Home Classic Cars Pick of the Day: 1976 Ford Elite

Pick of the Day: 1976 Ford Elite

Pick of the Day: 1976 Ford Elite


About fifty years ago, Ford took its third-generation Torino and elevated it to a higher level of luxury than any Torino had achieved before. The Gran Torino Elite was born, but its lifespan was short.

The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage 1976 Ford Elite listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Clinton, New York. (Click the link to view the listing)

“Surely this is one of the finest cars I’ve ever owned,” the listing begins. “Rarely do you ever see an Elite to begin with, and when you do, it’s assuredly either rusting out or sitting in a field somewhere.”

The Elite was classified as a personal luxury car and was only sold for three model years: 1974, 1975, and 1976. The first model year, it was referred to as the Gran Torino Elite. The following years, the Gran Torino prefix was eliminated as the Elite became a standalone model. The personal luxury car market had grown in competition and popularity with vehicles like the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and the Chrysler Cordoba. The Elite’s design originated with Mercury Cougar XR-7, and it was easy to see the connection between the Mercury and the Ford – especially with the interior style and appointments.

Power for the Elite was available from a variety of V8 engines, the smallest of which had 351cid in displacement. Today’s feature car has the optional two-barrel-carbureted 400cid V8 paired with a three-speed automatic transmission. The odometer shows just 62,415 miles, and the seller asserts that this is a true reading: “It starts and runs normally, smoothly, and quickly, and sounds exactly the way it is supposed to and the way you would expect.”

Originality is the name of the game with this car, and included in the 50-photo gallery with the listing is a shot of the data plate showing a color code of 6PNY. The “6” translates to gold, and I imagine the “PNY” translates to Pony, which in Mustang terms referred to upgraded upholstery and steering wheel. Perhaps the nomenclature carried through to the Gran Torino & Elite lineup because this car is appointed with leather upholstery as well as generous woodgrain trim throughout the cabin.

The listing provides a nearly 10-minute walkaround video showcasing the garage-kept condition both inside and out. “I’ve got quite a few gorgeous cars in my garage that I show off almost daily, and it is amazing how many people comment on how pretty the Elite is!” the seller says.

The asking price is $24,500 for this Elite.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.



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