43k Miles: 1974 Ford Pinto Squire Wagon

Beautiful Pinto: two words that more than a few people don’t think go together. They do in my world, especially when the 1974 Ford Pinto Squire Wagon is as nice as this example appears to be. This woody wagon can be found here on craigslist in Melbourne, Florida. The seller is asking $9,900 or offer for this little beauty. Thanks to Patrick S. for sending in this great tip!

What a car, good grief. I don’t know if I’ve seen a nicer Pinto wagon before. Is it perfect? It looks like it’s darn close to being perfect but in order for perfection for me, I would need it to be lime green or orange and have a manual transmission. But, if a brown Pinto woody wagon is your deal, I find it hard to believe that you could ever locate a nicer one than this car.

There has been a wagon load of work done in maintenance on this car to keep it looking and working as close to new as possible. It’s a rust-free car which is fantastic. One concession to perfection but a blow to originality is that it has had one paint job in its original color. It has also had the following maintenance work done recently: new brakes, new tires, a new exhaust system, new windshield, new shocks, and a complete service including all fluids. It even has factory AC!

The interior looks as good as the exterior does. The seats look great but there appears to be some wear on the driver’s door panel above the armrest. The rear cargo area also looks nice other than what appears to be some faded carpet. Like a small pickup, a small wagon would have more than enough hauling capacity for me but I know that some of you would need much more room than this. There are no engine photos, unfortunately, but I would guess that it had Ford’s 2.3L four, although a 2.0L four should have been available, too. In any case, it runs great and this whole car sure looks great, doesn’t it? What’s your best offer on this Pinto Squire wagon?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, IDK about perfect, that drivers seat belt is twisted ( I hate that) and that turn signal lever seems a bit low, I remember many of those breaking, but seriously, just amazes me what comes out of the woodwork. Pintos were good cars, not really beautiful, but someone loved their little Pinto wagon. These were thrown away at an alarming rate, as fast as they produced them. You bought one, used it until the cam belt broke, and threw it away and got another one. It was easier than fixing the cam belt, there were so many. I’m not even going to comment on the price ( although, I guess I just did), remembering the kind of cars they were, it’s no $10 grand worth of car, that’s for sure.

    Like 15
    • jcs

      Howard, your description of the life cycle of a Pinto is entirely correct…unless you get rear ended and it explodes.

      Like 6
      • don

        A 1974 has the larger reinforced bumpers , so this isn’t one that would explode . If any of the earlier Pintos had the recall work done they wouldn’t go up in flames either

        Like 5
      • Johnson

        The explosiveness was overhyped and exaggerated. The statistics used were very flawed and the cars were no more dangerous than many other compacts on the road at the time. Ford had deep pockets and was a tempting target for greedy trial lawyers. If you do some honest research using reliable verifiable scientific studies you will discover this on you own. I read a strong report on the flawed methdology used during the legal attracks and was surprised by the findings.

    • Mountainwoodie

      Used to use a ’73 Yellow Pinto Wagon to camp up and down the California Coast. What can I say, I was young!

      Like 1
    • Lemble

      Not even close Howard. This is not a Vega. We had 4 Pinto’s at our house that all exceeded 100,000 miles. Sure they were rusty but they ran good and you could beat the tar out of them and they came back for more. As far as the price of this car, yes it is too much.
      I loved my old Pinto wagon, we would throw all the sleds in back in the winter and go sledding and in the summer it was a keg or 2.

      Like 3
  2. Tom

    This guy does realize it’s a Pinto? They were bad cars in their day and not worth 19 grand today. Old doesn’t meeen valuable.

    Like 2
    • Ken

      Tom, the seller agrees about the value, he only wants $9,900.00, 10k less than you think. When the wood wallpaper looks that good still, somebody really took care to park it out of the sun.

      Like 13
      • Tom

        Sorry it was a typo. Even at 10 grand it’s about 7 grand too high. I don’t know many people who have fond meme pries of their Pinto.

