The engine is seized, but that's just the first problem to overcome in this epic automotive resurrection.
It’s tough to know where to begin on this epic video from Vice Grip Garage, and not because it’s basically a feature-length movie with a runtime just over 1 hour 22 minutes. There’s drama, adventure, humor, smoke, more humor, more smoke, and an underlying concern of hantavirus surrounding this 1975 Ford Gran Torino Elite. The mission? Drive it 600 miles, but there’s one major catch – it’s been sitting outside for no less than 29 years.
The Ford was bought sight-unseen in western North Dakota and moved to a nearby house where a resurrection would be attempted. We don’t know why it was parked in 1991, but after nearly three decades in the wild, it didn’t matter. The paint, tires, and vinyl roof were shot – it couldn’t even be loaded and unloaded on a trailer without help from a tractor. Watching the video, we found ourselves squirming at the mere thought of climbing inside the stained, soiled interior. And yet, the car looked quite solid with just some surface rust in areas. With strong bones, perhaps a resurrection was indeed possible.
With the hood finally opened, however, the monumental task of getting this car on the road became clear. Much of the wiring was either damaged or destroyed – by the elements and mice – and pretty much everything mechanical in nature was seized up. That included the engine, but the crew didn’t give up. A plan was implemented to get the Torino roadworthy, starting with dumping gobs of oil and penetrating lubricant into the cylinders. If the engine couldn’t be freed and fired, the rest of the plan would be worthless.
As you might guess, one doesn’t make an hour-long video on resurrecting a car if the engine doesn’t at least run. The oil, fluids, and elbow grease ultimately prove effective, and the Torino’s beefy V8 finally manages to run – albeit on starting fluid sprayed into the carburetor. A running engine, however, is a long way from having a road trip car capable of enduring a 600-mile journey. For that, we’ll let you watch the video to see the outcome but keep this in mind: three days of work ultimately goes into the Torino, during which time no major repairs are made.
Does the Torino survive, or does it earn the unflattering Ford nickname Found On Road Dead? Either way, it’s quite an inspirational adventure.