1978 Ford Pinto Squire Woody Wagon!

The Pinto has, for various reason, been put on many peoples’ “bad” list, but the early ones were more of a problem than the later ones. This 1978 Pinto Squire is for sale here on craigslist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at an asking price of $3,600 and presents us with an interesting color scheme. We featured this one a year ago but thought it was worth another mention.

Our Ford Fans from back in the day can tell us younger folk all of the stories, shortcomings, facts, and fallacies, about the Pinto. They were Ford’s first compact car, a direct response to all of the econoboxes which were coming in from overseas, and sold rather well from 1971 to 1980. In fact, a total of over 3 million Pintos and Mercury Bobcat cousins, rolled off the lines in California, New Jersey, and Ontario, Canada. You could get a coupe, hatchback, or two-door station wagon, and buyers had a choice of four different 4-cylinder engines and two transmissions. The Pinto shared a platform with the Mustang II, and the drivetrains were interestingly similar to those of the Escorts in the European market, for better or worse.

This particular one is the Squire wagon, with its faux-wood exterior accouterments and, if my eyes and computer screen are correct, it looks like the Jade green exterior over Jade green interior. The seller tells us that it’s got 39,000 original miles on the Cologne 2.8-liter V6 engine and automatic gearbox. The plaid seating surfaces give it an interesting look, one which was big at the time, but today is only a small niche of the overall market. We can see rust – the seller isn’t shy about it. The seller also tells us that quite a bit of work has recently been done to this car, most notably a lot of brake work and a rebuilt carburetor.

I’ll be honest with you all: I’m not sure how to feel about it. On one hand, the scarcity of it and its interesting look are positives, but on the other, there’s rust, some fading, and some weathering. I presume that it runs and drives fine, which is great for any old Pinto, and I would guess that not too many people bought a compact car with a higher option package. Lest I should rush to judgment, what do you the readers like or dislike about this car?

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Comments

  1. ccrvtt

    A Pinto Squire wagon is first on my list to replace my trusty Town & Country should it ever give up the ghost. I’m not too sure about the colors on this one and I would try to replace the bumpers with the earlier style, but the front sheetmetal conversion would be a challenge. Ford nailed the proportions on this one and the woodgrain is always a Ford trademark.

    If this car is solid and you can stomach the color it seems fairly priced.

    3
    • Miguel Member

      ccrvtt, why don’t you like the bumpers?

      I am sure it is those bumpers why the body is not bashed up.

      I wish new cars had these big 5 MPH bumpers.

      5
      • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

        I agree about the 5 MPH bumpers. That law should never have been rescinded. New cars, just breath hard on them and there is $5000 in damage.

        5
    • Gastegall

      Dad bought one new in’77. Bobcat Wagon with a V6. We all loved it until the transmission went our on us on our vacation at the lake- with 18,000 on the odometer. Never heard him swear so much!

      1
  2. flmikey

    I really liked it, until I looked at the ad…lots of rust, and in the description, it says it needs a valve adjustment or an oil pump…which means, or course, it needs an oil pump…pass….

    3
  3. PatrickM

    This is a pretty nice car. In the ballpark for what I am looking for. Yet, I do have a few questions… Why no underside shots or engine bay pics? The mileage claim is leaving me doubting due to the rust issues. Nice to see they pointed out rusted floor. Still points to more miles. I would really love to have one like this, just not this one.

  4. karl

    Not to be too nit picky, but at the time it was Fords’ first sub-compact ; the first compact was the Falcon .You could also get a V6 like this one has , although I’d bet few were equipped with one.

    7
    • Tim

      Falcons only came with a straight six, or a small V-8.

      4
      • karl

        Yes, I meant the PINTO could come with a V6, the article says Pintos came with four different 4 cylinder engines

        7
  5. Keith

    Junk Junk nothing but Junk!

    2
  6. SC/RAMBLER

    Falcon was a COMPACT car while Pinto was a sub-COMPACT. Sub means below COMPACT. Also Falcon NEVER came with a V-6; inline 6 and V-8 only.

