Tom Schmitke of Fairbault always knew he would one day be inspired to part with his treasured 1972 Ford Gran Torino… When the time was right he would know and a charity would be the beneficiary. After 20 years of great memories, yesterday was that day. In an act of pure generosity, Tom Schmitke learned of the Big Trade Up and contacted us to offer this amazing car, an absolute classic. As we waited to meet Tom for the trade and he rolled up in the blue Torino, our jaws dropped. It was like a flashback in time as this legendary car slowly came to a stop and remained thundering at idle before us. We couldn’t believe it! One might say we were dazed and confused…
A 1972 Gran Torino Sport with a 429 Cobra Jet engine in excellent condition, purring loudly before us… The same make, model and year of the Gran Torino featured in the recent Clint Eastwood movie with many more upgrades. The new custom-built 500 horse engine is broken in with 600 miles on it. Here’s the lingo from Tom…. The car is blueprinted and balanced, has a high rise intake manifold with a Edelbrock high performance 4 bbl carburetor, Hooker headers, 3” custom exhaust from headers to 2.5” rear tail pipes, Electric summit high performance fuel pump and fuel regulator with gauge, Detroit locker in the 9 inch rear with Summit custom-made racing axles because the horsepower would have otherwise twisted the splines off the factory axles, 76,000 original miles on the body, redone with metal patches and new sheet metal, not a bondo queen, a custom lacquer paint job, Ultra Mag wheels with all new rubber, 50 series Mickey Thompsons on the rear and new Goodyear 60’s on the front, interior black like factory new with custom auto meter gauges and tach, Hurst ratchet shifter on the floor that shifts the custom built auto transmission from jasper transmissions. One thing is for sure…. Tom knows this machine inside and out. It is truly a beautiful car without rust and in excellent condition.
As Tom showed us his Gran Torino, you could see and hear his years of passion for the car. He had put so much into it, why would he part with it for this cause? We didn’t have to ask that question…. it was perfectly clear that Tom was doing it out of selfless generosity. He was not concerned about the motorcycle he would get in return, he only wanted to make sure we knew everything about the Torino. Tom recognized the significant market value of the car but as we talked… it was apparent he was giving us so much more than a set of keys, he was giving us a part of his life. The most wonderful thing about the Big Trade Up for us has been meeting people like Tom and being inspired by their hearts for other people. Thank you so much Tom for this amazing classic! It is a huge win for the Big Trade Up and thanks to you… we are another big leap ahead! We are determined to find a new owner that will care for and enjoy this car the way you did.
So attention all classic car lovers! Here is your chance to trade for this American classic while helping a great cause. If you are interested, let us know! Please keep in mind that we will consider trading for anything of increased value and don’t be quick to rule yourself out, get creative. We are open to items, experiences, services, you name it. Either way, if you want to help keep the Big Trade Up going, please let us know because it will only be successful with many people involved. This trade brings big momentum but we still have a very long way to go!