      • Superdessucke

        Sorry Tom but if this was three grand I would be on my way over there myself to get it, and I don’t even really like these things.

        I don’t know if it’s worth quite 10k but he’s probably in the ballpark of a fair negotiable asking price, especially now when people are paying 10 grand for rusty 318 Mopar body shells.

        Like 3
    • Karl

      They weren’t bad cars in their day, they were just a low priced, disposable car . You didn’t buy them if you wanted a luxury ride or to go on family vacations with 6 kids. They were easy to work on , and the bodies held up fairly well here in New England. Now the Chevy Vega, that was a different story !

      Like 8
      • Miguel

        I remember the self service junk yards back then saying they will buy any car EXCEPT A VEGA.

        Like 3
  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Having just gotten back from Cape Coral Florida, I was amazed at the number of what my big brother calls condo cars. Big Lincs, Caddys and so on. He drove a courtesy car for a Cadillac dealer for awhile and bought a perfect old Park Ave from them for about nothing. Those old nice cars are out there. I wish I would have had more time down there, I might have been driving some condo car back instead of taking the silver bird home.

    Like 5
  4. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Quintessential Florida old person’s estate car. Really doesn’t need to be in the 5-figure range, should sell at or below the $9k. I traded a 1959 Ford Sunliner for my one and only Pinto experience. Extended the life cycle of my Pinto by replacing the cam belt with my parents money but in the end opted for another big Ford convertible (1971 Galaxie) in less than two years. Why does everyone still bring up the gas tanks (?) Like the Corvair a decade earlier, these cars have outlived their maligned reputation — by the shear fact that they are here for sale!.

    Like 4
  5. Peter Atherton

    Very nice “Country Squirt”! I think I’d try to find original wheels, though….

  6. Little_Cars Little Cars Member

    Those ARE factory Ford wheels, very commonly ordered especially on the “upscale” Pintos from the option list.

    Like 15
    • pvdave

      Yep-

      Very similar styling to the aftermarket Ansen Sprint, but the Ford alloys have a black painted stripe around the “Bean Holes,” along with a bolt-on center cap with a red center.

      Like 1
  7. ccrvtt

    If I recall those are stock rims for the Pinto. Also available with full wheel covers and poverty caps.

    Like 5
  8. Michael

    I used to car pool with a buddy who had one. It was a 4-speed. At stoplights, he would always keep the clutch in and take his hand off the shifter.
    I would sometimes divert his attention and bump it into neutral just to screw with him. He would shout expletives at me but was a pretty good sport about it.

    Like 4
    • Rock On

      Your not as annoying as my buddies Michael, they would always reach over and yank on the emergency brake when I was slowing down for a red light.

      Like 3
      • Michael

        How funny! Wish I had thought of that one!

        Like 1
  9. Bhowe Member

    I just cant understand why some people always have to run down some of the kistings and reinforce old stereotypes ie exploding etc. Funyy how the mustang II used a similar platform yet you dont hear of those exploding.

    My advice is support the hobby and try to find something nice to say. Each and every one of these old cars has their following and someone that will appreciate them.

    Like 22
    • Fred Alexander

      Ahhh finally somebody keyed in on the Mustangs.
      I used to fly to work on a 7 day turn around shift and got to know a stewardess that owned a 72 Mustang. She was coming back into town after fueling up about 5 miles out and had stopped coming off the freeway down an exit ramp and stopped at a traffic controlled intersection, A semi had stopped (almost) behind her and the driver hadn’t remembered she was in front of him and couldn’t see her vehicle and ended rear ending her car as the light was about – – – yup ABOUT to turn green (jumped the light).
      The impact was so hard it ruptured the fuel tank (which is actually part of the trunk floor) and she was covered with fuel and couldn’t open the doors to get out.
      Panic situation and luckily the fire dept is one block away and was on the scene immediately. All she could think of was what happens if fire starts – –
      Anyway net result was the vehicle was totaled and had just been repainted and was a rust free vehicle, (I did the appraisal on it a year previous).

