By on July 15, 2014

pinto6

For about half the price of a new base Fiesta, you can roll in a right-wheel-drive, manny-tranny (OH STOP IT) not-so-fast Ford.

pinto1

$6500 for a Pinto with under 20,000 miles? It seems ridiculous, but as one eminent BMW expert pointed out on Facebook, that’s “100hp in a package lighter than a 2002.”

pinto4

This appears to be a “sedan”, which is to say, a Pinto with a trunk, as opposed to a “Runabout”, which was the hatch. True story: During a Civil Air Patrol exercise in 1982, your humble author was transported sixty or so miles in the hatchback area of a Pinto. I still haven’t told my parents this.

pinto2

The interior looks good. Remember when you could get actual colors for an automotive interior? Hell, remember when you could get actual colors for an automotive exterior?

pinto5

Nowadays, they’d call it “Ford-Tex!”

pinto3

It’s funny how low and wide the Pinto was. No wonder it was easy to turn into a Mustang.

If you’ve got the money, this fellow has the car. Just make sure you watch your you-know-what in traffic.

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83 Comments on “Here’s That Affordable RWD Stick-Shift Ford You’ve Been Wanting...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    Laugh all you want. Back in 1973, you’d take that same car, upgrade the shocks, add swaybars, and you’ve have the next best thing to a BMW 2002 or 1600 in B-sedan autocross.

  • avatar

    Bottom line: can it get women?

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      If you’re counting on the car to get women, you have my condolences. Have you considered men?

      • 0 avatar

        Syke

        The sad thing is that women don’t care about a car’s ability to go from 0-ILLEGAL in 3.9 seconds, nor do they know what a “Hellcat” is or the difference between a 6.2-L Supercharged and a 6.4-Liter.

        MEN buy stuff like that to impress other MEN.

        A leftover gene instruction from the Alpha male complex.

        It’s the modern-day equivalent of “butting heads” (or killing each other) to get that one lucky lady.

        I’ve read studies that claim women are attracted to men in pickups (probably cause they know they have a job) and they like men in SUV’s because on a psychological level – it’s “family planning”.

        I’ve read studies that show Women dislike it when men drive fast.

        I’ve read other studies that show men drive slower when women are in the car. Probably due to the constant nagging.

        BTW-NICE BIKE in the picture.

        Is it LOUDER than all the other bikes owned by other men in your neighborhood?

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          Actually, no. And it was still louder than what I liked. Currently riding an ’88 FXR with slightly quieter pipes, and my ’95 Triumph still has the stock exhaust.

        • 0 avatar

          both sexes interested in family like minivans, not SUVs, according to studies. I’ve known a number of women who like cars and driving, including my sister, who drives a stick. (She loves the handling of her FRS and her husband’s Audi TT, but I don’t think she cars about 0-illegal or 0-anything in either car.

          The sad thing to my mind is women (or men) who buy a nice car for the status, rather than out of appreciation for the car.

        • 0 avatar
          Nate1214

          Please send links to the studies you read. They sound interesting (and fictional).

        • 0 avatar
          John

          Scoff if you want – but THE best babe magnet is a mini-van. Tell them you bought it because you’d like to get married and start a family – the woman’s hormones will freakin EXPLODE!

        • 0 avatar
          Drewlssix

          Ha, I do drive slower when my wife is in the car and all my stupidity behind the wheel was either due to my innate stupidity or the influence of other testosterone carriers. Incidentally when women are impressed by a car it tends to be the ones you wouldn’t expect. I got lots of compliments toward my “cute” white mazda. There is an episode of road kill that stars a Lamborghini and a rather crude ratrod. At a stop the Lambo attracted nothink but dudes while plenty of women were into the rod.

        • 0 avatar
          hgrunt

          All you have to do is watch what happened when Hot Rod Magazine rented a Lambo and borrowed the Sailor Jerry’s rat rod.

          At gas stations and in parking lots, women weren’t interested in the Lambo. They wanted rides in the rat rod.

          Protip: Get a rat rod.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          By the same token, women don’t dress for men, they dress for other women. Men enter that equation by their reactions to hookers, and women got the idea men think that’s sexy. So women dress like hookers to impress other women. My sister told me that, after three glasses of wine.

        • 0 avatar
          Dynasty

          I haven’t read any studies, but I, a man, prefer women who drive slow when I’m the passenger.

          I prefer them not to tailgate the person in front of us.

          I also, hate nagging to the lady driver to not tailgate the person in front of us.

