36k Documented Miles: 1978 Ford Pinto Squire Wagon

Ford produced 188,899 examples of the Pinto during 1978, and you will still occasionally see them battling gamely in the cut-and-thrust that is part of the modern motoring world. While some will present well, others survive thanks to equal parts string and crossed fingers. That is not the case with this 1978 Pinto Squire. It is a one-owner Californian survivor with a documented 36,000 miles on the clock. The seller admits it isn’t perfect, but it is one of the nicest you will see in the current classic market. It needs a new home, so you will find the Squire located in Riverside, California, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has raced to $7,100 in a No Reserve auction.

The Pinto is a stunning survivor that wears its original Code 34 Medium Blue paint. It shines richly, but it isn’t perfect. The seller admits that a close inspection will reveal small nicks and marks, but the overall condition appears above average for a vehicle of this type and age. The Squire option brought the usual addition of fiberglass and faux woodgrain to the exterior, and this appears to be in generally good condition. I’ve spotted a few minor imperfections, leaving the buyer with a difficult choice to make. Replacing a single section of the vinyl may cause issues because obtaining a perfect match after forty-four years may prove impossible. Kits exist to replace the lot, but they retail for about $600 plus installation. The existing damage isn’t bad, which would motivate me to leave it untouched to preserve the Pinto’s survivor credentials. The Wagon has spent its life in California, so its rust-free status is no surprise. The chrome and trim look flawless, as does the glass. This Pinto Squire may not have attracted much attention when it rolled off the showroom floor, but it is a safe bet that it would now.

The tidy presentation continues when we open the doors and survey the Squire’s interior. It features Blue vinyl upholstery that matches the paint, and it generally doesn’t look bad. There is some noticeable wear on the driver’s seat, and while it isn’t bad, it has the potential to deteriorate. Once again, the buyer needs to make a choice. Before spending anything, I would consult a professional because the damage may be repairable. If not, there are two potential paths worth considering. The buyer could purchase a set of high-quality slipcovers to protect the existing upholstery and the car’s survivor status. Alternatively, replacement seat covers in the correct color and material are available, but they will cost around $550. The rest of the interior looks excellent, with only some minor marks on the plastic in the cargo area that can be common on older station wagons. The dash and pad are immaculate, as is the carpet. It isn’t loaded with luxury appointments, with an AM radio seemingly representing the sole creature comfort.

The seller supplies no engine photos, but we know that the Squire features the optional 2.8-liter V6 engine producing 90hp. Ford offered the three-speed automatic as the sole transmission with this motor, allowing this classic to cover the ¼ mile in 19.2 seconds. It may not be a ball of fire, but the drivetrain combination would make it an effortless commuter. The seller states that the Pinto runs and drives well. It has 36,000 genuine miles on the clock, and the seller indicates that they hold comprehensive documentation that confirms the odometer reading as genuine.

The 1978 model year marked the first where Pinto sales dropped below 200,000 vehicles. Part of that may have been due to buyer recognition that the platform was aging. However, there’s no doubt that the introduction of the Ford Fiesta had some impact. The Pinto was no longer the smallest vehicle in the company’s North American range. The Fiesta offered a more modern package that provided significant space and fuel efficiency improvements. The Pinto struggled on into 1980 before being placed out to pasture. As with many models of this type from the 1970s, the long-term survival rate for the Pinto has not been great. You will see dog-eared examples occasionally, but genuinely spotless low-mileage survivors are the exception rather than the rule. That’s what makes this Squire a breath of fresh air. I’m not alone in my assessment because forty-three bids have already been submitted. A new home is days away for this little Ford, but are you tempted to make it yours?

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I was recently at an all-Ford car show, which of course was mostly Mustangs. In their midst was a clean, original condition 1973 Pinto. The owner had recently acquired it, and was doing this or that refurbishment and upgrades. I had a nice conversation with him, and he was all smiles talking about the car. It was the typical “had one back then, wanted another one now.” As I walked past the car numerous times, he was always visiting with someone and had that same smile on his face.

    We often talk about how certain cars will gather attention at a show, not because they are fast or flashy or valuable, but because many people can relate to them. My Pinto friend was perfect evidence.

    So here you go. A clean Pinto wagon, bring it to a show, have a good time visiting with people and making new friends.

    Like 34
    • James Quinn

      Bob,

      I had a 69 Vista Cruiser and a 67 big block 4spd Mustang Fastback. I entered them side by side at a car show once and I can tell you, the Mustang might as well have been invisible.

      I just did a car show with my 67 GT Cougar. I parked with the Mustangs and I think I pissed them off a bit. People seemed to flock to the Cougar because it was different. This one married couple came up to me and she told me, he bought brand new back i the day when they were dating. She used to ride on the console.

      Like 7
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Gone and as far as driving this for conversation spend some more money and find something exciting to drive. This is what a luxury Pinto, an economy car. I get it it’s a clean survivor but what’s going on here. This wasn’t parked in a barn even a carport.

    Like 1
    • JR

      “The heart wants what it wants, or else it does not care,”

      Like 6
  3. Mike

    I think it’s a little weird that there was a time where everything had to be one color inside and out. That’s an awful lot of blue.

    Like 8
    • bone

      You mean like all the silver cars today with the exciting shades of grey interiors ?
      Lots of cars back then didn’t have the same color interior as the exterior- There were a lot of choices back then

      Like 15
      • Steve Clinton

        Today you can order any color, as long as it’s silver, white, or black.

  4. Rw

    I had same blue no wood grain 4 cyl.,gave 500 hundred drove 70 miles a day to and from work, floor pans finally rotted,sold for 300, oh did those trips for 5 years.

    Like 3
  5. Will Fox

    Crazy as it sounds, Pintos like this get big high for some reason. $7100., and bidding isn’t over yet? This was a $3800. car new! This wagon is exceptionally clean, and with only 38K miles will make a great car for a college kid, or a third car to keep at your summer place maybe?

    Like 5
  6. Big C

    A rust free original, with low mileage. Not $15 grand. Exactly what I’m looking for.. 3000 miles away. Never fails.

    Like 8
    • Steve Clinton

      It would make for a nice cross-country trip.

      • Lee

        My future wife and I took a road trip from Ohio to Colorado and back in my ’72 wagon. Great little car! Wish the floorboards hadn’t rusted out.

  7. Lee

    ’72 Pinto Wagon was much better looking. It didn’t have those gigantic bumpers. Mine was black/tan and the badges were shaved off. Aluminum slotted wheels with 60 Series tires. Handled like it was on rails.

    Like 4
  8. Bob Bandfield

    Had 2 Pinto 71 and 74 drove over 250k total miles and only lost timing belt in one. Dad had 71 squire also. Great car. Would love to buy this for granddaughter first car.

    Like 2
  9. rh

    gorgeous interior and exterior. Even the gas cap is blue!

    • rh

      and look at the massive rear bumper, almost a tailgate!

  10. Joe

    Listing already pulled.

    Like 1
  11. duke

    this is about as clean as it gets without going back in time to the dealers showroom floor

  12. Greg B Greg B Member

    I ended up buying it before this was posted. I just got it today and it is in amazing original condition! I going to improve what I’ve noticed and enjoy the heck out of it taking it to shows and driving at here and there.

    Here is a YouTube video I uploaded today.

    https://youtu.be/wivjeW3P_do

    Greg

    Like 2
    • CVPanther Member

      Congratulations, Greg, that thing looks almost factory fresh.
      Nice buy, and nice video. I wish more BF buyers would post videos of their buys.

      Like 1
      • Greg B Greg B Member

        It is a time capsule. I’m doing a tune up on it soon.

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