11K-Mile Museum Car: 1978 Ford Pinto Pony

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Looking like it’s had a no-expenses-spared nut-and-bolt restoration, this 1978 Ford Pinto Pony appears to be in almost factory-fresh original condition. I’m not sure why it was spared the ravages of any use over 11,200 miles but it was. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and – are you sitting down? – the current bid price is $10,101 and the reserve isn’t met yet. I say, the reserve isn’t met yet. Thanks to Mikefromthehammer for sending in this tip!

I’m not quite sure how a base model Pinto, a Pony, was deemed worthy enough to be kept for over four decades as basically a time capsule car. With only 11,200 miles on this one, it’s almost like new top to bottom. Speaking of that, you have to check out the photos to see how clean it is underneath, it’s amazing. This car looks like it has been repainted to me but the seller says that it’s all original.

The Pinto Pony was the company’s lowest-priced Pinto and that’s saying something. According to Pinto literature: “Our lowest-priced Pinto ponies up with features you might expect with only from those higher-priced breeds: color-keyed carpeting, 4-speed manual transmission, rack and pinion steering, front disc brakes, inside hood release. And more.”  How’s that for a sales pitch!

The photos are also original, very original as in almost like being an art school student project. I can’t remember when I’ve seen a more maddening array of discombobulated images that are supposed to be used to sell a car online. Apparently they’re working due to the bids, but I can’t quite figure out how there could be so many different sizes and shapes of photos coming out of one camera, or phone, or whatever was used to take this jumble of images. Check them out and you’ll see what I mean, it’s a hall of fame nominee for sure. That being said, this car does look like it’s brand new, I don’t see a single flaw anywhere and neither do the bidders and bidders are all that matter to sellers so no matter how bad the photos are, it doesn’t matter. Welcome to 2021 all over again.

The engine looks as perfect as you’d expect in a car where everything else looks like new. It’s a Ford 2.3L inline-four with 88 horsepower and everything works as it should, according to the seller. This car has been in a museum and has won many trophies, are any of you going to be its next caretaker?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    It’s a very basic Pinto. Also very minty, both in condition and in color. If you don’t like attention, don’t buy this. Every time you stop to pick up some supplies at Home Depot, be prepared for a conversation. Same thing at shows or Cars & Coffee. With the four speed, I think it would be fun to putz around in. And no need to worry about gas tank issues, this was long after that situation was addressed.

    I’m not particularly surprised the price is into five figures. Let’s see where it lands.

    Good job Scotty.

    Like 28
  2. Bob S

    If you’re in to Pintos, which I am, (I’ve owned over 8), this is probably as good as it gets. I think the over $10k bid is a little ambitious, let alone the reserve hasn’t been met yet, but like Bob_in_TN said, it’s not surprising, and like he also says, don’t buy it if you don’t like attention, cause you’ll get a lot. Very sweet ride, very curious where it end at. I have no idea what the current owner has tied up in this, but I can’t see this getting bid much higher, might want to lift the reserve.

    Like 21
  3. alphasudMember

    What amazes me is these mint (no pun intended) Pintos keep showing up. I guess with as many as they sold some were bound to be squirreled away for our current day viewing pleasure. My grandma’s pinto squire wagon was another one. Had a little over 24K miles when she passed. She hardly ever used it except for local grocery shopping. It was garage kept all its life. My grandma called it her freedom car.

    Like 24
  4. Anthony M.

    I am literally on a weekend getaway about 10 minutes from this car. Fortunately, I left the “checkbook” at home!

    Like 16
    • Ike Onick

      You could buy it with a credit card.

      Like 3
      • Mike W_H_ Mike W_H_Member

        or online with a wire transfer

        Like 1
  5. Mikefromthehammer

    June 28, 1977

    That was the date I took delivery of my first car (new) from Mohawk Ford (right off their lot). It was a 1977 Pinto Pony, very similar to this one, except it was dark brown (light brown inside). It had a rear window defroster, and a (AM) radio delete option. I ultimately broke down and bought a radio from Mad Man Muntz.

    I loved the car and the 4-spd. I did not love the sand kicked in my face at every stoplight drag though. I did what every red-blooded male in his twenties did. I bought a new 1979 Mustang Cobra (302 – auto). I made one mistake though. Rather than trading the Pinto in, I decided to sell it privately.

    My sister was in need of a second car for her and her husband so I made her a sweetheart deal. What could possibly go wrong with this? Every time I saw my (now deceased 😢) sister her first words to me always started with “Guess what happened to the Pinto this time” Any time it needed new brakes, new tires, etc. it was always my fault.