          Generally, I don’t like being a passenger in a car with someone who drives fast unless they are a driver who knows how to drive fast and safe.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        Excellent comeback, sir. bigtruck sulks until his next smoky burnout.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      According to The Offspring, definitely not. And it might get your ass kicked too.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Nope. My wife doesn’t really get old cars and finds them embarrassing. She also thinks sedans are “old people cars.” If you want to impress her with a car, show up with an X5 or X3. I can reliably bait her into an argument by pointing out the terrible space efficiency of German crossovers, or troll her by showing her interior volume numbers that prove our Forester is bigger inside than an X5.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Rolling in my Pinto, rocking Barry Manilow…

      @BigTruck- Look up the next line to the song. That’ll answer your women questions!

    • 0 avatar
      Instant_Karma

      Yes, if you like semi-skanky hipster chicks that dig the retro car thing. The ones in Austin all seemed to like and notice my 71 MGB GT quite a bit. Even my 81 300SD seems to work. Granted, it might not be the same demographic that a W222 could draw, but even an old W126 that sounds like a tractor still has a little of that S class swagger left.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        I’m waiting for Jack Baruth to weigh in on a Pinto’s appeal to the ladies. We’ve already heard from bigtruckseriesreview, who is now back to dragging his knuckles under the SRT8, and from Syke, whose response “served” him.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      Big Truck = Over Compensating. Seriously, you ask about “bottom line”? LOL!

  • avatar
    jhefner

    I haven’t seen a steering wheel and seat fabric like that since Dad and Mom’s 1967 Country Sedan. Brings back memories….

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      Nevermind the steering wheel, I seriously like the vinyl and weave upholstery on this Pinto, looks more comfortable than all vinyl.I didn’t know it was offered.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I want that car. My first car was a 71 Pinto sedan with a stick.

    If it’s a 1600, I’d consider it, but not for that price.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Needs more Fox body.

  • avatar
    steamcorners

    Nothing wrong with riding backwards in a hatchback. I was transported home from the hospital, 4 days old, sans car seat, in the hatch of a 260z. Made many trips like that until I couldn’t fit.

    Would I do it with MY kids now? Hell no. But, as the trope goes, “I did it and I survived!”

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      My wife likes to tell the story of how her and her brother rode from Seattle to North Dakota in the back of an Opel GT when they were around 10-12 years old.

      • 0 avatar
        360joules

        Awesome. My mom drove an Opel GT from 74-77. Illinois winter road-salting practices made it shredder fodder long ago, I’m sure. In early 77 she traded it in for an Opel 1900 (aka Ascona) and drove it for over 150k miles (odometer broke in 82 @ 110k) until she dumped it to me in 1985.as a total lead foot, my mom’s favorite car was her 97 323is but she said the Opel GT was very stable at the limit (but a pig in town and to park).

        • 0 avatar
          360joules

          I loved that car but my memories are tha of ages 5-8. Being a pre-teen in the back of an Opel GT for 1200 miles would be hellish. Good legroom for a 2 sweater in front but only a moderately-sized parcel shelf in the back. You got your head start in yoga my friend!

        • 0 avatar
          360joules

          I loved that car but my memories are that of ages 5-8. Being a pre-teen in the back of an Opel GT for 1200 miles would be hellish. Good legroom for a 2 seater in front but only a moderately-sized parcel shelf in the back. Your bride got a head start in yoga my friend!

  • avatar

    AFter one of the Arab Oil Embargoes, Harvard econ professor and future Nobel Prize winner (2005) Thomas Schelling traded in the land barge station wagon for a Pinto, with the goal of saving money on gas. My father suggested that he should do a cost/ben on the trade, taking into account the loss due to depreciation, the future savings in gasoline, etc. Schelling did, and found to my father’s lack of surprise that he was not going to come out ahead.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      *sighs* If only people were more mathematically literate. And if only the mathematically literate applied mathematics to their entire lives rather than only to their vocation. In Professor Schelling’s case, it doesn’t seem any excuses are sufficient.

      If only…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good to know famous economists fail to run cost/benefits analysis on major purchases and then come out in the red. This explains so much.

  • avatar
    DougD

    I like it. If it goes down the road at $6,500 thats money well spent.

    Another example of how crash bumpers ruined a lot of cars, although given the Pinto’s reputation maybe not a totally bad thing.

    COTD above, game, set and match with two sentences..

  • avatar
    bachewy

    I’d drive that to cars and coffee get-togethers. It would make a great conversation piece.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    My first thought when I saw this was “Damn! Nice green interior!” Beige and grey are really getting old.

