6,500 Miles! 1974 Ford Pinto Esquire Wagon

071216 Barn Finds - 1974 Ford Pinto Esquire Wagon - 1

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I hope that you’ve have your passport updated since that college class trip to Europe in the mid-90s, you’ll need it to see this one, unless you live in Canada. This 1974 Ford Pinto Esquire Wagon is in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and it’s listed on eBay. The current bid price is $4,100 Canadian, which is around $3,100 US. I would imagine that if there are any Ford Pinto collectors, they would covet the 1970-1973 models because of the smaller, non-federally-mandated 5 mph bumpers like this car has. But, other than that this one looks great.

071216 Barn Finds - 1974 Ford Pinto Esquire Wagon - 2

This car looks amazing, although some of you may say that an “amazing Pinto” is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. But, the seller says that it has only 6,500 original miles on it! It’s a one-owner car and it has been garaged since new and has been stored since 1981. It has been started every year but hasn’t been driven because the last time it’s had current license plates was 35 years ago. There are a lot of photos but only two that show a complete side, or as in the photo above, the back of the car. But, from the many detail photos it looks like it’s about as nice of a Pinto as you will ever find.

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The first thing you notice is that this car has a Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission, and the first thing that a lot of you did after noticing that was to give a collective sigh. My dad had two successive Pintos as company cars, one of each transmission-configuration, and the 4-speed car was more fun to drive. Big shocker. The interior on this car looks outstanding! From the carpet to the headliner to the rear compartment, it’s almost a true time capsule. I can’t imagine that the backseat was ever used, or at least it doesn’t look like it was. And you can see the perfect, clear floormat back there, do any of you remember those? The Esquire received the fancy wood (look) panels, and the door panels look like they were literally just put together in 1974. The spare tire has most likely never seen the sun before this photo was taken. They do say that the heater core was leaking so they disconnected it, and it must have damaged the passenger side sill plate.

071216 Barn Finds - 1974 Ford Pinto Esquire Wagon - 4

The seller says that everything “except for the battery and exhaust is original.” The underside looks good with the original markings, and of course surface rust probably due to the humid climate in the Niagara Falls area. I guess they have some sort of big water feature there or something.. In 1974, Ford introduced the 2.3L, 140 cubic-inch, OHC inline-four and it had around 90 hp, a fairly respectable amount of power for such a car in 1974. I’m not sure what the white, drippy stuff is on the back of the engine compartment, maybe a quick attempt to glue the rubber strip back on? Whatever it is, I hope that it’ll come off.

If any of you are into Ford Pinto wagons, this is the one to nab up. An Esquire brings a bit of luxury to the table, relatively-speaking, and it sure is in great condition. You’ll want to replace as many rubber bits and pieces as you can find in the engine compartment and underneath, and I’m sure that the brakes will need to be gone through from sitting, as well as the usual fuel system repairs. Are any of you fans of Pinto Wagons? If so, what would you think needs to be done to this car to get it up and running again?

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  1. PaulG

    Lister mistook Squire for Esquire somehow.
    This is as nice as it gets for a low mileage ’74, but like you said, the smaller bumper models were much more attractive.

    Like 0
    • Stephen

      I like Esquire better anyway.

      Like 1
    • BillB

      The oil drain plug looks extremely crusty. It may even have the original oil in it, which is probably extremely acidic by now.

      Like 0
    • stigshift

      The little known Esquire was sold only to those in the legal profession. Oddly enough, there was also Canada-only version. It was known as the Eh?squire…

      Like 0
  2. Rick

    Just put small bumpers on it, would be easy if every other pinto hadn’t been scrapped already

    Like 0
  3. Rufus

    I recall that Road & Track or Car & Driver did a test on one of these back when they were current. The only thing that I remember about the article was the sub-title:
    “Country Squirt”
    Car humor!
    Have fun

    Like 0
  4. boxdin

    Car & Driver raced a Pinto as I recall, and they also raced an Opel Manta too.

    Like 0
  5. HoA Howard AMember

    Not into Pinto’s all that much, although, the old man bought and sold quite a few. While the interior and exterior says 6,500 miles, the underside and engine don’t. Looks kind of rough. None the less, it’s a good example of one, for sure. I think a Pinto wagon makes a lot of sense now, and I’d love to have one, with the 1600 pushrod motor though. I’ll never have a car with a timing belt again. Great find.

