40,000-MIle 1977 Ford Pinto Runabout Survivor

It’s the middle 1970s. You get your first teaching job. What do you want to meet you at the end of the workday? A brand-new car, of course, sitting outside your school like this car appears to be. What better than a Pinto with luxury touches like a two-tone roof (should that be half-vinyl, Pinto experts?), a sunroof, and plush-looking seats? That’s what someone got in this 1977 Ford Pinto Runabout hatchback, available here on eBay for a current bid just over two grand. The car is in Almond, New York. The seller is clear on this: that’s nowhere near New York City. Thanks to Larry D for this fine tip.

The Pinto ran from 1971 model year through 1980. The car appeared in various two-door forms as well as being configured as a three-door hatchback, like this one. Famous for a fuel tank design that allowed for explosions to happen in certain rear-end collisions, the car was, in fact, as safe or unsafe as any other small car of the era. Over three million examples rolled out of Ford factories during the “Me Decade.” The biggest year was 1974, when more than half a million Pintos found their way to market.

This particular model has a 4-cylinder power plant with just over 40,000 miles on it, one assumes the 2.3-liter model. That is backed up with an automatic transmission. Ensuring its serviceability if you actually want to use the car to tootle around in, the tires, brakes, exhaust system, and engine oil have been renewed. Looking at the photos underneath, the car is clean, with only surface rust to worry about. The engine bay is significantly more dirty and weathered, so that might give you an area to focus your collector love on.

What would you point to as your favorite features of this car, if it became your new classic? The rear window, to modern eyes, looks odd, but it is an optional all-glass rear hatch, apparently. What about those no-logo wheel covers? The completely non-aerodynamic headlight scoops? (Who cares when you’re under 90 horsepower?) The tachometer, kinda pointless with the underpowered, automatic-tranny-equipped powertrain? Do you care that a similar car was featured in the movie based on Stephen King’s novel Cujo, as the ad takes the time to point out? I’m not sure I would bother to figure out how, or watch the movie to see for myself, but it might be something to put on the poster you display with the car at cruise-ins.

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Please include a link to the original ad. I think this is the first Pinto I have seen with a tach. I certainly would want that regardless of the transmission. Looks like it has other gauges and hopefully has one for temp. The lesser gauge pack has no temp gauge which I find disconcerting on any car. I guess you will know when you see steam.

    Like 4
    • Joshua Mortensen Staff

      I’ve added the link! Sorry about that.

      Like 1
  2. alphasud Member

    Looking at the remaining pictures I’m going to go with 140K on the car. Door seals all torn up, paint worn off the top of the door and the seat wear. Either that or a number of hard miles in city use. I don’t remember seeing metallic paint on the top side and agree it was probably vinyl at one point. I don’t remember a sunroof option either. I bet this is a rare option.

    Like 6
    • Frank M

      I had a new 79 Pinto in Arizona and by 40,000 miles, my drivers door looked like that because of driving with my window down and arm on the door. Sweat and body oils just ate the paint down to the primer coat. But, I will agree, the rest of the car does look like the odometer has rolled over. Also, there is paint overspray on the chrome strip at the bottom of the door and at the top of the fenders under the hood as well as some other places.

  3. Rw

    First thing I noticed was Stallion steering wheel so, before everybody starts freaking out, remember back in the day at the salvage yard you would nab the good stuff.

    Like 5
  4. Chris

    I never knew Pintos were available with a tach or sunroof. Looks like it’s a crank unit and not a basic pop up style. Pretty cool feature for a Pinto.

    Like 3
    • Gary

      I had a used dark green ’72 with a crank sunroof. My first new car that I bought all on my own. Was a ’78 jade green Pinto. With a white Starsky and Hutch stripe. Alloy wheels and white lettered tires. Pop up sunroof on this one. Both cars were very reliable. I was just a kid with a heavy foot. I ran them hard, they never let me down.

  5. Troy

    I have to agree with alphasud that odometer has rolled over at least once

    Like 5
  6. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    After refreshing my memory by looking at Pinto sales brochures, the steering wheel and instrumentation cluster were part of the “Sports Rallye Package.” I found it noted in the 1978 brochure (but no reference in the 1977 brochure). A well-equipped Pinto for its day.

    Like 5
  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    It sure seems that Ford took inspiration for that rear hatch from the Volvo 1800ES sportwagon. Hell, maybe Ford even bought the glass from Volvo…the ES went out of production in 1973.

  8. John

    How about a carfax on this car. Mileage does not reflect condition as shown.

    Like 2
    • Joe

      To old for CarFax, they use a 17 digit vin number.

    • Miguel - Mexican Spec

      Who cares how many miles a 45 year old $2000 car has?

      Just look at the condition.

  9. Howie

    Pictures tell the story, yes they sure do!!

    Like 5
  10. bone

    I dont know about the rest of you , , but that Crayola “flesh” color paint and that orange/beige interior rank as the worst colors Ford ever had , and they used the colors on all of their vehicles withthe exception of their full size line- at least I’ve never seen one !

    Like 2
    • Miguel - Mexican Spec

      It still stands out in a parking lot today against the silver, black and white cars being sold today.

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