pete240z Dork
June 21, 2010 5:00 p.m.

Nice article and pictures about the Ford Pinto in the latest issue. There are some dudes that love Pinto's. Cool.

The guy who encouraged me into little cars rather than big old muscle cars had a few Pinto's. He ordered his last one from the factory and it was the last Pinto year.

1979 Rallye Pinto: He lowered it, springs, shocks, header, louder exhaust, installed European air horns, Pirelli tires and I was hooked when I saw it. Everyone laughed at him. BOOM!

He or his brother might even be on this forum. These two dudes also encouraged me to go to Road America.

carguy123 SuperDork
June 21, 2010 5:07 p.m.

The Locost guys cut them up for donors too.

There are 2 of them sitting at a used car lot near me.

Most everyone else doesn't care one way or the other about them. When new they were painfully slow. I remember putting a 500 cfm Holley 2 barrel on one. Took at lot of engineering and made the biggest difference in the mpg department, not the performance dept.

Lugnut HalfDork
June 21, 2010 6:28 p.m.

Wow! That orange is just as cool as the metallic brown! I would make the wheels orange but otherwise, just like that.

gamby SuperDork
June 21, 2010 6:39 p.m.

I just thumbed through the issue when I got int he door after work. That Pinto is pretty sweet. Didn't read the details, but I saw Webers. Webers are good.

integraguy HalfDork
June 21, 2010 6:57 p.m.

I owned a Pinto (a '76 MPG hatchback....with AUTOMATIC), and have driven a few examples of the earlier Pintos.

These cars were okay, considering the time frame they were produced in, but there were just so many better cars back then, too. Consider the Pinto's "foreign cousin", the Capri....same mechanicals, but no hatchback until the Capri II models.

Still, you could get me to buy another....IF I found one like the one that used to "haunt" the commissary parking lot near my current location. That Pinto was a '71 or '72 butterscotch yellow sedan (no hatch) with a manual transmission. Looked like a fairly cool car for someone looking for cheap wheels.

Best thing to say about a Pinto? When treated well, they were very tough little cars.

NYG95GA SuperDork
June 21, 2010 7:17 p.m.

I had a '71 1600 all thru high school.It was a tough little car; rarely broke, and easy to fix when it did.

Later on, they came out with a statiion wagon version. I remember seeing an article where they put a Pintera body kit on a S/W, painted it black, and dropped a Capri V6 in it. That was one cool mamma-jamma!

wlkelley3 HalfDork
June 21, 2010 7:37 p.m.

Had a couple Pintos back in the day. First one was a 72 butterscotch yellow sedan (no hatch) w/1600 & 4-speed manual. Thought it handled pretty good for stock everything. Always thought the sedan might look cool with a whale tail spoiler, lowered w/box flares and wide rubber on it. And more power under the hood, maybe turbo/supercharger or a more powerful engine...say something like an Alfa DOHC.
Second one was a 74 hatch w/2-L SOHC and 4-speed. Paid $250 for it in 81 and put about $250 into it, drove it for a year and 20,000 miles and then sold it for $800. Almost traded it for a Pinto wagon with the panel sides and bubble window. Not really practical for a family car though so I got a Nissan/Datsun Sentra (1st year for them and change over year from Datsun to Nissan - 1982).
There was a guy in high school that dropped in a built-up 302 w/tube sub-chassis. Was very fast. Good thing he worked at the local Ford dealers body shop as everytime he raced it he drove it back to the shop on 3 wheels (only one front wheel touching the gound). Was in the shop straightening it out on Sundays.

grimmelshanks
grimmelshanks Reader
June 21, 2010 7:40 p.m.

my dad used to have one with a 302, t5 and a 9 inch drop out

pete240z Dork
June 21, 2010 8:33 p.m.
Lugnut wrote: Wow! That orange is just as cool as the metallic brown! I would make the wheels orange but otherwise, just like that.

that is a stock photo of the Pinto from Ford.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
June 21, 2010 9:13 p.m.

Cool, glad you guys enjoyed the piece.

Tim Suddard Publisher
June 21, 2010 9:27 p.m.