    I learned a valuable lesson at a relatively early age. Never sell a car to a friend or relative. Thankfully she ultimately replaced the Pinto with a Chevy Chevette.

    Like 28
    • Mike

      My ‘77 pony was silver with a blue interior. The prior owner upgraded the radio to AM/FM with an 8 track player. Had to drive in the slow lane with trucks when going over the Canejo Grade between LA and Ventura. My gutless wonder

      Like 2
    • joenywf64

      Can i assume she got a newer than ’76 Chevette? My ’76 had a passenger window that all of a sudden 1 day fell down by itself!
      lol & not being an a/c car, i could not turn off the heat in the summer. & i could hear the gas sloshing around in the tank from inside the car! & the tiny accel pedal was very foot uncomfortable.
      & the top of the cat conveter shield rusted & flew off, later singing the carpet under the passenger seat!
      My friend’s stripped 4 speed ’72 pinto had none of these problems & was fast with headers, racing cam, & 4 barrel carb.

      Like 1
      • Mikefromthehammer

        All I know is they used to call it their ‘Vette. It was a “running” joke. lol

        Like 2
    • Terrry

      The Chevette wasn’t that much better.. Never sell a car to a relative if it’s a Pinto or Vega.

      Like 1
  6. mjf

    18 MPG , great gas mileage ..
    I don’t think you could put very many miles on this car before they died

    Like 2
    • Mikefromthehammer

      I’m not sure where you got the 18 MPG from. I regularly got 40 + MPG on the highway.

      Like 8
      • Mikefromthehammer

        Sorry, that was miles per Imperial gallon (40 miles per Imperial gallon equals 33.31 miles per US gallon).

        Like 7
      • Ike Onick

        “Mikefromthehammer” + Imperial gallon = Hamilton, Ontario, Canada?

        Like 2
      • Mikefromthehammer

        @ Ike Onick:

        I’d tell you but then would have to kill you, lol.

        You bet though (and no I won’t kill you, lol)

        Like 0
  7. Jackie Hollingsworth

    Not for me.

    Like 2
  8. davy

    I remember Pintos of this color as repair vehicles for Sears. In Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Oklahoma at least. Very fun auto!

    Like 6
  9. Shawn Fox Firth

    Good candidate for a Glidden tribute car .. .

    Like 1
  10. Steve W

    Uh, yeah…..it’s still a Pinto, no matter what.

    Like 4
  11. FrankD

    Very nice except they are Deathmobiles!

    Like 2
    • Mikefromthehammer

      Ford finally fixed the exploding problem with the 1977 (and future) model years.

      Like 5
  12. Evan

    “Our lowest-priced Pinto ponies up with features you might expect with only from those higher-priced breeds: … 4-speed manual transmission…”

    What an interesting line! By 1978, there weren’t many cars still being sold with 3-speed manual transmissions, certainly not in subcompacts, which needed at least four gears to wring out any “performance” from their meager engines.

    If you moved up a size, there were still 3-speeds, sure, but those were 6-cylinder cars with more torque. You could get a Nova or Aspen/Volare with a 3-speed (but I think Ford’s own Fairmont came with 4 gears).

    I don’t think a 4-speed manual transmission qualifies as something “from those higher-priced breeds” :)

    Like 2
  13. Sam Shive

    So the car is being sold in Pa. and it has a Calf. plate. Glad I didn’t have to drive it coast to coast.

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Pintos don’t have calves, they have ponies.

      Like 0
  14. Howie Mueler

    Yes very nice, but still a Pinto, located in Pennsylvania but has CA license plates?

    Like 1
  15. Bob S

    Ah, the Pinto haters! Back in the 70’s, if you were dead set on buying American, none of the American car builders were putting out quality products compared to the imports. As far as them blowing up, every car had it’s own downfall, depending on how you get hit, you could get your contract cancelled in the bigger cars. As far as dependability, they weren’t any worse than anything thing else American. At least you could work on them, and keep them running on the cheap.

    Like 6
    • S

      You mean none of the American car builders was making quality products in the subcompact class, compared to the imports. But the imports, as wonderful as people like to say they were, had their own problems – one of the biggest of which was rust. All of the Japanese brands rusted away quite quickly in the northern parts of the country where salt is used in the winter to keep ice off the roads. I don’t know why people think foreign cars in this time period were so “wonderful” – they weren’t. And if you went to a larger American car, such as the compacts and intermediate sized cars, there were plenty of good choices. I’m leaving out full sized cars since after the fuel crisis they were too fuel inefficient for the great majority of people.

