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Ford Pinto

By Edited Apr 23, 2016 1 3

The Ford Pinto is one of the most notorious cars to ever come out of the Ford factory. The Ford Pinto was a relatively inexpensive car that received great gas mileage. The economic sensibility of this car and generally low cost to purchase made it one of the more popular cars. The problem was the car was prone to explode in rear impacts. If a Pinto was rear ended hard enough it could potentially cause the car to explode because of how the fuel tank was situated in the rear.

The Ford Pinto was prone to explosions, but Ford decided it was cheaper to fight potential lawsuits as opposed to recalling Pintos and replacing the fuel tanks. Today the Ford Pinto is often criticized and mocked. Many people consider the Ford Pinto to be one of the ugliest cars ever.

Even though the Ford Pinto will probably never be cat into the same collectible category as true classic cars such as old Mustangs, Corvettes, and Novas, the Pinto does have a hardcore rabid following among some people.

The Ford Pinto is a popular car to use as a race car at many tracks across the United States. The “Mini-Stock” class is a great way to get involved in racing, and the Ford Pinto is among the most popular cars to use in this class of racecars. The cheap availability of used Ford Pintos made the Ford Pinto a cheap car to build into a circle track racer, but the use of Pintos was so common that the Pinto its’ self is becoming a lot more rare, which leads it into collectors status.

Granted the collector status of the Ford Pinto is limited to a few individuals, but these groups of people that truly like the Ford Pinto are able to band together. One of the more popular groups is the Ford Pinto Car Club of America.

The Ford Pinto Club of America allows Pinto fans to come together and network with each other. You can buy Pintos, Ford Pinto parts, and Ford Pinto related merchandise.

In addition to the popular use of the Pinto as a circle track racer, the Pinto is also being used in demolition derbies around the Country. The Ford Pintos and other cheap smaller cars are being used in a separate class from the full size cars that were a mainstay at all demolition derbies. Smaller cars such as the Ford Pinto make it a cheap and economical way to enter a demolition derby without spending a lot of money on a car. The problem from a For Pinto Fans viewpoint is that the consistent use of the Ford Pinto in demolition derbies creates a shortage of Pintos for people who want to buy and collect them, thus driving up the value of the Pintos that do still exist.

Ford Pintos may not ever get to the status of a classic Corvette, but you can be ensured that the value of Ford Pintos will go up in the future. Now is the time to buy a cheap Ford Pinto to keep in your garage, that is if you like the Pinto.

The Mercury Bobcat is the tin brother of the Ford Pinto, and is on equal grounds as to the popularity, or lack thereof of this particular type of car. The Ford Pinto and Mercury Bobcat had a station wagon version available. A lot of people will look at the Ford Pinto and laugh, especially at the station wagon version. I on the other hand look at a Ford Pinto in good condition and admire it as a work of art.

Not everybody will like the Ford Pinto, and even I as a fan of the Ford Pinto have had people laugh at a Pinto I use to own.

About 8 years ago I bought an old Pinto off a high school kid. It had a couple of bullet holes in it and was very ugly, even by used Ford Pinto standards. I bought the car and then drove it to work. In the way a kid pushing a POS bike that was really junky seen the car and literally was doubled over laughing and pointing at the Pinto. It was so ugly that even this kid who had a junky bike was laughing at it.

At the other side of the extreme are the Pintos that have been turned into drag racing cars. These are souped up cars that can really go fast.

The Ford Pinto was available from 1971-1980. The 1971 model began to be sold in 1970 and was considered an overwhelming success at the time for the Ford Motor Company. The explosive nature of these cars that were yet to be revealed is very ironic, as the Ford Pinto was first released on September 11th, 1970.

1975 Ford Pinto Wagon

 

1975 Ford Pinto Station Wagon

This is one of the wagon models available for the Pinto. In addition to the traditional looking Wagon Ford also made a Pinto Wagon that had only a tiny circular window in back.

1972 Pinto Runabout Ad

Original Ford Pinto Advertisement

The Ford Pinto was not always considered ugly. This ad shows the better side of the Pinto, before the potential explosion situtations were brought to the mainstream and talked about daily on TV and radio.

Ford Pinto rear Window

Ford Pinto Rear Window

A view of the rear on a Pinto Runabout. The rear window looks huge from this angle.

Customize Your Ford Pinto Ad

Customize your Ford Pinto Ad

The Ford Pinto could easily be made to look different with some add-on kits that were marketed by Ford. Most of these car add-ons were only for looks and did little to nothing for actual performance.

Pinto Cruising Wagon

Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon

The Ford Pinto Cruising wagon had the little round window in the rear. This is a really unque design for  a sub-compact car.

Aftermath of the Ford Pinto

The Pinto is a unique car in the history of the Ford Motor Company. The car may of held a fond spot in more peoples heart if the explosive gas tank issue never occured. Many kids grew up laughing at this car, so it may be the last car they would ever want to collect. For those who do like the Pinto, now is the best time to ever buy a Pinto.

This car as well as the Merury Bobcat were what the market demanded at the time. America wanted a sensible and economical car that got greta gas mileage and Ford was able to fulfill this need. As much as you may mock thsi car, it was the car that Americans demanded from Ford. This car is your car, it is not my car...

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Comments

Jul 4, 2011 4:38pm
Lynsuz
Wow that brings back some memories. Chevy had a few too. The Vega and Corvair come to mind.
Jul 4, 2011 9:52pm
Ernie
I remember the Vegas very well. I have an article I am working on about the Vega so it is cool that you mentioned that.Thanks for reading.
Jul 18, 2011 7:11pm
Jerky
My brother drove a Pinto briefly. I loved it because it was super simple (as I was the one who worked on the family cars, simple = awesome).

I've seen some Hot Rod magazines where guys shoehorn big blog V8s into these little Pintos!
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