Not familiar with the aforementioned production model? Well, with most of the show's popularity centered on the Gran Torino used by the two detectives, Ford saw a business opportunity and put together a tribute series in the spring of 1976. The "Starsky & Hutch" replica was essentially a special paint option. While the livery was identical to that used on the movie car, the production model didn't get the mag wheels, the fatter rear tires, or the beefed-up 429 V8.
Powertrain options were similar to the regular Torino available at the time, so customers had to choose between the 351-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) Windsor, the 335-series 400-cubic-inch (6.6-liter), and the 385-series 460-cubic-inch (7.5-liter) V8s. While the 351 delivered 152 horsepower, the 400 version came with 180 horses on tap. Finally, the massive 460 V8 was good for 202 horsepower. Far from outstanding, I know, but we need to keep in mind that the Malaise Era was in full swing by 1976.
It's a bit too late to say that I'm not here to talk about the "Starsky & Hutch" Gran Torino, but I'm going to do it anyway. Simply because this blurb is actually about a very cool rendering that puts the show's main characters in... wait for it... a van. Yup, the hauler you see here is a third-generation Ford Econoline with a bright red paint job and white vector-shaped stripes on the sides.
It also rides on the already iconic five-slot mag wheels and I bet you already noticed the thicker-than-usual rear tires and the red beacon light on the roof. I know, no cop wants to rush to a crime scene or chase villains in a heavy, boxy van, but I would find it entertaining, nonetheless.
Come to think of it, it wouldn't be entirely strange to see such a thing happen since "The A-Team," a popular TV series from the 1980s, included high-speed stunts of a GMC Vandura. Yup, I'm talking about the red-striped black van driven by B.A. Baracus, portrayed by Mr. T. Needless to say, it would be great to see both vans involved in a "Bullitt"-like chase, burnouts and jumps included.
Sadly enough, though, this "Starsky & Hutch" Econoline, rendered by Instagram's "jlord8," will never leave imagination land. So I guess the only way to see it come to life is to buy myself a 1979 Econoline and get to work. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go van hunting.