      Like 8
      • Bob S

        Respectfully S, I pretty much mean most American cars in the 70’s and early mid 80’s were sub par in their quality. I bought a two year old 81 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2.8 V-6, no matter what I did to that engine, it constantly spark knocked, and as an added bonus, it was an electrical nightmare. My dad had a couple early 80’s Cadillacs that also had major electrical problems, and he’s never bought a GM since. It wasn’t just the sub compacts. Yeah, the imports got chewed on a little quicker than the American cars, but, being one of the most advanced countries, why couldn’t we keep up quality wise?

        Like 1
      • Thom

        It used to be that an American car that had 125,000 miles was near it’s death. The imports came and could go for more miles, but what no one seems to think about is that the quality of oils and greases took a huge leap forward about the same time. I don’t baby any of my vehicles, but I’d be disappointed if they died before 225,000.

        Like 1
    • brad460Member

      I’ve owned over 100 cars of American, Japanese, and European manufacture, and while 70s American subcompacts had some driveability issues, the Japanese cars at that time were horrible quality, other than the engines. They rusted very quickly, quality of steel, fabrics, plastics, etc., was awful. If you had a mid 70s Japanese car by 1980 the seats were shredded, the dash had cracks, and what they called “carpet” was cardboard with fuzz glued on.

      Let’s not even get into the HVAC systems. Up here in cold country, it was common to see people driving their Honda, Toyota, Datsun cars of the time and peering out of a couple little clear spots on the windshield. They had wholly inadequate heaters.

      I know it’s fun a popular to trash American cars, but when looked at fairly, each brand had their good points and their bad points. Even today, my 70s GM cars still have intact interiors and were much more nicely finished than the imports. My Honda’s haven’t been perfect either. I’m getting more acquainted with head gaskets on my 1980s Hondas!

      Of my mid 80s small trucks, I have several Toyotas and currenly 1 1984 Ranger. The Toyota engine was superior, but the cab structure, frame, and general durability of the rest of the truck was far superior on the Ford. The interiors in my 84 and 85 Toyota pickups are toast. The 84 Ranger, while showing wear doesn’t have so much as a crack in the dash and the door cards still look good.

      Sorry for the vent but I’m frustrated with all the America bashing, and not looking at things rationally.

      Like 1
  16. 454RATMember

    We had a new 1974 with the ”big” 2.3 engine with an automatic. Ran good, decent gas mileage, never any mechanical problems, and rode very decent for what it was. I even beat my buddy in his Vega, in a heads up drag race. (And I’m a Chevy guy.) Anyone who can slam a Pinto, has obviously never owned one

    Like 11
  17. Bill Mattocks

    The eBay ad mentions “the true Pinto enthusiast”… is there really such a person? Anywhere? I know, I’m a fine one to talk… I bought a Vega instead of a Pinto! EGADS!

    Like 2
    • Mikefromthehammer

      As per my previous posts in this thread “I resemble that remark”. I am a “true Pinto enthusiast”. I just wish the 2.3 had a little more oomph and it would have been a great car.

      Like 2
      • Brian

        like the 2.3 Turbo they put in the Turbo Coupe in 1983 ,yeah weight differences,lots of fun.

        Like 1
  18. Eugenio

    You had me at inside hood release

    Like 8
  19. ScottMember

    Love the trunk instead of the hatchback.

    Like 6
  20. Rossseux

    My cool aunt drove a yellow version of this model and her chief complaint was that it fishtailed when driving around corners. I hadn’t heard of that problem among Pinto’s shortcomings–poor weight distribution or poor driving? She traded it in for an Opel Manta. Better choice IMO.

    Like 0
  21. Richard

    What a nice little grocery getter with 4sp fun to drive. So clean…I think I should go to the bank and make a withdrawal and try to buy this thing.

    Like 0
  22. joenywf64

    Many of these so called “low mileage” cars do not have their correct COLOR KEYED factory rubber floor mats. I would like the see the condition of the originals! & i bet repro ford mats in this color are unobtainium, let alone in today’s grey & black only “color” aftermarket.
    Many brand new never used cars back in the day of this pinto already had rust on some underside components from just sitting on the lot!
    Can i assume this & all Pintos 1974 & newer had std POWER brakes? Those VERY heavy 5mph bumpers make it a lot harder to stop a car especially with manual front DISCS. & the front bumper doesn’t help either if you have manual steering!
    Surprised this pinto has MULTI-leaf rear springs & even staggered rear shocks!
    IMO, no rear drive car should have Macpherson struts – & all that underhood
    intrusion from ridiculous shock towers, & eventual very annoying noise from worn strut rubber bushings. While this pinto front end has conventional ez as pie to replace shocks.
    Not sure if a front wheel drive car could be designed with this type of front suspension, however.

