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wlkelley3
wlkelley3 HalfDork
6/23/10 11:24 a.m.

Lets not forget it's cousin, the Mercury Bobcat! I saw one yesterday on the way home from work. It was in nice shape too.

Chris_V
Chris_V SuperDork
6/23/10 3:30 p.m.
spitfirebill wrote: 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.

No, the real damage was done by repeating this as though it was true.

Gary T. Schwartz's "The Myth of the Ford Pinto Case," Rutgers Law Review, 43(1), Summer 1991: 1013-1068.

The internal Ford document brought up in the original case was purported by plaintiff lawyers as discussing fires in rear end accidents, but it did not. It was discussing all accidents, and not just in Pintos, but how the NHTSA was proposing to regulate for ALL cars (and not just Fords).

The figures in the calculations were using accepted governement figures and dealt with the numbers of ALL cars and light trucks sold annually, and the cost described in the memo was the amount borne by ALL automakers, not Ford alone.

Think about this for a moment. The document talked about an $11 device/modification over 12.5 million vehicles would cost 137 million dollars. The document then goes on to say that the added devices/modifications woudl save approx. 180 lives and another 180 burn injuries. Setting $200k as the value of life (he NHTSA's own figure) and $67k a the value of burn avoidance (again, the NHTSA's own figure) the docuement calculated the total safety benefit at $49 million, significantly lower than the $137 million cost.

Now, this is where people say Ford was trying to say that life was worth not much money, and it woudl cost less for them to pay out in Pinto accidents than to fix the cars. Which is what YOU said.

The problem is the numbers. There were never 12.5 million Pintos made or sold or even planned for. That 12.5 million figure is the total number of cars and light trucks sold annually in the US at the time from all manufacturers. The 180 lives figure is ALL fire related lives in ALL crashes from ALL cars. The $137 million cost was discussing the cost borne by ALL manufacturers together, not Ford alone.

The memo was NOT about company policy (as Fight Club made it out to be), nor was it about tort responsibility. It was NOT about not fixing a car, but about reminding NHTSA to be less vague and less, for lack of better term, wishy washy about proposed regulations(which, at the time, in the late '60s, they kept going back and forth on).

The $200k figure for value of life was the number NHTSA had come up with when setting vehicle standards through their own research, and used it internally for determining costs of proposed regulations before even presenting them to the manufacturers. They never made it an official policy to put a life value when making regulations, but rather left it as a judgment call for the NHTSA Administrator. Still, Ford's invocation of the $200k figure was proper because it employed the same datum that NHTSA would be using to promulgate the new standards.

Lastly, the Pinto's overall acident fatality safety record in the field was very much in line with all other subcompacts of the day. NHTSA data shows fewer fatalties in Pintos than in same year VW Beetles, Datsun 510s, or Toyota Corollas. When it comes down to rear-end accidents with fatalites AND fuel leakage/fires, the Pinto did perform slightly worse than other small cars (with the exception of the Gremlin), with a total of 24 fatalities in such accidents recorded by the NHTSA. Of course, any rear end impact hard enough to cause a fire is also hard enough to kill from whiplash, but no data exists to separate out which were actually fire caused fatalities.

racer_ace
racer_ace Reader
6/23/10 7:48 p.m.

'scuse my ignorance but did the Mustang II share platforms (i.e suspension hardware) with the Pinto? If so, which is lighter a Pinto 2 door or a Mustang II?

Fastbak390
Fastbak390 New Reader
6/24/10 11:16 p.m.

Oh man, I need to pick up this issue. Too bad mine is still about 4 colors too many right now.

The Pinto shared Mustang II components from 74 on. 71 through 73 were similar, but not quite the same. Pintos are definitely lighter. A base model 71 1600 weighed under 2000 lbs. They gained a few hundred lbs as the years went on.

racer_ace
racer_ace Reader
6/25/10 12:38 a.m.

In reply to Fastbak390:

Wow...less than 2000 lbs?! How is the rear axle located and sprung on the '71-'73 Pinto?

ClemSparks
ClemSparks SuperDork
6/25/10 8:05 a.m.