    Like 0
    • Joe Howell

      The Pinto wagon 2000 OHC engines were not interference engines so no valve bending problems. I replaced a broken timing belt after about 120,000 miles and 15 years if memory serves me correctly. It was an easy job.

      Like 0
    • Karen

      I had one of these babies–my first car!

      Like 0
  6. angliagt

    The smallest engine for the wagons was a 2000cc one.

    Like 0
    • HoA Howard AMember

      Thanks angliagt, I guess that settles that, no Pinto wagon for me.

      Like 0
  7. Joe Howell

    The white stuff looks like liquid buffing compound. I love this wagon even with the slush box. I would be on this like ugly on a ape but just don’t have anymore garage space :(

    Like 0
  8. Rabbit

    That’s okay, Joe. I have garage space, AND, it’s only half an hour away. No duty on cars over 25 years old, either. BTW…..NO road salt in Canada!

    Like 0
    • Joe Howell

      Hope you get it Rabbit :) I imported a Yamaha RD350LC from Canada under the 25 year old exemption. You’re lucky with the no salt, it keeps a couple of my cars off the road for 3 months out of the year :(

      Like 0
  9. philip schmidt

    the white showing thew the black in the engine compt cowl firewall panel is the body color this car was z barted engine compt was pretty standard dealer additional sales closing option in salt rust belt arias.

    Like 0
  10. MDW66

    We live around an hours drive from The Falls. The water feature you speak of is just water going over a hill.

    Like 0
  11. Bruce Best

    Shame about the Pinto brand for it is very much in the same nature as a Chevy Nomad, that is a two door station wagon. That is very much a rare duck. I rented one in Dalles from rent a wreck back in the day. It had the V-6 with a manual and it was a blast to drive. Given that I rented it during a heat wave I was surprised that the air conditioner worked as good as it did. My family purchased one of the first regular pintos with the 2000CC auto and the wagon was better riding, and far more powerful.

    It even had the fake wood on the side as this one does. I just purchased a new convertible or this one would be gone.

    Like 0
  12. Prowler

    Were all laughing at this car….but look at vw buses and what they are bringing at auction…sometimes more than a tri.carb corvette
    In the next 5 years these …especially the low mileage ones are going to bring money

    Like 0
  13. robert woolley

    I am a Pinto wagon fan, owned three. I owned one new in 73, and two more have followed me home. Its a much under appreciated car I enjoy driving, You should see looks on visitors faces when the garage door comes up and they see my mint original Squire next to my vintage Ferrari, 63 Vette, Model A Roadster Pickup and other “normal” collector cars. I enjoy variety in collecting, and a Pinto Squire wagon is about as “variety” as one can get.

    My 77 Squire is all original, 26,000 miles, with a four speed,and is a rust free California car.

    Like 0
  14. Tom Driscoll

    very cool…needs the bigger motor to get my attention though….

    Like 0
  15. Mimo

    No salt on Ontario roads? Huh? I have lived in Ontario for 50 years and there is no shortage of it on the roads between November and April.

    Like 0
  16. Woodie Man

    I think I’m going to have a stroke. That interior gives me the willies. We had a ’72 Esquire or its equivalent in 1978….even took it on a few road trips. yellow with the paneling.

    Like 0
  17. Steve

    Doesnt matter if it is actually a 6500 mile car or not, even with documentation. That under arriage looks like 650000. Wouldnt touch it with a ten foot pole. It would probably take all day to change one shock with that much corrosion.

    Like 0
  18. Mark M

    Why is it that people hate the big bumper Pintos? I think they make the car look a little more classy.I have a 77 V8 Pinto myself,and wouldnt trade it up for an earlier model at all.Im not a pinto wagon guy at all,but i wouldnt pass something like this up.The only Pinto wagon id really like to have is the 77-78 Cruisin wagon.But like i say,if i had a few extra bucks and some more garage space,id snap this one up.

    Like 0
  19. brad

    I’ve had 2 Pinto wagons: a ’72 Squire, and a ’79 LOADED wagon. The ’79 had a 4 way adjustable driver’s seat (!), A/C, power steering, brakes, automatic, and light package, which included the coolest swivel overhead map light. Both of my Pinto’s were very reliable, easily starting in sub zero temperatures. I really like Pinto’s.

    Like 0
    • boxdin

      That cool swivel light first appeared in the Mercury Capri, then Mustang, then Pintos among others.

      Like 0
  20. chad

    love the Lima two three, kouwell 2 C the same shift here as in the ‘stang, & THAT’s just the right place 2 put an e-brake lever.

    Like 0

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