Shelby Cox
June 1, 2004
Contributers: Shelby Cox

Road trips are always filled with adventure. That's why Hollywood makes movies about them. Maybe it's the freedom of the open road or the excitement of a journey, but there is always a good story or two when you return.

This holds true for Darryl Manalo of Tacoma, Washington. He took his eye-catching '70 Torino GT convertible on a trek to Ford's 100th Year Celebration in Dearborn, Michigan. He started out from Washington excited about his trip to this once-in-a-lifetime event. Little did Darryl know this was the beginning of heartache for him and his convertible.

Darryl relates, "I lost my water pump, so I stopped in Billings, {{{Montana}}}, for a replacement. It probably should have taken about an hour to replace, but after all the people that stopped to look at the car and ask what kind of car it was, it ended up taking two hours." You can tell a great car owner when he is still sharing his knowledge of Fords with others, even though his day isn't going that great. Back on the road, he made it to Dearborn in one piece. But that was only the beginning.

"Once in Dearborn, my car received its first parking lot door-ding," Darryl tells us. But Darryl had a great time at the Celebration taking in all the beautiful cars and making the most of his trip. Then it was time for the trek home. everything was well until...

"It was a driver's worst nightmare. Just west of Gillette, Wyoming, a hailstorm hit hard. It wasn't pea-size [hail], but more like tennis-ball size. All I could do was sit there. There was no place to hide. The hail went through my top in two spots," Darryl said. He made it home in one piece, a little worse for wear, but with a good road-trip story to tell.

This Bright Atlantic Blue '70 Torino GT is equipped with Budnik Wheels wrapped in Goodyear F1 245/45ZR17 in the front, and F1 275/40ZR18s out back to give it the aggressive stance you see. Darryl added hideaway headlights, a front spoiler, and intermittent windshield wipers. Under the hood you will find a 351 Cleveland 2V with a Mallory Unilite distributor, a Pertronix coil, and a K&N air filter. Back of that is a C4 transmission and a Ford 9-inch rear with a 3.00:1 center section. The black interior is set off with tweed and vinyl seats reupholstered by Karr Upholstery and matching door panels redone by Darryl himself. We were impressed with the Restomod treatment he did on the trunk of this '70. it adds a finished look to the car.

This car has many options including the much-desired ribbon tachometer, console, floor shift, light package, power top, and the GT package. one option Darryl is very proud of is his glove box. It is signed by Bill Shenk, the designer of the '70-'71 Torino. Tunes are handled by a Kenwood receiver, a 400-watt MTX amp that feeds 10-inch subs, and a pair of six-inch speakers in the doors.

Even though it was a tough trip, the damage can be repaired, and the road-trip memories will always stay with him.