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31k Mile Survivor: 1980 Ford Pinto

Sometimes old cars have very low mileage because the owner thought it had the potential to become a collectible classic. We have seen this with cars like the Buick Grand National or other limited edition vehicles. More often we see ordinary cars with low mileage simply because they were not used, that is the case with this 1980 Pinto. I doubt this car was put away with the intention of it being valuable one day, the current owner purchased it from the original owner’s estate 20 years ago. Check it out here on craigslist in Cromwell, CT for $5,000. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Dennis House for the tip!

This Pinto is in amazing condition. The original owner picked it up from the original owner’s estate in 2000 with 24,000 miles on the odometer. Since then it has only been driven in good weather for daily commuting and stored in a heated garage for the winter. The car is rust free and the paint is probably original, we can see the dealership decal from Williams Ford in West Hartford which is close to the car’s current location. 1980 was the final year for the Pinto, the taillights were updated for the 79 and 80 model years making it easy to distinguish a late model Pinto.

The red interior speaks for itself and looks great with the white exterior, it’s in great condition and helps to back up the low mileage claim. An AM/FM cassette player has been added but the original AM radio comes with the car. Some aftermarket gauges have been added which are probably a good thing considering the lack of factory instrumentation. An updated instrument cluster was used for ’79 – ’80 and only included a speedometer and fuel gauge with warning lights for everything else. The automatic transmission is a good option but I would prefer to see a manual.

The 2.3-liter four-cylinder was the only engine option for 1980, the V6 was not made available for the final model year. Power steering is present but air conditioning is not. The car runs well and has a new exhaust system but the catalytic converter and smog pump have been removed which may be a problem in some states with emissions testing. An aftermarket MSD ignition box and coil have been added and can only help make the 2.3 more reliable and smooth. There is no doubt this car is the real deal and for just $5,000 quite possibly the best 1980 Pinto in the world could be yours!


  1. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    As I often mention, good to see a basic economy car which has been loved for four decades. I’d also prefer a manual transmission, but one could have some fun with this for not much money. And you wouldn’t freak out if there were kids hanging around it at Cars & Coffee while you carried on the many conversations with the smiling folks who had one back in the day.

    Thank you Scott.

    Like 14
  2. Avatar photo Evan

    The shifter fascinates me. I think Ford used that same shifter for 20+ years, from early Mustangs all the way through Fairmonts, at least.

    Like 13
    • Avatar photo That AMC guy

      AMC also used the same shifter in the Eagle, possibly other models as well.

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Kris

        That shifter lives in the Bricklin SV1, tok.

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo 370zpp Member

    All it needs is a Camaro grille . .

    Like 7
  4. Avatar photo stevek

    Someone commented on the repeated shifter. I’m amazed as well that the interior didn’t get updated during the run. Dad had a 1973 Pinto that except for the color – is in many ways, identical to this. Same steering wheel, dash lay out (dial faces are a little different), other trim pieces too. Same for 7 model years years…

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo bone

      Lots of cars were like that , at least when the Pinto was out . The Maverick/Comet and Granada/Monarch didn’t change much throughout their run , 68-72 Novas , 70-72 and then 73-76 A body Mopars , The AMC Hornet ,Chevette and I’m sure others all stayed pretty much the same. Maybe it was just the economy cars ?

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo James Schwartz

        I know you’re correct about the Chevette bone.
        12 model years and the same dash layout & gauges for the entire run. Including climate controls and radio.

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Superdessucke

      Actually the dashboard was revised for 1979. The instrument cluster with square instead of round gauges. Same layout though, and I think everything else was the same.

      Like 4
  5. Avatar photo 1-MAC

    Don’t worry about the smog junk. Antique registrations are usually exempt. There is some reproduction smog pumps available, but they are dummies and have no insides to rob power.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Mike Hawke

      What power?

      Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Little_Cars

    This is my second favorite incarnation of the entire run of Pinto. The restyled final grille was loads better than the previous one. I built a Squire model of this molded in silver as a teenager and would love a loaded silver 1980 Pinto wagon today.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Guardstang

    Just needs the all glass rear hatch

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    The 4 cylinder turbo that was sold in the Mustang/Capri and Thunderbird/Cougar XR7 should fit and would make this Pinto the ultimate sleeper.

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Christopher Gentry

    A friend of mine in collage dropped a 302 in a final generation Pinto. About killed himself in it. Haha. That silver squire that Little cars mentions was /is a MPC kit. It’s sill available. I recently built it as the “Cruising Wagon ” version. Next best thing to being able to buy the real cars.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Little_Cars

      Yeah, I’ve seen them at model shows, reissued, for many years now. Mine was the “annual” issue from MPC and many iterations have appeared since. I’m not out of the model hobby entirely but haven’t glued one together or entered contests in many years. Still have a lot that grace my man cave! Didn’t MPC get swallowed up by some other plastics company from China?

      Like 0
  10. Avatar photo David R Member

    Great seeing ordinary, original cars in the condition this one’s in. Very appealing. Thanks BFs for letting me see so many here.

    Like 5
  11. Avatar photo Christopher Gentry

    MPC AMT and Polar Lights (Aurora) are all owned by Round 2 now. They also own Johnny Lighting and a couple other Diecast brands. All based in The U.S. I know they bought all those model kit companies MAYBE 10 years ago. Maybe not that long. I’ve never entered a show. My stuff is no where near that good. I attend one every year , but they would just step on my stuff. Haha.

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Oliver Mcpherson Member

    HELP! I am not so computer literate, need to get in touch with touch with the Pinto owner. system sfops me?
    Oliver at macky9999@gmail.com or ?
    any help would be appreciated

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Paul Bessey

    Did it ever sell?

    Like 0

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