    Like 0
    • Stevieg

      I believe the rubber floor mats you speak of were an extra cost option. My grandparents bought new cars from each of the big 3 manufacturers throughout the 1970’s & none of the cars had floor mats, so wanting to see the factory color keyed floor mats from this car might be very difficult.
      These didn’t have standard power brakes. I had a 1976 Pinto wagon and it had factory manual disk brakes.

      Like 1
  23. Albert Gilliam

    It’s missing the flammable sticker on the rear bumper

    Like 0
  24. Terrry

    It’s too bad this is one of the later Pintos, as these are plug-ugly because of those huge bumpers and awful grille treatment.. If this had been a ’71-72 in that good of condition, I’d be one of the bidders.

    Like 1
  25. Patrick Drew Farmer

    That’s good Albert. Very good. Follow the herds thinking. Follow the narrative and tell everybody on Facebook that you are away from home. Never think outside the box, never get the complete story for yourself. The Chevy Vega was made out of compressed rust. Both companies worked their asses off designing and building these cars.I can assure you that anybody working at Ford foresaw people burning to death in their cars. I can also say with certainty that the people at GM knew that all their cars were going to melt away before their very eyes because the sheet steel being used for bodies had a compound in it that made it more malleable, so they could build sharper lines on the cars than ever before, also accelerated the growth of rust. You guy’s talking with the help of 20-20 hindsight about how bad the Pinto is, are civilians, rubes, bystanders, marks. I realize that some of you guys are seven maybe eight years old. Heard about the Pinto from your dad who was not born when the Pinto began production. An outsider who has never designed a thing and has gone through ups and downs and surprises, but some how knows the truth better than people that have lived through it. A rube teaching his young marks how to think, and being prepared to be taken like cattle. Albert did you know that the word Flammable was changed in the 1960’s from Inflammable to Flammable because too many dim wits thought it meaning was inflammable and lit their very last cigarette near a tractor trailer filled with gasoline that they knew burns. BOOM a bigger blast than a Pinto.

    Like 3
  26. Patrick D. Farmer

    The Mustang II is a Pinto. It didn’t fall down go boom. Go figure.

    Like 2
  27. Patrick Drew Farmer

    Imflammable not inflammable. IM not IN. Damn word checking program running to check your posts.

    Like 1
  28. Jeff L

    These were great little cars in their day,but over $10K now? I don’t think so.

    Like 1
  29. Scotty GilbertsonAuthor

    Auction update: this one ended with no sale at $11,801.

    Like 0
  30. john vititoe

    Like i said before I had 3 ford’s and had trouble with all of them NEVER EVER buy another F O R D…

    Like 0
    • Brad460Member

      If I kept a list of cars I wouldn’t buy because I had a problem with o e of their products I wouldn’t be able to buy honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda, ford, Chevrolet, buick, oldsmobile, Cadillac, GMC, Pontiac, buick,. You get the picture.

      These cars are all metal mechanical devices. Sometimes things break or fail. Each mfg has its strong points and its weak points. What I like about this car is that it was designed as a cheap utilitarian appliance yet somehow survived in impressive condition despite all odds

      Like 2
  31. john vititoe

    Well sorry for you. I had a jeep for 14 years and my ram truck for almost 17 years my Oldsmobile lasted 10 and my Buick lasted 10 all of these almost no problems. The 3 fords i talked about didn’t have minor problems they had major problems and my boss had a ford truck nothing but problems always in the shop trash.

    Like 0
  32. Stevieg

    It boggles my mind why people come on this website to down talk vehicles. A person must be a really negative, miserable person if they can’t find one good thing to say about a vehicle. The reality is that this is not a top-notch car. We all know that. Then throw in the fact that this one is so bare bones stripped of options & features. That makes it even more so a throw-away vehicle. Yet it exists, and it is superb condition. That is why I like it. If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say nothing at all. Move on and find a car here that you like. There are plenty to pick from. I just can’t stand all of the negativity! It makes me want to give up my membership & stop coming around.

    Like 1

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