Where did the baby name Torino come from in 1970?

Ford Torino car advertisement from Life magazine (July 28, 1972)
Ford Torino ad (1972)

In the early 1970s, the name Torino began popping up in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1972: 7 baby boys named Torino
  • 1971: 5 baby girls and 8 baby boys [debut] named Torino
  • 1970: 7 baby girls [debut] named Torino
  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: unlisted

Why?

Because of a car: the Ford Torino.

Torinos were introduced in late 1967 for the 1968 model year. By 1970, the Torino had become Ford’s primary mid-sized model, replacing the Fairlane.

The Gran Torino, as featured in Starsky & Hutch, came along in late 1971 (model year 1972).

“Torino” is the Italian form of Turin, which is the city at the center of Italy’s automotive industry. The folks at Ford had been kicking around the idea using Torino as a car name since at least the early ’60s. The Ford Mustang (introduced in 1964) was nearly called the Torino, for instance.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Torino?

Source: Farr, Donald. Ford Mustang: America’s Original Pony Car. Minneapolis: Quarto Publishing, 2016.
Image: © 1972 Life

P.S. Also in 1970, the similar-sounding name Toriano suddenly became popular. I think it had more to do with The Jackson 5 than with the car, though.

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