang and Torino Twister Specials were sold exclusively through Kansas City Ford dealers. They were the Midwest’s answer to the “California” and “High Country Specials” that were sold in California and Colorado respectively.
The Twisters were developed to be halo models for Ford that would get people into dealerships, many of these people would leave after ordering much more practical cars – meaning the halo models had done their jobs.
The Ford Torino was first released in 1968, it was offered as a two-door coupe, a four-door sedan, and a four-door station wagon. The model was redesigned for the 1970 model year, this new design was critically acclaimed and it was available in essentially the same configurations as the earlier 1968 and 1969 models.
The Ford Torino Twister Special was a 1970-only model with an impressive specification sheet and eye-catching Calypso Coral paintwork. Few (if any) factory-built 1970 Torinos were capable of keeping up with the Twister Special version, it was fitted with either the 429 Cobra Jet or the Super Cobra Jet V8 engine producing 360 to 370 hp.
This engine was fitted with a Rochester four-barrel carburettor and power was sent back to either an automatic or a close ratio four-speed manual transmission, from there it was sent to a 3.50 Traction-Lok differential. Interestingly the car wasn’t fitted with power brakes or power steering which contributed to the driving experience which has been described as “interesting”.
The manual version of the Twister Special is the rarer of the two, just 30 were made versus 60 of the automatic version, and many feel that the driving experience is considerably enhanced by the manual gearbox. The manual version was fitted with a Hurst T-handle shifter and they all got a louvred rear window, a black rear spoiler, and a discreet black lip spoiler.
Twister Specials are known for their decals, the Torino version has black “Cobra” decals down both sides as well as a Cobra on each of the front fenders, one on the rear, and the matching Twister decals on either side of the rear fenders.
Due to the rarity of these’s Fords we don’t regularly see them come up for auction and when we do they can be in either correct original condition or modified condition. The values on them were relatively low for many years and so some previous owners didn’t see the point in keeping them original.
Of course now the original, numbers matching cars are worth the most and are highly sought after by collectors. The example you see here is one such car, it’s due to roll across the auction block with Mecum in January with no reserve, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Mecum
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