      Like 2
  10. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I had a 73 Runabout, 1.6L 4-speed. It served me well during and after college. Rust (Ohio) was my biggest issue.

    As noted above, the Pinto did its job well, filling the role of cheap, disposable car. I liked Alexander’s comment, I believe the car has outlived its maligned reputation…. I find any comment about gas tanks to be trite.

    As for this car, it is very nice. Period correct brown/brown. I’m sure there are others out there who have a soft spot for Pintos. Of course very few in good condition exist, so if someone wants to pay the advertised price, more power to them.

    Like 9
  11. 71FXSuperGlide

    How badly would you tweak the frame stuffing a 5.0L into one of these? :-D

    • don

      Its been done , a guy in my class in High School (1978) put a 289 in his 72 Pinto – I never rode in it, but it was a rocket !

      Like 1
      • 71FXSuperGlide

        Boy, that must have been a pretty tight fit between the shock towers!

        Cool idea.

      • r s

        A V8 into a Pinto was actually a pretty common swap, and I’m sure there were kits sold to make it easier. I knew a guy – a real hands-on kid of about 20 – who converted his Pinto to a V8 and decided he didn’t like it that way for some reason, and converted it back to the 4 banger.

    • Dave

      Around 1977 or so there was a guy who had a 429 crammed into a Pinto. Don’t know if he ever got it sorted out but once it got past the bog off the line it was real fast!

    • Miguel

      I have a booklet I bought on EBay that describes the process and everything you need to fit a V8 in a Pinto.

      It would be very helpful if I ever do that.

      Like 1
  12. Tort Member

    Remember one just like it in my hometown. The only Pinto I ever liked. Never drove or rode in one so commenting just on the styling.

  13. sparkster

    Transplant an EcoBoost 4 cylinder engine, Three times the performance with better gas mileage.

    Like 5
  14. Jerry C

    My dad had a pinto wagon. It looked like they just took the whole car and dipped it in a vat of red. It had a manual transmission and it was so easy to speed shift. Only used the clutch to stop. It was actually fun to drive. The steering was surprisingly tight, and it responded well. And, of course, the mileage was great for the time.

    Like 2
  15. 82ndAbnVet

    First car I ever rolled going 80mph. It was 1989, the summer before my senior year of high school and my ’72 Lemans was in my dads machine shop having the motor rebuilt. So dad let me borrow the shop car (’72 pinto wagon) for a few weeks until the 400 for my Lemans was done. Late one nite a buddy and I were spot lighting houses in it and thought we saw a cop. I took off down the road as fast as I could and started down this hill. I turned the headlights off shifted the pinto into neutral in hopes to gain more speed because it topped out at 80. As I approached the bottom of the hill I shifted it back into drive and broke into a skid. Tried to correct it but over corrected, hit the enbankment and flipped it. It came to rest on its wheels and I asked my buddy if he was okay and he said “yes I think so”. As I tried to get out I remember feeling like we were still moving. So I hit the brakes and the car stopped, I then set the parking brake and proceeded to open the door and it wouldn’t open. I tried to climb out the DS door window and at the time didn’t know why I could barely fit through it. Once I got out and saw the Pinto I said in other words “Oh crap my dad is gonna kill me!” My friend and I were both very lucky as neither of us were wearing a seatbelt. All I suffered were cuts to my knuckles on both hands and cuts on my knees from the glass, my buddy had a few bruises and a headache. We were being stupid kids and we got very lucky. Dad ended up not killing me but I had to pay him $400 for the Pinto. Then he turned around and sold the motor and tranny for $400 and scrapped the rest of the car, so he doubled his money. Made a lot of good memories in that pinto station wagon for the 2 weeks I had it, especially the ones at the drive in with the girlfriend, who’s now my wife. The fold down rear seat and back hatch were perfect for the drive in.

