Jason Statham tackled bad guys in a bad ride in the 2015 action flick Wild Card, a remake of the 1986 film, Heat, starring Burt Reynolds. Statham’s character drives a 1969 Ford Torino GT fastback, using it to track down a low-level mafia boss on behalf of a badly-assaulted friend.
Cars aren’t the center of focus in this film. There are a few short action sequences involving vehicles, but most of the action takes place at the end of Statham’s fists, as he attempts to navigate his way out of a seedy Las Vegas life and into a new opportunity for retirement on the French island of Corsica. Still, Statham’s Ford Torino is a pretty unique vehicle.
If you’re curious about the car Statham drove in the film, we've got everything you need to know about the 1969 Ford Torino GT.
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1969 Ford Torino
Ford Torino was born of a redesign of Ford’s prior Fairlane model. The Torino was actually designed as a subseries of the Fairlane, and the company retained the Fairlane as its base model while the Torino was a more upscale option.
The Torino came in many forms—even, eventually, a pickup truck—but the 1969 Ford Torino GT that you see in Wild Card is a 2-door fastback (more on that later) with a 5.8-liter small-block V8 engine.
It’s no doubt a powerful vehicle, with a large wheelbase breaking it away from the pony car models of the time. But as for muscle cars, Ford Torino builds just don’t hold the fan fascination as much as its contemporary competitors, like the
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 or the
Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback.
What is a fastback?
The fastback is a vehicle design that features a gradually sloping structure from the top of the windshield all the way to the rear edge of the car. It’s a more aerodynamic shape, allowing for movement without as much drag as the more boxy builds of other vehicle styles.
Statham’s 1969 Torino GT
In the movie Wild Card, Statham plays a downtrodden bodyguard and self-dubbed chaperone named Nick Wild. He has to take odd jobs offering his chaperone services—which seem to always involve physical violence—in order to support his gambling addiction.
It’s through this circumstance that Wild finds himself taking on mafia gangsters, and his own demons, as he fights to avenge his friend and works to show the ropes of his expertise to a wealthy up-and-comer who wants to learn how to be tough.
The 2-door fastback 1969 Gran Torino GT that belongs to Wild in the movie is a 3-speed manual transmission model with rear-wheel drive. Its V8 engine cranks out 250 horsepower, and it has 355 lb-ft of torque.
Wild’s car had a few notable quirks, too. The 1969 Torino GT came with an almost useless fiberglass hood scoop. While the add-on didn’t actually bring air into the Torino’s engine compartment, it looked like a piece of functional equipment, and it had turn signal indicators on each side.
The Torino GT came standard with a special handling suspension package which included heavy-duty springs, shocks, and a front roll bar to stabilize the vehicle whenever it took tight corners in a hurry.
Its notable exterior features included special GT name plaques and markings on the wheel covers, plus its distinctive c-stripe. A red c-stripe on the Torino that Wild drives in Wild Card is instantly recognizable for fans of the model, as it’s distinguished from the 1968 Ford Torino’s c-stripe, which followed the car’s body curves. In 1969, this design element was changed to be a straighter line.
Fun Fact Although Wild Card is set in Las Vegas, much of the movie was actually filmed in New Orleans.
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