Starsky and Hutch Torino replica is less Lalo Schifrin, more Tom Scott

1974 Ford Gran Torino Starsky and Hutch

There were plenty of cop shows on TV in the 1970s, but there was only one Starsky and Hutch. Take away the dirty 1970s vibe, creepy-with-women mentality, and that funky fashion/music and you’re left with stories that still hold up in today’s more politically sensitive society. It’s an appeal not unlike the eye-catching nature of this 1974 Ford Gran Torino, finished in Dave Starsky’s classic “striped tomato” color scheme.

I reckon a large cross-section of potential buyers are interested in this example, including fans of the show, Ford enthusiasts, Malaise Era addicts, and maybe even fans of pianist Lalo Schifrin and his Bullitt-worthy, bass guitar intensive soundtrack. To wit, here’s the intro/outro to Starsky and Hutch accompanied by Lalo’s genius in the background.

While a 1974 through ’76 Ford Gran Torino couldn’t sound that good (or sound like someone’s shifting through the gears) with any of its powertrains from the era of the UR-catalytic convertor, the stage was set and all eyes were on Ford’s unexpected pop culture winner. The special-appearance package Gran Torino with DSO order code “0022” became something of a hit, to the point that people go out of their way to make replicas out of other Torinos.

Once such tribute car is this 1974 Gran Torino, powered by a two-barrel 351-cid V-8, driven 75,000 miles, and currently for sale via Craigslist in Chicago. The seller states it used to be a regular Gran Torino finished in “doo-doo brown, but looks much better as the Striped Tomato.” Attention to detail abounds—even the California blue plate matches that of the original used on the TV show.

The interior retains the donor car’s brown motif—a dead giveaway to its replica status–giving it a vibe that’s perhaps less like Lalo Schifrin’s original-at-all-costs black interior and more of a second-season reimagining courtesy of one Mr. Tom Scott.

No disrespect to Mr. Scott was intended, as the song is beyond entertaining and delightfully complex (as expected for the era). Much like the theme song, this clone appears well-sorted throughout and possessed of addictive curb appeal. The seller states the stripes are painted on (just as the factory intended), the car is rust-free, and that the HVAC system works. Also included is a request to check out the car’s history via where photos of the donor car are provided.

While some of us appreciate brown more than others, the end result of this Starsky and Hutch clone cannot be downplayed. The finish looks flawless, the wheels are just right, and as the owner at the time said via, “It’s hard to believe that the car is 34 years old, it looks almost new, and is now my prized possession.”

The quote may be from 2008, but this 48-year-old Ford still looks great in my book. Whoever buys this Starsky and Hutch tribute car is likely to be very, very happy with their striped tomato for years to come.

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