With the benefit of hindsight, Ford’s Pinto was an interesting attempt at beating the Europeans and Japanese at their own game. What the Big 3, 4, or 5 considered “compacts” in the past were, by comparison to most imported cars, full-sized and often sported six-cylinder engines that, while fuel efficient compared to their V8 siblings, were by no means miserly with the dino-juice. And while Ford previously offered the Cortina as an economy option, the Pinto was their first North-American designed subcompact offering. And that’s as good a reason as any to feature a Pinto on July 8, Collector Car Appreciation Day, so let’s take a look at this 1973 Ford Pinto for sale for $2800 somewhere in the vicinity of Portland, OR.
This Pinto seems to be in nice survivor condition, with modifications that hint at an upgraded engine – a side-exit exhaust and mesh wheels, narrow in front and wide in the rear. Green-on-green is an oh-so-70s color combination, and it’s a shame there’s no underhood shot or written detail to indicate the condition of the powertrain. The seller does say “runs and drives great”, presumably within the constraints of 1970s econobox performance.
Both sides look in good condition, and the skinny chrome bumpers look much better than later iterations with their guardrail bumpers, square headlights, and more. Interestingly, Ford offered the Pinto both as a sedan and hatchback, but both designs were fastback models, so there’s no way to tell which version this car is. This 1973 car was sold in the second-most successful model year, with 1974 being the Pinto’s strongest year.
The interior is quite impressive – two-tone green interior with an excellent headliner, the only issue being the driver’s seat, which has been cheaply recovered on the bottom and is still torn on the back. The 1970s chrome 3-spoke looks out-of-place in this otherwise spartan environment, and some scuffing is present on the driver’s door panel. Even if this car is equipped with the 1600 Kent, the manual transmission will help you get the most out of it, and while the Kent was not exactly powerful, the British aftermarket might be able to help improve that.
Rear seats are also in lovely condition, and the little individual buckets help give this car a more special feel than you’d expect for its humble nature. The car is said to be in great condition overall, so pick it up in what little remains of today and use it to chat a few people up about the joys of having a classic car on Collector Car Day.