Matt Torino's '86 GT
Article by: Bob Goodson
There are usually people in your family that have a strong influence on you, and create a bond that can hardly be put into words. Matt’s story begins with a 1979 notchback. It was a Mustang that his Grandfather earmarked as his when he was 10 years old. This was in the early 80’s and the 79 wasn’t very old. His Grandfather was so true to his word that he stored the car for several years before Matt was able to drive. As promised that 79 became Matt’s when he got his drivers license.
Over the years Matt held on to that 79 through the years and in time had owned an 86 GT and a 93 GT triple black convertible. Matt comments that the 79 was the most valuable to him even though its monetary value wasn’t near the other two.
In the early 2000’s Matt’s Grandfather fell ill with Multiple Myeloma (I’m all too familiar with this as my Dad has battled this very cancer – Bob) and due to time and life events Matt had fallen out of communication with his Grandfather over the years. Life and things taking priority had affected the time he spent with his Grandfather. After his Grandfathers diagnosis Matt made it a priority to visit and make the best of the time his Grandfather had left. They communicated about fixing the 79 up together when his Grandfather got better. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as his Grandfather passed shortly after their last visit together.
Due to some hard times not too long after that the 79 wasn’t able to stay in Matt’s stable. He ended up donating the car to the American Cancer Society in honor of his Grandfather so that the proceeds of it would go towards a worthy cause in cancer research. It was an emotional rollercoaster for Matt as this was the car that started it all for him and he ended up stepping back from the hobby for a few years. At that time the other Mustangs had also been long gone according to Matt.
Fast forward to 2015 and he felt it was time to look for another fox. For many years he had dreams about the 79 and his Grandfather. He had been without a Fox for years and now was able to invest back into one. The search started and the dreams kept happening. Ironically the day he brought home this prized 86 Convertible the dreams stopped. We’ll say his Grandfather was speaking to him and once he acted on that it is as if his Grandfather smiled and said “I approve, now let’s work on it”.
Matt has done a few things to the car to fix it up to his taste and keep it running strong. He added Pony wheels which is the best factory wheel put on an 83-86 four eye (in my opinion of course – Bob) . Simple modifications include a shifter and a Flowmaster cat back.
In the time Matt has owned this car his Dad has recently retired and it has brought the two of them together in fixing it up and modding it. They have been working together to bring the 86 back to life and have taken trophies in every show entered so far. This is exactly what this hobby is all about. Congrats Matt! This is one awesome story. Keep that horn button and pic of the 79 together in the garage with you and your Dad. Your Grandfather is watching every turn of every wrench for sure.
I have to add Matt, that my Dad’s cancer has brought him and I closer together. Time stops for him every time he calls. No matter what is going on I excuse myself to talk to him. Even in client meetings. We ALWAYS talk about cars in every conversation. Keep at it Matt! We’ll see you, your Dad and definitely your Grandfather surrounding you at a show or cruise in soon.
Until next time – Keep it Foxy Baby-Peace, BG