    Like 1
    • r s

      I was surprised to read that the Pinto topped out at barely 80 mph… back in the day my brother had a Ford Econoline – the original one that looked like a big bean on wheels – and every day after we made his last business stop we drove it home on a brand new basically deserted stretch of Interstate, and we’d floor it to see how fast it would go. With a 6 banger (not sure if it was a 170 or a 200) and a 3 speed manual trans we could get it up to about 84mph, and it was not very aerodynamic.

      Like 1
  16. sluggo

    What a time machine~! I remember these well and dated a young lady who had a nearly identical one. Fun times in the back as teens. These were decent econoboxes for their time, but in early 1980s I worked for a while at a wrecking yard. (During the recession, cash under the table) And we had more pintos than any other car in the yard. We stopped paying for them and would take them for free, but we wouldnt pay for them. The 4 banger motors were popular for race cars in certain classes and there was a shop that was the guru for these motors. Arne Loyning. (Still around!) SCCA and Club racing. See:
    http://loynings.com/

    Like 2
  17. Miguel

    Beautiful Pinto but not for that price.

    These have a following because they were cheap cars and many people had them when they were young.

    We can’t see paying close to 5 digits for a car we have never paid more than $500.00 for before, but I wish him luck.

    • PatrickM

      I had a ’75 Pinto wagon, tan/tan, V6 ( 171c.i./ 2.8L) for about a year. Nice car. don’t know why I ever sold it. Everyone I worked with said it looked like a nice car. Sure wish I had kept it. But, this, as nice as it looks, is way over-priced, IMO.

      Like 1
      • Marcus Davis

        I had a Pinto wagon just like this one except mine was d a V6 2.8L I changed it out and put a 4.0L in it and if I had it back I wouldn’t take $10,000 for it.

        Like 1
  18. Joe Howell

    Nice Pinto. Not crazy about the color though and the slushbox really kills the get-up and go :( I had a hand me down 72 wagon in the early 80’s that I hauled all kinds of building supplies in when I built my house and didn’t want to take my gas guzzling truck. Given to me as a rusty but good running 89,000 mile 2.0 liter (standard in the wagon) 4 speed I ran it for another 10 years and 70,000 miles. Great little wagon but rust finally killed it after 20 couple years. Taken as just transportation this one has another 100,000 low tech simple to maintain miles left in it. That’s 9.9 cents a mile in vehicle depreciation. Buy it and drive it.

  19. Tom Henderson

    My folks had an automatic and a standard. They were underpowered, but dependable and got decent mileage. When Pintos started exploding around the country they traded them in on a Plymouth Valiant and a Dodge Dart. My folks both went mostly to GM products after the Dart was discontinued, but they never bought a Ford again.

  20. z28th1s

    Looks like someone put a set of GT badges off of a ’65-’66 Mustang at the bottom of the front fenders.

    Like 3
  21. Chebby Staff

    Tuck the bumpers in at least. Add a turbo for fun!

    Like 1
  22. Tom

    For 3 grand it’s a novelty to puts around. Do you guy remember how bad the quality of the 70’s cars were? In the lower priced cars it was even worse. It’s a neat car because of the condition. If the price is low enough throw a modern power plant on it and enjoy. But at 10 grand it’s not worth putting any money in upgrades in it unless it becomes another barn find 20 years from now. Somebody answered my post about a rusty dodge with a 318 asking 10 grand. I wouldn’t buy that either. If you have some nostalgia about a certain car I get it, but when I worked on cars during the 80’s and 90’s these were not special cars and in most cases only a step above a Vega in quality.

    Like 1
    • Tom Henderson

      I’d put the Vega above the Pinto, just sayin.

