$2,995 and 36,000 miles! 1980 Ford Pinto Wagon


If you’re an oddball like me, you like Pintos, especially Pinto wagons. This 1980 Ford Pinto Wagon is in Wilsey, Kansas, about 100 miles northeast of Wichita. It’s on Craigslist for $2,995. The seller says that they will “trade for a 1960’s or 70’s ford pickup of equal value or with extra cash..”


1980 was the last year for the Pinto, it had a good ten-year run (1971-1980) but the sales numbers were trending downward every year after 1974, and the lowest number of cars being sold was in 1980 with 185,054 leaving dealer’s showrooms. That doesn’t sound like a horrible number to me, but compared to the highest number of Pintos sold in 1974, with 544,209 in sales, the writing was on the wall.


The first two photos may have fooled you a bit, but unfortunately this car did have a run in with a garage door on the passenger side, unfortunately. Maybe a new fender is in order, or maybe that one can be massaged back into shape. The seller says that there is no rust on this car which is unbelievable after 36 years! This car only has 36,000 original miles on it


It sure looks solid, other than some fading and warping of plastic parts, etc. The seller says that they just “spent close to $700.00 to clean all gas lines and newer tank changed oil, carb work new battery and other things.” It runs and drives good but won’t idle, so there must be a mouse stuck in the fuel line somewhere.. or hopefully something easier than that to fix.


There are no engine photos, but all 1980 Pintos had the 2.3L inline-four with around 88 hp. This car is saddled with an automatic so it won’t be able to make use of those ponies as much as a manual transmission would, and it may not be as fun to drive if you define “fun to drive” as being able to shift for yourself. Lots of folks like automatics and that’s the way things are headed in new vehicles. The main interior photo must not have had a point for the camera to focus on, but it looks good even in a blurry photo. The rear seat looks great, albeit a bit tight for those of us who are over 5′-0″ tall. Do you think you could you fix this car, or is it even worth it? $2,995 seems like a decent price, what do you think?


  1. grant

    I won’t reiterate the story of dad’s Pinto since you have all heard it; (traded a 70 Torino and left my 5 year old self heartbroken and confused) but this is it! An exact twin aside from the automatic. 3k is a bit high in my opinion; it is a Pinto after all. But I feel a strange affection for this thing.

  2. DrinkinGasoline

    Yep, had one in Light Chamois with that ever so pleasing mustardish vinyl interior with a 4 speed. I ran the crap out of that poor little car for 5 years. Only problem I ever had was fuel line freeze-up and that was my fault. I owed it a formal burial. (Hears Taps playing softly in the background).

  3. Mr. TKD

    This reminds me of the Pinto wagon from “The Blues Brothers.”

    • RichS

      That wagon changes years several times during the movie. Sometimes it is a 77-78 and sometimes it is a 75-76.

      “Useless information for $500, Alex” as my better half likes to say.

      • rockribbedrushy

        That reminds me of National Lampoon’s idea, or at least I think it was, for a Mr Trivia contest modeled after Miss America.
        They even came up with a theme song:

        Mr Trivia, there he goes,
        Think of all the crap he knows.

  4. Rock On Member

    This wagon is crying out for a 5.0 litre swap.

    Like 1
    • racer99

      ….. or an SVO turbo upgrade out of a later Mustang. Hmmmm.

      Like 1
      • james

        i put a hellephant in it if i were you next i’d made the chassis stronger and put lighter panals on this thing

  5. roger

    Man,I love pinto wagons
    Cool car

  6. piper62j

    Plain Jane wagon, but worth getting into. It’s a small car and has plenty of cargo space in the back.. My guess is the mechanic left a vacuum hose off the carburetor or didn’t know how to adjust it properly.
    Great find.. Nice little wagon for the money..

  7. Joe T

    I’m with piper62j on the likelihood of a loose or misrouted vacuum hose. Worked on one may years ago and the carb nuts were 12 point because you could only get about 15 degrees of turn on one IIRC. Very little room to work around the carb base.

  8. Horse Radish

    The only telling photo if it’s really 36 k is blurry,
    so my guess is on 136k miles

  9. Skip

    Nice! My dad and stepmom had a late ’70s Pinto wagon that I really liked. They towed it behind their motorhome. Much to my surprise and dismay they traded it for a ’70s Subaru. Darnit!