I flogged the pee out of a 79 Pinto Wagon in college when I worked summers for my dad.

porksboy Dork
June 21, 2010 9:29 p.m.

I have to wait for my mailman to finish my mag before I get to look at the article bastard. I had a 70 Pinto 2.0 four speed when I was in highschool. I graduated in 86 and it would start and run when others cars wouldnt. I still get asked if I still have the car when I run into a class mate. I had about $200.00 in it, drove it for three years and sold it for $500.00. I still wish I had it.

My wife and I had an 81 Pinto with the 2.3 , four speed when we were maried. The 2.0 was the more fun car. It accelerated faster and handled better.

alfadriver UltimaDork
June 22, 2010 7:24 a.m.

Haven't read that article yet. Cool car overload.

Killer issue, if I might say.

One of my friends had a Pinto Wagon that he really liked- we could fit most of my HS percussion equipment into it, which was quite handy.

While there were a lot of better hot small cars at the time- most of them were a LOT more expensive- say my GTV or a BMW, but relative to the Japanese stuff that was coming out- celica mainly, and the GM Vega, the Pinto held it's own quite well. Not sure when they started to go down the wrong path...

One thing I'd like to note- the reason why the Pinto was known as a fireball was shared by ALL the other cars in that class- our GTV's fuel tank sits behind the axle, as did our old Vega, and I think the early Celica was behind the axle, too. Basically, what made the Pinto "known" was a common design for the class of cars at the time.

RossD Dork
June 22, 2010 7:52 a.m.

Pinto and Euro Capri really didn't share much in common except some engines and some transmissions. Completely different suspensions and rear axles.

SkinnyG Reader
June 22, 2010 9:55 a.m.

Damn you guys.

I don't have the issue yet, but as a recovering Pintoholic, I'm offended. Better send me two issues.

Had a '72 sedan, 2.0L/4speed in highschool:

Bought a '74 sedan with a 302/FMX in trade school - no pictures, I was building a '69 4V 351W to put in, but scared myself too much and didn't.

Built a '76 wagon with a 302/C4 during university.

I also built a '75 Pontiac Astre LT-1/4speed during technical school, to try and get away from the Pintos. It didn't work.

I'm trying hard not to make an offer on a '78 cruiser wagon near my pop's house.

RossD Dork
June 22, 2010 1:41 p.m.

Take a 2.0 Pinto and stick a Zetec in, that would be neat.

Ranger50 New Reader
June 22, 2010 1:53 p.m.

My dad still has the 80 Pinto coupe, 2.3/4spd combo, he bought brand new in 79. Over the years, he must have had at least 10-12 of them. Even found a guy, somewhat local, that had a barn full of Pinto parts. Now he has the 80 and a 78 or 79 hatchback just waiting for the V8.

Matter of fact, my first car in HS, back in 92, was a red 80 coupe with the 2.3/C4 combo.

I just wish I could find a decent wagon to make a Mike Moran copy, except it would HAVE to have the portholes instead of the open glass. Hotlinked of course.

Brian

Chris_V SuperDork
June 22, 2010 2:30 p.m.

Ahvent' read teh article yet, but a Pinto fan here.

Second car was a '72 Pinto coupe with the 2.0. Originally an automatic, I swapped in the 4 speed and went autocrossing. Fun little car and pretty much unkillable (until my sister rolled it off an embankment. And even then the engine and trans lived on in another Pinto). My folks had a '72 Pinto wagon with the euro Capri 2.3 and 5 speed trans, along with header and echaust work. Fun little car, too.

My old Pinto (with my sister in it, probably about a week before she wrecked it)

I still want to do up one like this:

with modern running gear.

Di dyou guys go into the myth of the exploding Pinto much? A Rutgers Law Journal report by Gary Schwartz showd that the total number of Pinto fires, out of 2 million cars and 10 years of production, came in at 27. The smoking gun memo described by Mother Jones magazine was talking about rollovers and all cars, not rear ended Pintos, and the "secret Ford video" that they unearthed turned out to be footage from a university study about what happens in fires caused by rear ending a car, and was staged, as getting a car to blow up, even when hit from the rear, is extremely rare (as Mythbusters showed in their episode on crashing a car off a cliff, and how hard it is to get a gas tank to explode). if you can find the video, you'll note thet the Pinto in question is being rear ended by a Chevy, somthing that Ford wouldn't have done in it's own "secret internal testing..."