      Like 1
      • Don

        The Pinto was miles above the Vega ; the only thing the early Vegas had was better looks – The early aluminum engines were abysmal , while the 2.0 and 2.3 Fords were proven runners. The Vegas had horrible rust issues from the get go ,there wasn’t any part of a Vega that didn’t dissolve in water. That’s why you still see Pintos for sale ; rarely do Vegas come up for sale . Me, I would rather own and did own a Gremlin , sure the 258 didn’t get the mileage the other two got, but it was a tougher car !

        Like 4
      • r s

        The Vega was garbage in comparison. After a few years Chevy had no choice but to dump their wonder-motor aluminum 4 banger and install the old Pontiac 4 cylinder cast iron motor. Even so the Vega was a rust bucket. And I wish they hadn’t changed the front end styling – the original model, bad as it was, was nice looking. Changing the grille to those vent-slots made it ugly, and this came after Chevy’s pledge to not change the original style of the car for five years.

      • Scott Brown

        Where would you go to even find a Vega? There were three neighbors on our street that bought them new, every single one of them overheated and was dumped. They didn’t even last long enough to experience the rust issues that they were reported to have.
        We owned two pinto’s, a 73 squire wagon and a 77 run about with the glass hatch and a sunroof. Other than the 77 needing a new camshaft and lifters do to a stuffing issue with 2.3 cams, we had no problems with our photo’s. My parents loved the 2 liter engine and manual transmission in our 73 wagon. Dad was a fan of German cars, when he learned that the 2.0 “cologne” engine was developed to run on the autobahn, he discovered the aftermarket support for it and was able to improve the performance a bit with a Racer Walsh camshaft kit and a different intake and carburetor. The Pinto was underwater and maligned imho.

  23. sluggo

    MAYBE they were hoping some movie production company would want the car?? Its overpriced for what it is, Will never be an investment (You paid WHAT for a Pinto?) but for commercials, modeling and TV & Movies this has marketability. (I know a guy who rents out vehicles for production companies).
    Perhaps this could be featured in the next season of “Stranger things” as Joyce Byers rocked a Pinto Hatchback in the first 2 seasons. Many cool cars, the movie was set in 1983 and much of it triggers memories.
    See: https://jalopnik.com/the-cars-of-stranger-things-are-as-perfect-as-the-show-1784727336

    Like 1
  24. CanuckCarGuy

    Not sure why, but I’m really digging this Pinto wagon. I would seriously want this to be my regular driver if I was retired…and I can’t believe I’m saying that.

    Like 1
  25. Superdessucke

    I’d personally install the drivetrain out of a junked 1987-93 Mustang GT/LX 5.0, upgrade the suspension and brakes and go to town.

  26. Charlie H

    Got my driver’s license in a 70 Country Squire the same color scheme as this one. I like it especially with the wheels. Price is too high for me. $6K maybe….

    Like 1
    • Little_Cars Little Cars Member

      1971 was the first model year, Charlie. No Pinto’s registered as 1970, although you may have bought a 71 late in 1970. Don’t think the Pinto Squire was available immediately upon launch either.

  27. r s

    I doubt he’ll get the price but it’s one heck of a conversation piece, and with AC and factory stereo, very easy to live with as a driver.

  28. Mitch Ross Member

    You guys are comparing the price of what may be the best Pinto around to cars that are not nearly this nice, What is a flawless car worth compared to a decent one? $4000 more? I don’t know, but nice, less than perfect Pintos are trading at $4000 so this must be worth at least $7000

    Like 2
  29. scott

    I have collected, restored, and raced Pinto wagons my whole life. People really underestimate them. With a little work they can be made into very sporty cars that can embarrass many other cars.

  30. Fred Alexander

    Exactly – – -I really enjoyed driving mom’s around when visiting in Kelowna – -who ever got it when she parted with ir got a great car. It was in premium condition driven by a little older lady in good weather in summer- (Mom was -5 ft. tall).
    She really liked that car.

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