    1
    • karl

      Yes, I meant the PINTO could come with a V6, the article says Pintos came with four different 4 cylinder engines

      8
  7. Bob_in_TN Member

    Mine wasn’t junk. For its day it wasn’t bad at all. I like the yellow one from a week ago better, I wouldn’t call it junk either. This one has its charms, a Squire in an unusual color with the oh-so-70’s plaid upholstery. Always good to see basic transportation cars which have survived.

    6
  8. don

    In the mid 1980s my buddy fixed one of these Squires up to be used as a daily driver . He went to the DMV to get it inspected, and they failed him on some minor things like the drivers door handle not working on the outside , so he got ticked off and drove it over to my house and we beat the bejesus out of it, including driving down some old quarry roads in the woods ; more than once it was airborne and we clobbered more than a few trees there . About that point we realized that we still had to get home (no cell phones then) , so we headed back. The front was so messed up it was hard to keep it straight on the road , pieces missing , no exhaust , dents everywhere . We nearly made it back but ran out of gas (hole in the tank too) .We got someone’s lawn mower gas and made it home .The next day he was at his house doing rolling holeshots down a hill. It was still running when he junked it , I couldn’t say anything bad about those 2.3s after all that abuse !

    1
    • Sandy Claws

      Forgive me if I am wrong, but that was kind of stupid, was it not? Egg the DMV if you must, but ruin your own machinery? Were adult beverages involved? Pintos get no respect (like me). Bet you would not have done that to a Mustang.

      11
      • don

        Heck yes it was stupid ! – No adult beverages , but we were gearheads about 19 years old , he didn’t pay for the car or put much money in it, the CT.DMV was a major pain to deal with and you could find plenty of cheap cars back then .We would routinely drive around town and get running cars for $50.00 or less just to put in demo derbies or make Enduro cars . With the New England weather a ten year old Pinto was already past its prime , so we didn’t think anything of beating it to death. We were just lucky it didn’t die out in the woods an hour from our house in the dark – I don’t think it ever dawned on us that it could have happened !

        3
    • John P

      Isn’t that the car that fell from the sky in the Blues Brothers movie

  9. robert woolley

    I’ve owned three Squires, a new 73, a nice 74 and my curent 77, called Sweet Pea. A misundrerstood car, wagons did not have the gas tank issues the early coupe had.

    Sweet Pea is a 25,000 mile rust free California car all its life.4cyl 4 speed, and in EXCELLENT condition.

    18
    • W9BAG Member

      Sweet Pea is a true Peach, Robert. The wire wheel covers and white walls are very classy ! It would be great if you you would send more pictures ! I’d be proud to drive this Lady !

      3
  10. robert woolley

    A 1978 Pinto Squire Wagon sold for $33,000 (with bidder commission) at Monterey Car Week last year. The previous year a Pinto Squire Wagon hit $25K at the same venue.

    4
  11. Jason S

    My old employer had a Mercury Bobcat wagon. It was his wife’s daily driver. We once borrowed it and towed a dual axle trailer about 30 miles to pick up a 30 ton (capacity) punch press. It towed it back without a single problem. It too had the 2.8 V6 and auto trans. I gained some respect for that little wagon that day.

    3
  12. Karl

    Miguel I for one am very glad those atrocious 5 mph bumpers are GONE I would have nightmares thinking of those would look on my 16 Z06, OMG!

    • Miguel Member

      While that may be true Karl, when you back into a wall at 3 MPH and do $7000.00 worth of damage, you might reconsider.

      Go look at the TFLcar video on Youtube where the kid backed his Tesla Model 3 into a wall and barely touched it. Almost $7000.00 was done. The bumper would have taken all of the impact and cost nothing.

      3
    • robert woolley

      Pinto had a nummber of different bumpers through the years. The first pinto had a small bumper and no guards. The first wagon in 72 had a nice front bumper and large bumper guards. 73 was the same with smaller guards, and in 74 big ugly NASCAR like push bumpers. I prefer the 73 style. I was going to convert my 74 to 73 style, but when I got my 77, sold the 74 as is.

