1972 Automotive History

1972 Fords Overview

For 1972, only two of the model lines received major restyling, the Torino and Thunderbird. All others either remained the same or received only very minor trim changes. It was a significant year in the respect that all engines were required to run on unleaded gasoline requiring a maximum compression ratio of around 9.0:1. Also, engines were no longer rated at brake horsepower. Beginning in 1972, all engines were rated in SAE Net horsepower, or the theoretical horsepower after deducting for the drain caused by the accessories and transmission. This fact notwithstanding, the 351 Cleveland V8 still generated nearly 300 SAE Net horsepower, making it one of the most powerful engines being produced that year. Pollution requirements and rising insurance rates, plus the lower compression ratios, meant considerably restricted performance. As a result, 1971 is almost universally considered to be the end of the muscle car era.

Pinto Series

The Pintos were unchanged from the 1971 models with exception of a larger rear window on Runabout models and the addition of a two door station wagon.

Fiberglass radials go on sale and prove to be very popular.

The Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche KG is turned into a stock company. Weissach Development Center is ready for business.