I don't know dick about cars. Truth is, I had to wikipedia-up the Gran Torino to find something out about the 1972 Ford for which the movie, Gran Torino, is named.
But I do know a thing or two about Clint Eastwood flicks: I know there hasn't been an Eastwood movie in the past 20 years I've not liked, and I know that many of Eastwood's recent movies have subtle themes that transcend the obvious plot of the movie.
Gran Torino is no exception.
Classic muscle cars are nice to look at, but are mostly useless if left to simply sit in a garage. They get dusty, and stale. To reach their full potential, they have to be cared for; loved by someone, and given the chance to perform for that person. Driving the Gran Torino up and down the strip once a week helps shake off the dust and rust, and keep the timing fluid.
The same can be said for humans. Especially when we become older, and more limited. Without having people to care for us, we too easily box ourselves into simple routines, and small ways of thinking. Without having people to love, we forget the power of intimacy and the satisfaction that comes from providing for others. And without people to love, we never experience the selfless joy that comes from sacrifice.
Eastwood reminds of of those things in this movie. Gran Torino is a great story and terrific movie with very good--although not great--acting. This may not be Eastwood's best work, but considering the times it may be his most relevant.