  • avatar
    davidziff

    Those Pintos took pinging to a whole new level. And for Fords of that era, that’s saying something.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    I feel a strong urge to turn this into a replica of Patrick Bedard’s C&D race car.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “The Pinto’s legacy was affected by media controversy and legal cases surrounding the safety of its fuel tank design, a recall of the car in 1978, and a later study examining actual incident data that concluded the Pinto was as safe as, or safer than, other cars in its class.
    [...]
    In a 1991 paper, “The Myth of the Ford Pinto Case”, for the Rutgers Law Review, Gary T. Schwartz[5] said the case against the Pinto was not clear-cut[...]
    Schwartz’s study said:

    The Pinto Memo wasn’t used or consulted internally by Ford, but rather was attached to a letter written to NHTSA about proposed regulation. When plaintiffs tried to use the memo in support of punitive damages, the trial judge ruled it inadmissible for that purpose (p. 1021, Schwartz study).
    The Pinto’s fuel tank location behind the axle, ostensibly its design defect, was “commonplace at the time in American cars” (p. 1027).
    The precedent of the California Supreme Court at the time not only tolerated manufacturers trading off safety for cost, but apparently encouraged manufacturers to consider such trade-offs (p. 1037).”

    Frankly, I’m surprised so few of the peanut gallery here have gone for the low-hanging “dur hur hur Pintos explode dur hur” fruit. Maybe we really are the B&B.

    • 0 avatar
      j.grif

      Ralph Nader tried this crap with the corvair and did succeed in destroying the reputation of the corvair, it was later proven by a study done by Texas A and M that the corvair was equal to about anything else in its class as far as safety was concerned, NBC did the same with Chevrolet c10 pickup trucks and the class action lawsuits for the side saddle fuel tank debacle, and then there was the audi unintended acceleration issue that almost cost Audi the U.S. market. I look at these as as attacks on the manufactures and society in general, this is about deep pockets, nothing at all to do with justice.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        There are studies and there are studies. It would not surprise me that the fatality rate, or the crash rate for Corvairs was about the same as for other cars of the era, many of which had signfiicant safety problems (like the fact that most front engine, RWD cars would lock their rear wheels in a panic stop, putting the car into an uncontrollable spin.

        That said, I’ve personally driven first-generation Corvairs (pre the 1965 redesign), and they did have some pretty nasty handling characteristics, especially in the rain, probably a little worse than VW Beetles, which also had swing axles and rear engines. But they weren’t “death traps” in comparison to other vehicles of the time.

  • avatar
    Boff

    That looks alot like the Pinto my high school French teacher had, except his was more of a kermit green and was in terrible condition. No Cragars, either. I begged him to sell me that car, even though I had no money. He refused because he claimed it would not have been proper to let me own such a POS. Thus began my lifelong pattern of being willing to drive anything as long as it had a manual transmission.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Love it. For 6500 you cant go wrong. Looks like a blast. I would drive it in a sec.

  • avatar
    donutguy

    My wife had one of these in 1978….I think hers was a 74 or 75 and had the emission strangled 2.3 liter with the auto. The car was bought used by her dad and though it was only 2 or 3 years old….it was a rust bucket.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Just needs a turbo Lima 4. Can’t rear end me if you can’t catch me!

  • avatar
    bunkie

    The hatch versions suffered from cracked windshields from lack of torsional rigidity. A friend of mine had a Bobcat that ate the damn things.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Nice car but that price is too high, cut the price in half and if it has the 2000 then we’ll talk.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I have to laugh, they want $6500 for a 1971 Pinto (is it a 2.0 liter?) and it STILL needs a battery and water pump. It’s absolutely exceptional, but really, you buy something like this and it needs work? WTF?

    I had a 1979 Pinto ESS with the 2.3 Lima and 4 speed. The car was all optioned up with the exception of A/C. It had the famous leaking rear main seal which caused me to spin the camshaft bearings when I didn’t pay attention to oil levels for a week.

    Took the car to my favorite short track engine builder back in the day; he recommended a minor milling of the head, a Racer Brown cam, a bigger Motorcraft 2BBL carb (390 CFM IIRC), header, turbo muffler and some other stuff I can no longer remember because that was back in 1985. I spent more on the engine mods than I did for the car!

    It woke the little beast up, as the 2.3′s were slugs in emissions configuration. With all of that sh!t removed, it actually drove pretty well. I had driven a number of the older 2.0L Pintos from before the catalytic converter era, they were great drivers. Mine came close, but still didn’t rev as well as the 2.0′s.