      The photo of my 74 under states the ugly bumper.

      3
  13. Karl

    You do have a point Miguel and they don’t fic carbon fiber it’s all new panels, I figure a chunched fender skin to be at least 5k to get replaced, that is an ouch no matter how you look at it!!

    2
  14. Hollywood Collier

    I had that cologne v6 motor in my Ranger with a 5 spd. It was fast for a small truck. Also I believe it had gear drive instead of a timing chain or belt. Mine ran for ever.….a guy offered me way too much $$ so I sold it.

    2
  15. Frank McLaughlin

    My 1974 Pinto Squire wagon got around 12 MPG and the tank held around 11 gal. of gas . 4 cylinder motor with an automatic trans. gas had gone up so I traded a beautiful 69 Dodge Coronet 500 wagon to get the Pinto .

  16. Maestro1

    I think they are great drivers and the wagons are multi use vehicles. I had a V-6 Automatic and I can’t remember what year.
    I do remember that it gave me no trouble. I sold it to a neighbor who gave it to his daughter for her college car, and then the car remained in his family until the car dropped a timing chain. At speed.

    2
  17. ginnyw

    I bought a ’71 coupe early on, to replace a VW bug that had given me much grief. It had the 1600, basically a Cortina (think Lotus) engine, to which I bolted Cortina parts. Drag raced it, autocrossed it, went through about seven clutch plates and bearings, and stopped driving it at 206,000 miles. It blew a head gasket just sitting, and I traded it for a fishing boat and motor. I also got rear-ended, stopped, in a friend’s Pinto hatchback – and it didn’t blow up. Good basic little cars!

    2
  18. Al

    Bought a brand new ‘72 wagon, BRG , dog dish caps with trim rings, 4 cyl, 4 sp. replaced vacuum advance dist. With mechanical and enjoyed for 2 years before being rear ended. Replaced with a new 74 wagon with auto this time. No where near as much fun but dependable and pretty comfortable as I recall. This green squire with the V6 is tempting but no room in the toy box. Maybe if I sold a couple of bikes?

    1
  19. W9BAG Member

    I bought my ’72 Squire in the Chicago area in 1981 for $100. 4 brand new tires, plus 2 new snows on rims. It came from the left coast, and only had 73K miles on it. The guy that had it before me got into an accident with a Nissan 280Z, hitting the Nissan in the front. Not a dent on the Pinto, but it bent the A-arm, and maybe the frame, and the passenger side door wouldn’t open all of the way. Just wrapped a HUGE chain around the A arm, and the other end around a 150 year old oak tree. Put the car in reverse, and gave ‘er 2 or 3 good yanks. The door functioned without complaint, and the car would go 1/4 mile down the road without having to touch the steering wheel. Rust free, nice interior, great heater, and, with snow tires, the only way you could get it stuck was if you high centered it, which I never did. Started just fine, even when the temp was -36f ! Replaced the timing belt, and no more than regular maintenance was required. Very dependable, and a pleasure to drive.

  20. Steinar Andersen

    Here is a beautiful orange 1980 Ford Pinto Wagon….. with a 2.3 4 cyl. & automatic. It came with leather looking brown vinyl bucket seats AND Air Conditioning. I also installed a “intermittent” switch on the windshield wipers. It also came with an AM/FM Stereo with decent sound. I got it in November, 1989 and ultimately traded it for a 1983 Subaru Wagon in June, 1991.

    It just was not comfortable to me (compared to the Subaru, which was luxurious in comparison), and the RWD in winter just sucked (the car slid all over the place – even with decent tires).

    1
    • W9BAG Member

      Yes, Ford was the 1st company to offer intermittent wipers. There’s a story about that. Try Wikipedia. The guy who invented it sold it to Ford, and Ford ripped him off.
      I always felt very confident that my Pinto wagons were very stable in deep snow, with new snow tires on the back. When I wanted to turn right, I would simply yo-yo the hand brake, and I would have a perfect right turn ! I bought my last Squire wagon for the superior winter driving characteristics. Best winter driving car(s) I’ve ever had. It’s all about the tires.

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