When you build a car that “wakes the neighbors,” you put yourself in a tricky position. You certainly want your high performance car to sound like one, and testing and tuning are important. However, not everyone is a fan of the gentle purr of open headers on a Sunday morning, and you might soon become an outcast around the suburb.
You could build a sound-proof garage (with all those riches you have lying around), or you could be like our hero Randy Walker, and just have your car-appreciating family and friends move into all the houses on your road!
“I wish I could take credit for planning it this way,” Randy said, “but it all just worked out in my favor.”
It has certainly worked out for Randy’s car collection, which has featured a 2006 Mustang GT, a Pro Street Mustang II, and several fastbacks, including a 1965 Galaxie, a 1968 Mustang GT, a 1967 Mustang, and this striking 1969 Ford Torino GT.
“Obviously, I really like fastbacks,” Randy said, “and the Torino’s SportsRoof is one of the flattest and most dramatic fastbacks around.”
But Walker didn’t buy the Torino for himself—it was originally a gift for his dad, Roy. “Back in 1985, my brother Brian and I found out about this Torino that had been hauled out of a barn,” Randy said. “The paint was a mess, and some kids had taken a claw hammer to the fenders, but otherwise it was in pretty good shape. We thought it would make a cool project car for us to work on with our dad.”
Over the next eight years, Randy, Brian, and Roy stripped the car down and carefully built it back up. The whole body was repaired and repainted, including the engine compartment, where the stock 351 Windsor block was upgraded with all kinds of high performance goodies. They restored the stock interior, and updated it with new Auto Meter gauges and other modern amenities. Randy and Brian were proud of their work, and Roy seemed pretty happy when they tossed him the keys.
Years passed, and the boys recognized that their dad didn’t drive the Torino that much. Finally, Roy confessed that, while the car was fantastic, it just wasn’t right for him. He really just wanted to sell it, but had held off because he didn’t want to hurt his kids’ feelings.
“I didn’t want to see all of our hard work end up in the hands of a stranger,” Randy said, “so I bought it for myself.” Once it became a part of his stable, he decided to make it truly his with a lowered stance and some Billet Specialties wheels.
Today the Torino makes the rounds at Goodguys shows, collecting awards and accolades. In the meantime, Randy and his family and friends enjoy all the engine-revving leeway their special neighborhood offers.
“My nephew is getting into midget-class racing,” Randy says, “and being able to test the car close to home is a huge advantage!”
1969 Ford Torino GT
Suspension: KYB Gas-A-Just shocks, custom rear lowering blocks, Addco front stabilizer bar
Rear Axle: Stock
Brakes: Wilwood Dynapro 6 front, forged Dynalite rear
Wheels and Tires: Billet Specialties Legends Mag-G Gray wheels (18” front, 20” rear), BFGoodrich g-Force Sport-Comp tires
Engine and Transmission
Engine: Ford 351 Windsor
Cylinder Heads: Stock
Machining by: Quinlin Automotive
Valvetrain: COMP Cams Xtreme Energy camshaft and lifters
Induction: Holley 600 cfm carburetor, Edelbrock Performer intake manifold
Reciprocating Assembly: stock crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons
Ignition and Electrical: PerTronix Flame-Thrower ignition module and coil, Ford distributor, Taylor wires,Tuff Stuff chrome alternator
Cooling: stock radiator, FlowKooler water pump
Exhaust: Hedman Hedders, Flowmaster Super 44 muffler, stainless steel oval tips
Other Items: Holley chrome fuel pump, ARP stainless steel fasteners, Ford Racing valve covers
Transmission: Ford C-4, with Trans-Go shift kit,Hughes torque converter
Body: 1969 Ford Torino GT
Modifications: Side marker lights filled
Paint: PPG Ford Red
Body Work and Paint By: Mike Davis (rest in peace)
Dashboard: Stock, with LED lighting
Gauges: Auto Meter
Other: Kenwood stereo
Julie, Roy, Brian, and Garrett Walker; Kris Keeney, James Kizer, and Eric Winkler