Ford Monday – 1973 Ford Pinto

Looking around at British classic car magazines, you can easily find some of the less popular classics in fantastic original condition with low miles for seemingly low prices (sometimes even 3 figures, although once you translate from pounds it’s not as impressive). And perhaps there’s a reason old Nige only drove his Allegro five times a year, but nonetheless, there’s that feeling of getting a nicer car than should be possible for the money. The same could be the case for less-popular American classics, although the chances of finding something that might take a corner or two well are slimmer. You can find this 1973 Ford Pinto for sale in San Diego, CA for $3200 (or £1914).

1973 Ford Pinto left front

The Pinto design took some of the best cues from the Maverick (have you ever heard “best” and “Maverick” in a sentence before??) and applied them to a compact, fastback coupe. Combining clean, no-fuss styling with the limited level of adornment you’d expect in a base economy car made for a pretty clean, appealing design (ignoring the baggage of poor quality and performance). While primary colors work better on little cars of this period, the root beer brown is definitely right for the time.

1973 Ford Pinto right rear

Said to only have 65,621 miles, this car looks in excellent condition. From the rear, you can see that this was the “sedan”, so called because it only had a short rear window and separate trunk lid, as opposed to the glass and metal hatch on the Runabout model. It’s quite unusual to see one of these, nevermind one so original, with stock wheels, skinny tires, and in excellent condition in most aspects.

1973 Ford Pinto engine

There is an insane amount of space under the hood, as if Ford had contingency plans in place to install a larger engine, should the fuel crisis and recession pass. And sure enough, the later cars received a Cologne V6, but the first generation stuck with the Kent 1.6- and EAO 2-liter four cylinder powerplants, putting out 54hp and 86hp, respectively. The rubber parts of the engine compartment appear to have received a thorough dosing of Armor All, unfortunately, so while it might simply be the owner’s attempt to put his car in the best light, be on your guard when inspecting the car. Also, was the rubber bungee cord the stock method of clamping the battery down? This appears to be the EAO 2-liter, though the owner does not specify. Interestingly, between the Kent and EAO, both of which saw many variations from the factory and much modification in the aftermarket, you could do a lot to make this Pinto perform in a way that would surprise many a weekend racer.

1973 Ford Pinto interior

Last but not least, the interior – no tach, 4-speed manual transmission with rubber shift boot, and color-keyed light brown as far as the eye can see. It’s actually nice to see one of these that’s not lumbered with an automatic, and the interior is said to be completely original, but for the front seats. It’s hard to see if they were reupholstered with OEM materials, but the only challenges in the interior seem to be cracking in the dash and steering wheel. Is the flooring even carpet, or is that plastic/rubber matting? Anyhow, while these were considered junk when 10-15 year old used cars, they do really represent an opportunity to be creative and make a neat little sports car with easily reversible modifications.


Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Ford Monday – 1973 Ford Pinto”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    A Windsor V8 fits easily in that engine bay too.

  2. Tony Says:

    351W would be the way to go on a later car with 2.3/auto, but I’d keep this 4-speed car intact. A good polish and some (period) alloy wheels would do wonders.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: