This 1971 Torino GT Is A Streetable Quarter-Mile Terror

What started out as Ford’s answer to an upscale, intermediate-sized equivalent to the Fairlane turned out to offer various performance options as well. The Torino first appeared for the 1968 production year as a sub-series of the Fairlane model, but by 1970, the tides will have turned, with the Torino moniker getting the upper hand.

This Pastel Blue ’71 Torino GT looks to be right at home on the dragstrip and the folks at RPM Army caught up with it at the Wednesday Night Street Drags at National Trail Raceway, an NHRA quarter-mile drag strip located near Hebron, Ohio.

While a factory 429 Cobra Jet was tested by Super Stock & Drag Illustrated and only garnered 14.5 and 15-second timeslips, the above video shows this Pale Blue beauty racking off solid 10-second runs. Listen to the video and you’ll note that this isn’t a stock 429 residing under that hood scoop.

The 572 looks right at home under the hood of Wayne’s Torino. It is equally at home on the street or strip.

In fact, the video only shows part of the story. In the video, we find moving proof of the Torino busting down the quarter-mile to a respectable 10.26 at 143.8 mph. As they say, there’s more to the story than meets the eye with this Torino. By using a little Google-fu we located a VERY similar Pastel Blue 1971 Torino GT on Drag Times’ website, which is credited to Wayne Yutzy. Wayne affectionately refers to his Torino as the “Blue Elephant.”

Wayne purchased the car in 1996, in all its “completely stock” Ford glory — right down to the Ford muffled, single-straw-exhausted 302 with a three-speed manual on the column. The car got its first big-block a year later and has worked its way through several variants of big-cube engines.

I built everything on the car, engine, transmission, headers, exhaust, rear, put the sequential fuel injection on, and do all the tuning. Wayne Yutzy, owner

Wayne’s ’71 is currently powered by none other than a 572 cubic-inch big-block Ford engine. Based on the 385-series engines (429 and 460ci), Wayne’s larger-than-life beast is founded upon a Ford Performance A460 block, which allows for larger bores, thanks to its siamesed cylinder bores. Reportedly, a stock block is good for 559ci, but the A460 block can go out to a whopping 598 cubic inches!

Wayne keeps all his timeslips and this one shows his Torino dipping into the 8s at over 153 mph! That’s moving in a 4,000lb car!

Wayne’s Torino’s times can be much quicker, into the eight-second range at a speed of 153.5 mph in the quarter-mile. An incredibly respectable time for any vehicle, let alone one carrying the heft of Ford’s Torino. Why the difference you ask? Maybe it has something to do with that 300 shot of nitrous, maybe Wayne just wasn’t trying very hard on that pass. Wayne informed us, “Looks like in the video I was probably just at the track tuning the fuel injection on the motor.” Wayne informed us, “I built everything on the car, engine, transmission, headers, exhaust, rear, put the sequential fuel injection on, and do all the tuning.”

Other goodies include a SCAT crank, Diamond pistons, a Lunati cam, topped off with a set of Trick Flow heads. Compression is set at 11.2:1. There is also a FAST XFI fuel injection system feeding this beast through Injector Dynamics ID1050x injectors. On the outflow, a set of home-built stainless headers feed that great-sounding Magnaflow exhaust.

Wayne has been driving it on the street and racing it since the first 502 in 1997. The current engine has gone 9.90 at almost 138 mph on 93 pump gas without nitrous and 8.99 at 153 on spray. When asked about horsepower, Wayne replied, “I would guess from the online calculators, about 900 on motor and 1,250-1,300 on nitrous at the crank.”

Save for a few safety items, the interior of Wayne's Torino is all stock. He swapped the shifting from the column to the floor.

A C6 transmission and 3.50 gears move the torque down to those Center Line wheels and Mickey Thompson 28×10.5 slicks during this video. A set of Caltrac bars from Calvert Racing help keep everything aligned from start to finish and Wilwood brakes make sure everything stops when necessary. There is also another video of Wayne sending a couple of Hellcats and a Caddy CTS-V back on the trailer during a recent Street Car Takeover event in Bristol, Tennessee.

We’d be quite happy to have any ’70-’71 Torino in our garage again, and the fact that Wayne’s two-ton terror can cut down the quarter-mile in such record time makes this car all the cooler. We’d love to see it run in person one day and who knows, if the stars align properly, we might even find one to call our own!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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