  10. Junior Johnston

    My nephew is building the twin to this one, but he is putting the turbo V6/200-4r out of his totaled Grand National. Should be a fun lil ride when he’s done with it.

  11. todd

    need to junk the factory carb, and replace it with a standard Holley two barrel carb, the factory carb would lose the idle screw, from vibration, bet this is why it won’t idle. plus the engine responds well to the upgraded carb as well.

    Like 1
  12. DEC

    Sorry, I just don’t get it. It wasn’t a desirable car new and is no more desirable 36 years later.

    • Junkfixer

      And you know what? That’s OK. For me, one of the 1st hot rods I built was an older one of these, using Cobra II suspension, a well-built 289 HiPo V8 and C4 auto. The black and gray rattle-can primer paint job with splotches of the original orange showing thru completed the ensemble, and the little car embarrassed many a Corvette, Trans-Am and Z28 Camaro in the stop light wars and drag strip competitions of my youth. So, you can see my perspective is a little bit different – but I have no problem with yours. In fact, I depend on it. ☺

      Like 1
  13. DB7

    I had this exact year Pinto and never had a problem with it. Bought it from the now defunct Digital Equipment Company who used them to deliver interoffice mail to their various sites throughout Massachusetts (this was the the early 80’s and before email). Seems strange now that a computer company had to resort to that, but that is how it was. I worked there, so when the cars reached 60,000 miles they were immediately ‘decommissioned’ and offered for sale to employees. I paid only $1,800 for the car in 1983. It was painted orange; I don’t know if that was a stock color or a company requirement but I don’t ever recall seeing another one that color.

    Like 1
  14. Alstoys

    Had a ’72 and a ’74. As I recall I paid just about $3k brand new for each. Put a mechanical advance on the ’72 and it was fun to drive and road decently. Yeah, I know it’s a Pinto, but I’d do it again even though I’ve graduated to Hondas (Pilot & Odyssey) and a plastic pig and Mustang convertible.

    Like 1
  15. chad

    stock carb’s the best (holley)/Weber 32/36. Progressive so the 1v runs it but if U
    ‘get into it’ the 2nd opens up. Lima i4 one of the better motors ever made. I like the size of the wagon but a lill bigger would B a lill nicer…

    • geebee

      I had a ’74 hatchback, same engine. The float on that carburetor was some kind of hard foam, and I had to replace it a couple of times, because it seemed to, over time, soak up gasoline, and become too heavy to float properly.

    • geebee

      I had a ’74 hatchback, same engine. The float on that carburetor was some kind of hard foam, and I had to replace it a couple of times, because it seemed to, over time, soak up gasoline, and become to heavy to float properly.

  16. Alan Killian

    I loved the Pinto wagon it handles much better than sedan
    Heavier springs. But my father-in-law had a pinto wagon
    With the German made 2.8 L v6 and a fourspeed it also had the fake
    Woodside trim like a woodie. I had a Capri 1973 with the same motor but
    Mine I bought with 1500 miles on it and it had been worked over adding ac and sunroof . Something was done to the v6,the redline was 5600 but
    I had it to 7000rpm and once to9000rpm , the motor was great the transmission was no good at least for power shifts a 7000rpm, I replaced four or five. It was still starting every time I trued tilled the body rusted out and I had it towed away in 1986.a big mistake I really loved that car (motor) and wish I had kept it for later use like my MGB that would have been fun. Any sorry to carry own thanks

  17. James

    I am now the current owner of this car. It has all the paperwork for all the work ever done to it (and all the dealer paperwork, window sticker, etc). Anyways, some of the records have the odometer reading that was current at the time, and from that i can say its definitely rolled over 100,000 miles. I haven’t driven it a whole lot, the odometer is only showing about 40,000 now, but it had to have the cylinder head rebuilt. The car idled when I bought it, but it has never run right even after I replaced the original distributor cap/rotor/and plug wires. The plugs had been changed before but of course I replaced them again. The “new” carburetor that’s on this thing is junk, its getting a Motorcraft 2150 carb now. I found numerous vacuum leaks, including a leak between the head and intake due to some loose bolts. The power brake booster is bad also which was causing a big vacuum leak itself. Its been disconnected now, its not really needed on this car anyway. I enjoy the car, but it needed and still needs more TLC. It is mostly original, i understand it was an elderly womans car, garage kept, and only basically maintained and repaired mechanically. So it needed a bunch of little things done to it, and I’m not done with it yet.

    Like 1

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