34K Original Miles: 1974 Ford Pinto

Low miles, no rust, and manual transmission; are there any better words in the car world? I know that most of you could come up with better words but, for me, no matter what the car is, those three things are like winning the lottery when searching for an old vehicle. This 1974 Ford Pinto can be found here on Hemmings in the Mile High City: Denver, Colorado. We featured it a while back when it was listed on craigslist for $5,500, you can read that article here. The seller is asking $5,950 or best offer this time. There’s no reason as to why the asking has increased, but given what we’ve seen other Pintos go for over the last couple of years, this one might not be unrealistically priced. Thanks to Rocco B. for sending in this tip!

If it were a 1971-1973 Pinto with smaller bumpers I wonder if it would have a higher asking price? Probably. But, this has to be about as good as it gets, Pinto-wise, for those of you who have been looking for a relatively cheap and eye-catching car to drive to local shows. I always wondered what a next-generation Pinto would have looked like. How would Ford have redesigned or updated it? Would they have come out with a four-door version? A convertible? A V8? Who knows, all I know is that this yellow Pinto looks as nice as any that I have seen and it seems like a bargain at this price.

The seller mentions that this was originally a California car so that probably explains the incredible condition. I don’t see any glaring flaws or really any flaws, except for maybe what looks like could be a rub mark on the right-rear quarter molding over the wheel well.

The interior looks just as nice to me as the exterior does. Plaid seat inserts would have been great just for an added bit of zing, but this car looks like it has been taken care of very well over the last few decades. With only 34,500 miles on it, it should look nice.

This engine is Ford’s 2.0L inline-four which would have had 80 hp and 97 ft-lb of torque. The seller doesn’t say how it runs and they give this Pinto a “good” rating on the Hemmings page. Either they’re pretty lenient on such rating systems or I’m missing something as it looks like it’s in close to excellent condition to me. Any thoughts on this ’74 Pinto as far as its value given recent sales? How about its condition: good, excellent, or somewhere in-between?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Scotty. A very nice Pinto. For those who want to re-live the nostalgia of the era with a Pinto, I don’t think the price is out of line.

    Its location from the previous article is about 70 miles from the current location. Maybe a flipper hoping to make a few hundred bucks?

    Cue the inevitable comments….. the trite gas tank issue, warnings that “they were all junk” or “it’s a cheap economy car” so anyone wanting one must be crazy, et al……

    Like 12
    • That AMC Guy

      None of the 1970s domestic subcompacts were anything to write home about if truth be told. If I had the bucks and a place for it my own preference would be for a Gremlin (with V8, of course!), but there are plenty out there who would think owning one is nuts.

      Like 3
      • sir mike

        All Gremlin’s were good cars but the V8 was indeed a monster..Like the later body ones better.

        Like 3
      • bone

        None of the foreign subcompacts were any good either -sure the ran like a top (most of them) but they all had cheap plastic interiors and sheet metal that rusted away faster then a discarded beer can !

  2. Vegaman Dan

    The Pinto! By my user name, you can tell the Pinto was the enemy’s offering, competing with my beloved Vega. Yes, both cars were trash and throwaways, which makes a surviver from the 70’s so much more special. I can respect that.

    I may had 26 Vega’s in buy and sale deals in the 80’s, I did have a single 75 Pinto wagon long enough to clean, fix, and flip for a profit- so I could buy another Vega. Hah!

    A four Pinto would essentially be a Maverick.

    Like 3
  3. mark

    The “good old days” were not always good.

    Like 2
  4. nlpnt

    Second-gen Pinto would probably have been a first-gen Fiesta that Lee’s chrome-and-glitz team had freer reign with than with the Euro import we got in reality.

    Like 1
  5. aamodel

    If anybody wanted to get more info this is in my town. I always wanted a small bumper pinto with a V8 so maybe a bad idea to even look at it lol

    Like 6
  6. roblack

    Early Spring 1980,I was on my Honda Nighthawk coming down Rothsay Ave in Saint John New Brunswick,when one of THESE,yellow also,did a quick left turn in front of me. I hit the passenger side front fender and that bike sure stopped quick. I,however,continued down Rothsay avenue a ways,first Superman like,flying low,then rolling,tumbling,and finished with a long ungraceful slide. I had a big winter jacket on,which was shredded,leaving a trail of goose down insulation all the way past the post office. My Honda wasn’t looking to good either,the front wheel was now tight against the engine,her “trail” had been altered considerably. In fact,my almost new bike was totaled,but I soon got an insurance check and bought another ride. For a long time after,whenever I saw a yellow Pinto,it made me nervous,and there were a lot of them around then.

    Like 7
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    Considering the way drivers are distracted with cell phones these days, a Pinto would my last choice for a classic car.

    Like 1
  8. Will Owen Member

    Replace gas tank with fuel cell – not cheap, but cheaper than a burned-out car. And there was a lot to like about these. About ten years ago a woman we knew was friends with an Army Reserve guy who ran a Reserve-sponsored Late Model at the dirt track up in Victorville, and we’d go up there now and then for the Saturday night races. My big passion was actually for the Mini-Stocks, which got almost half of the events each week, and it was almost ALL Pintos. What quickly became obvious was that if you drove a Pinto you might not win, but if you didn’t you had NO chance of winning whatsoever. Datsun, Toyotas, the occasional Vega? Forget it! A good Pinto had the magical ability to get up onto any dirt surface and take the turns like a tether car, while the lesser ones filled in the gap between those and anything else. I’d been wondering what had happened to all the ones I used to see daily, and now I knew!

    Like 1
  9. Bob McK Member

    I am sorry, but these were a POS when new and has not improved with age. The gas tanks will blow up in a rear end collision because Ford saved $1.00 on each car by not manufacturing it the way it should have been. If it has AC, it shuts off if you accelerate. That was so annoying. I try to never bash someone others cars, but I just remember them when they were new. RUN! the other way.

  10. w9bag

    I’ve owned 2 Pinto’s, both wagons; a 72 Squire & a loaded ’79. Both proved to be very dependable and fun to drive. I was driving the ’79 to visit my parents (a 500+ mile round trip), and an Audi A8, full of beautiful young ladies , passed me like I was standing still. I was doing about 70. The driver hit the brakes, rolled down the right side windows, and they gave me a big thumbs up ! I love Pinto’s. This one looks very nice. They certainly create a lot of attention !

    Like 3
  11. Paul R.

    I had a ’73 Pinto, 4 speed manual shift and fun to drive.
    The engine was of German origin if I remember correctly.

  12. PatrickM

    I have a problem with yellow car… I just don’t like them for personal, privately owned cars. Yellow belongs on taxi’s, school buses, racing cars and boat…and that’s about it. Any car. But, the basic car here is just fine. I would really love to have this one and the black 4 door Chevelle. They are very practical and worth having in today’s weird world. I had a ’75 Pinto wagon, V6, automatic. Great car. would really like to have it back. But, that ain’t happenin’. Best of everything to both seller and new owner.

  13. James Schwartz

    It seems like almost every time we see a 70’s econo-car (such as a Pinto, Gremlin, Vega, Chevette, etc) it’s an automatic transmission. So it’s very nice to see a 4 speed on this one.
    Also, when we see the automatics, there are generally multiple comments along the lines of “If this were a manual, I’d be all over it”, or “if only it were a 4 speed”…… Well folks, here it is!!! To all those that have written those comments, Get your wallets out..

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