    I sold the car when my 1986 Mercury Capri 5.0L Sport Coupe rolled off the transporter. I never regretted selling the Pinto.

  • avatar
    spyked

    As a kid my parents needed to tow a boat. But Dad drove TR-7 and X1/9, so Mom’s car had to be the tow car. Ordered a brand new 1979 Pinto ESS with V6 and automatic. Silver with black interior.

  • avatar

    Last September I spotted this ’72 Pinto Runabout with 52,000 miles for just $3,750. It was in great shape, apparently the car grandma used at the summer cabin. I think the early Pintos are great looking cars, very clean lines. On my lottery list is a Pinto wagon with a Lotus Twin Cam.

    http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=13470

    • 0 avatar
      Instant_Karma

      I figure there is a niche market for decent looking, older, period correct cars for use in movies or TV and cars like this would be right up their alley. Know anyone that does that?

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    This was my car in college! Even the same color except it was a 72 with an automatic. It was a decent car, hauled me and friends and all my stuff for 4 years and never failed me. Slow it was but the highway speed limit was 55 anyway and gas mileage was not too bad. The best thing about it was I got it really clean from somebody who moved from Oklahoma and it was only $300. I even drove with the expired out of state Oklahoma plates on it for a year and never got a ticket, the cops would see an the out of state plate and keep going.

  • avatar
    mechaman

    Odd. In the last six months I’ve seen two Falcons and two or three Mavericks. Not smoking chattering rust buckets, but sharper than stock, but not a lot of mods. the Falcons looked to have stock rims and covers .. considering how Chicago salt eats, I suspect them came from Down South somewhere .. at least one of the Mavs was a manual with rims and an obviously upgraded exhaust…now if I see a Pinto round these parts, cue the ‘One Step Beyond’ theme..

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      Hey Chicago-man, my Southern Illinois relatives have many sorta-not classics in their backyards and sheds as occasional drivers. Falcons, Pintos, Bonnevilles, Fat Caprices, Le Mans, Rivieras, I can’t get them to get close to selling to a cousin, let alone some evil Chicago North-stater.

      • 0 avatar
        360joules

        To my South-Stater relatives, my mom was not only a Freedom Rider but her brother quit working for Skil Tools and bought a Volvo P1800 which showed communist leanings. Then he bought a SAAB 99 (to them wtf?).

  • avatar

    A 1971 2-liter Pinto was my first new car, bought right after high school graduation. About $2100 total, $73 or so per month car payments.

    Yes, 100hp SOHC German Ford 2.0 liter. It had no rev limiter, and would rev and rev. Equipped with a column mounted Sun tach, it saw 7000+ rpm many times, probably not designed for that, but it handled it anyway. Slick shifting 4-speed, Hurst even made a shifter for it. Mine had an interior much like the car for sale, it was a “knit” vinyl that actually worked great: didn’t retain stains, yet breathable like cloth, was worth the $75 or so option for the “deluxe” interior or whatever they called it.

    And yes, “fast”, relatively, for the day, compared to most other 4-cyl stuff. I had a great time with mine. Deep blue with 13″ Ansen mags, Goodyear Polyglas A70-13 tires. I sold it to go back to school, then bought another in ’73 and the magic was gone. More stringent emission standards brought cam and compression changes to the 2.0 engine and no more joy, just so sluggish compared to the ’71.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Legroom aside, those were actually pretty good interiors. Ford did that right. But yeah, the emissions from 1973 on were a disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      Stovebolt

      I hear you about the revving. Best friend had a Pinto company car. No tach but that thing would rev like crazy. Just keep in each gear with the pedal planted, then planted longer. All good until the mechanic came in scratching his head about a bent camshaft: “What could ever have happened to this?!” I wonder.

  • avatar
    360joules

    I had a GF with a Pinto and given the post malaise era of my high school experience, these were not bad cars (1983-1986). Parts were super cheap and an auto parts store guy could scribble out instructions in the back of your parts receipt that could remedy your problem.

  • avatar
    DownEaster

    I remember seeing at a car show once someone hot rodded a 1979 or 1980 Pinto with the square headlights. The took a 2.3 litre turbo 4 from a 1980s Mustang and put it into the Pinto. Same basic Pinto engine so it fit right in. Must have been a nice car. Always thought a later Jeep Cherokee 4.0 liter in a Hornet, Gremlin, Spirit, or Rambler would be a neat project.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I am waiting for one in Screamin’ Yellow.

  • avatar
    SteveRenwick

    Jack, were you a CAP cadet? Seems hard to picture that.


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