On the 30th of April 1975 the pilot episode of Starsky & Hutch first went to air. In the darkness of the opening shot, a bright red car with a white stripe creeps along the screen.
It was the first glimpse of the custom painted Ford Gran Torino that would go on to become debatably an even bigger star than the show itself.
The TV show was created by William Binn and stared Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul as characters David Starsky and Kennith Hutchinson; Two Los Angeles cops fighting crime in their show-stealing car.
Starsky and Hutch Car
After originally requesting a green and white Chevy Camaro for the show, production finally settled on a 1974 Ford Gran Torino with a custom red and white paint job. Picked as a cheaper option for the show, The Gran Torino couldn’t have been a bigger success.
The slick red beast of a car with its famous white stripe became a star in its own right as fan clubs for The Gran Torino started popping up all over the globe.
Ford Gran Torino Specs
Fan mail began pouring into the shows production head offices requesting how the could get their hands on their own red and white Gran Torino. The shows Gran Torino received so much attention that Ford started reproducing Starsky & Hutch style Gran Torinos, selling them through Ford dealerships, catering to popular demand for the car. It became a collector’s item and in 2014, a 1976 model of Ford Gran Torino was sold for $40,000, claiming to be one of the original production cars.
During the shows screening between 1975 and 1979 roughly 10 Ford Gran Torino were used on the set of Starsky & Hutch. Cars were modified for stunt purposes with air suspension, five slot mag wheels and oversized tires sometimes even mounting a camera on the roof of the Torino. Starsky actor, Paul Glaser drove the car for regular driving scenes but stunt scenes and car chases were always done by a stunt driver.
Glaser actually disliked the car so much he nicknamed it “the striped tomato.” Maybe it was a case of the green-eyed monster was because of the car’s success.
Regardless of Paul Glaser’s thoughts, if I had a spare $40, 000 I would definitely be inclined to buy one of these beauties, get behind the wheel, (ray bans on) and cruise past jealous onlookers before flooring it off into the horizon.