I'm pretty sure all pintos had leaf spring rear suspension.

Clem

hobiercr
hobiercr Reader
6/25/10 8:25 a.m.

There was a '76 pinto w/ 4 spd on CL here yesterday listed for $500. Picts looked like very minimal rust. I was the 4th caller at 9 AM. Owner called me later to let me know the first guy who called had gotten it.

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
6/25/10 8:28 a.m.

I've never owned one, but a friend in HS had a station wagon version, and it took unbelievable abuse and never complained. I always thought it looked cool. Anyway, nice to see the Pinto get a bit of press. Any car that is still racing this many years later deserves a little love.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
6/25/10 8:34 a.m.
Datsun1500 wrote: My Mother in law still has her 78 wagon (brown) drives it a few times a month.

My grandfather had the same car (maybe a few years older) back in the 70's & 80's.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
6/25/10 11:12 a.m.
Xceler8x wrote:
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!

Took it a while to get there, though. There's a straight stretch of state Highway 261 that's over a mile long and I was nearly at the end. I had a Sun Super Tach and it was wiggling at ~5400 or so RPM (which should have been 108 MPH, tire size?), it had run out of horsepuppies to beat wind resistance and just wouldn't pull any more. The cop was PISSED, wonder why? but it turned out he had a '76 or so 2300 motor Pinto and it wouldn't go that fast. Carbed 2300's were slow compared to 2000's. He let me go with a warning.

Xceler8x
Xceler8x Dork
6/25/10 1:45 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: Took it a while to get there, though. There's a straight stretch of state Highway 261 that's over a mile long and I was nearly at the end. I had a Sun Super Tach and it was wiggling at ~5400 or so RPM (which should have been 108 MPH, tire size?), it had run out of horsepuppies to beat wind resistance and just wouldn't pull any more. The cop was PISSED, wonder why? but it turned out he had a '76 or so 2300 motor Pinto and it wouldn't go that fast. Carbed 2300's were slow compared to 2000's. He let me go with a warning.

Friend of mine got let off doing 100 in a semi-auto Beetle years ago. Same situation. The cop said "Son, I didn't know Beetle's would got that fast. Don't do it again."

On topic - Gma had a blue hatch pinto for years. Thing was WEAK. But it had a barefoot, steel gas pedal. I don't know what joker put that on her car.

integraguy
integraguy Dork
6/25/10 3:07 p.m.

This morning on CL here in Memphis, the Pinto that has been on there a few times, is back. It's a '74 or '76 hatchback....but unfortunately, it has the 3 speed automatic. Color? It's that pastel green/pond scum green used on Fords in the mid '70s. Price? The same price this seller has asked 3 times before: $1600. With the automatic, and no mention of A/C it won't sell here.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy Reader
6/25/10 7:12 p.m.

I feel guilty now. I have spent my life slagging Pintos, and here are a bunch of people convincing me I should own one.

Best thing that could ever be heard about them in the seventies was that they were better than Vegas.

Now I've offended Vega people.......

SkinnyG
SkinnyG Reader
6/25/10 8:54 p.m.

Had both. I prefer the Pinto; it sucks the least of the two.

Irish1
Irish1 New Reader
6/25/10 10:47 p.m.

You guys suck. NOW I'm looking for a 2000cc wagon with a 4 speed to hop-up. Found a few on Craigslist that are later 2300 or V6 auto models including a white woody wagon wannabee outside Reno in good cosmetic shape. I loved the 71 Yellow Pinto I drove for 7 years and 120,000 miles: my first brand-new car. The seats were junk but it ran without fault. I ran it for awhile with an Offenhauser intake Holly 4 Barrel and headers. It ran better stock. NOW I could tune-it correctly. With sway bars these things crank through corners quite well.

NYG95GA
NYG95GA SuperDork
6/25/10 11:37 p.m.

Seems I remember that the Pinto was the first American car that featured rack and pinion steering. The Capri was one of the first to use McPherson struts (although it wasn't really American).

My memory may be faulty.. can anyone confirm?

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