June 22, 2010 2:46 p.m.

Well the real damage was done by the memo that said it was cheaper to pay off law suits than to fix all the car. Ford probably had more problems with exploding Mustangs than Pintos. IIRC the gas tank was the trunk floor.

ClemSparks SuperDork
June 22, 2010 2:47 p.m.

I like pintos and will own one someday.

Question...can the newer (rectangular headlight) ones be backdated easily (like twist some bolts and swap some fenders/hoods/bumpers/grills) to the old bugeye versions?

I think probably no...but it would open up a few years of availability if it could be done.

I don't think it would be as easy as, say, swapping an '87 foxbody mustang out to a 4-eye front clip...but here's hoping.

Clem

NYG95GA SuperDork
June 22, 2010 6:26 p.m.

Ironically, my '71 burned up, but it wasn't the gas tank. The carb on the Kent backfired while my brother was driving it, and the engine caught on fire. All he could do was stand there and watch it burn (no fire extiquisher)

I'd handed it down to him when I got my '74 Spider, and he didn't keep an eye on the engine too well. A small fuel line leak and bad timing doomed it.

Jensenman SuperDork
June 22, 2010 8:10 p.m.

Way back when, I had a few Pintos. They just seemed to pop up in my life when I needed cheap wheels. I had '71 and '72 hatchbacks and a '73 turtledeck, then a good bit later had a '74 turtledeck. The '72 hatch was a 2.0 automatic, painfully slow. Sold it to my brother, he flogged the crap out of it for several years (oh, the stories I can tell!) and he finally sold it. The '73 turtle was also an automatic, didn't stay long, a friend of mine's sister offered me $300 more than I paid and I couldn't resist. The '74 turtledeck was a 2.0 4 speed in that freaky light lime green color, I bought it for cheap wheels while I was restoring a Spitfire and an MGB.

The '71 hatch was a dark green 2.0 4 speed, Pintoheads know '71 was the only year the 2.0 was rated at 100 HP and it had the 'half hatch' instead of the full glass, meaning it was a fair amount lighter than the late hatches or the turtledecks. I stuck a set of Hedman headers on it with a 2 inch freeflow exhaust, swapped the Holley Weber for a real Weber, converted it to electronic ignition, all kinds of little tweaks. That car was surprisingly fast. I was clocked by one of SC's finest at 115 MPH on Highway 261 outside of Paxville, SC.

lewbud
lewbud Reader
June 22, 2010 9:54 p.m.
ClemSparks wrote: I like pintos and will own one someday. Question...can the newer (rectangular headlight) ones be backdated easily (like twist some bolts and swap some fenders/hoods/bumpers/grills) to the old bugeye versions? I think probably no...but it would open up a few years of availability if it could be done. I don't think it would be as easy as, say, swapping an '87 foxbody mustang out to a 4-eye front clip...but here's hoping. Clem

Clem, They should bolt right up. I've seen some early Pintos with late model noses on them so backdating shouldn't be a problem. The big problem might be the grilles themselves. I had a 73 Wagon with the 2.0 and finding a good grill for it in 85 was a pain. I can't imagine what it would be like now. Unless there are repops out there, then previous statement doesn't apply.

Opus Dork
June 22, 2010 10:25 p.m.
gamby wrote: I just thumbed through the issue when I got int he door after work. That Pinto is pretty sweet. Didn't read the details, but I saw Webers. Webers are good.

see that car at Fabulous Fords at Knotts every year. That car is incredible. It will not run on pump gas it is so hopped up.

Xceler8x Dork
June 23, 2010 8:13 a.m.
Jensenman wrote: That car was surprisingly fast. I was clocked by one of SC's finest at 115 MPH on Highway 261 outside of Paxville, SC.

That's pretty damned impressive!

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