The ultimate performance Mustang of the 1970s was also the largest, and starred in a famous two-wheeled stunt in the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever. Nineteen-seventy-two was a record setting sales year for Ford Motor Company. Ford dealers sold more than three million cars and trucks this year. All-new styling was seen on the Torino and Thunderbird, as all of the other lines were fine-tuned for the new year.
The highly successful Pinto added a Station Wagon version during the model year, to compete with the Vega Wagon. The equally successful Maverick, which had been introduced in mid-1969, carried on for another year without styling change. However, to capitalize on its popularity, a 4-Door Sedan model was added this year as well as a sporty version of the 2-Door called the Grabber. The Mustang was relatively unchanged this year, and was in fact still available with a 351 CID V8 that put out over 300 horsepower! Mustang was one of the few muscle cars still in existence by 1972.
Ford division's mid-size line, the Torino, was completely new for 1972. After only two years with the slim and slender looking models, the Torino went the luxury route and gained weight in the process. Also gained were two Gran Torino Sport models, replacing the former Torino GTs, and there was a shuffling of model names and body styles. The new cars were larger and bulkier looking, and did not look at all like the mid-sized cars of previous years. This is not to say they were ugly, but it was more of a fullsize Ford look, and less a sporty Mustang look. Full-size Fords were only given minor trim changes to differentiate them from the 1971 models.
Officially the 10-passenger fullsize wagons were no longer separate models in the lineup. However, one could order a 6-passenger wagon and then add the Dual Facing Rear Seat option. This would become standard Ford practice for many years. Finally, the Thunderbird completed its migration from the sport/luxury market to the luxury market with the unveiling of the 1972 model. Based on the Lincoln Continental platform, the Thunderbird now rode on a 120.4-inch wheelbase and looked every bit the Lincoln that it almost was. This new 'Bird was well received, at a time when most car buyers were leaning more towards the luxury cars. In the revamping, the 4-Door Thunderbird was lost to history.