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An Elegant Pinto? 1976 Ford Pinto

Picture if you will, a world in which it is possible to have such a creation as an elegant Pinto.. No, you haven’t entered The Twilight Zone, you’re looking at an elegant 1976 Ford Pinto. This car will be auctioned on Saturday, June 2nd in North Manchester, Indiana by Metzger Property Services. Let’s put on our white shoes and white belt and check it out, shall we?

I’m not sure what kind of car that Rod Serling drove but I’m betting it wasn’t a Pinto. I know that it may seem like a stretch to call this Pinto or any Pinto elegant, but you could add white walls, white body side moldings, and a white vinyl top to a loveseat and it would be elegant. Maybe I’m just caught up in the mid-70s era more than most people are. This car would have made any self-respecting insurance salesperson proud in 1976.

It’s not too often that I’ve seen a Pinto in this color combination – dark body color and a white vinyl top. I’m normally more of an orange or lime green Pinto guy but I really like this look. In 1976, Ford offered eleven different models of the Pinto yet they only sold 266,511 of them that year as compared to selling 544,209 cars in 1974. Was it the bumpers? Could it have been the bad (bad = horrible) PR related to these cars? Were people starting to buy imports? Who knows, all I know is that this particular car looks like one of the nicest that I have seen.

The auction house isn’t giving too much detailed information about this car, here’s what they say: “1976 Ford Pinto 25, 4 cylinder, 4-speed manual. Vinyl top. Original interior, 109,000 miles, garage kept., clear title”. They had me at 4-speed manual, most of you probably expected to see an automatic transmission in there. The interior looks great other than some faded carpet that could be redyed or changed out, and the steering wheel could use some help.

The 2.3L inline-four looks super clean, that’s a good sign. I have a feeling that this car was well-loved and it was found in someone’s garage during an estate sale or some scenario like that but I don’t know for sure. I don’t see any rust and it sure looks nice, some would even say elegant, for a 1976 Pinto! “This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.” I mean, the elegant Pinto Zone..


  1. Ian McLennan

    Man, those bumpers are ugly. Completely out of scale with the rest of the car.

    Like 0
    • Beatnik Bedouin

      These were the days of the ‘5 mph bumpers’ and the Pinto was required to have ’em, too. The ’71-73 cars look a lot more in proportion, with their thin-strip bumpers.

      Interesting that this car is a sedan and not a hatchback…

      As an aside, I was dating a young lady when I was in college whose mother worked for the Ralph Nader organisation. She really loathed my taking her eldest daughter out in my ’60 VW – “a really dangerous car,” she said – and insisted that we use my girlfriend’s then-new ’71 Pinto to travel anywhere, instead. LOL!

      Like 14
    • Don Diego

      And so inadequate that 900 folks were either killed or injured by faulty design just forward of it.

      Like 2
      • dweezilaz

        200 people were killed getting bugs from air bags out.

        Like 1
    • Easton McNemeth

      The 5 MPH bumpers may have been ugly, but better that the total lack of any protection on cars these days. I minor 2 MPH “tap” when the Camry driver behind me nudged me in stop and go traffic resulted in $2,200 in damage to my VW Jetta.

      Like 1
  2. DJS

    Had a 73 with all but A/C one of the best little cars I owned in my mid 20s had to sell after school needed more room ,

    Like 5
  3. Miguel

    I have always liked the one-year-only styled grille.

    I don’t mind the bumpers at all as they save a lot on body repairs.

    I think to call it elegant, you would need an automatic at least.

    I wonder how much it will do.

    At least we will see a real world value for a car for a change.

    Like 6
  4. Dennis Gilmore

    Oh, how I miss BOTH my pintos , first new cars I bought. And the first one pulled a pop-up trailer clear across the country and back again.

    Like 4

    OINK-Lipstick… you fill in the rest.

    Like 1
  6. Anthony from RI

    It’s had body work done in front the letters F O R D are spread way too far apart on the hood That’s not the way it came from the factory

    Like 6
    • Jerry Cain

      Good catch. I wonder why they chose to do that?
      A quick google search confirms it. Can’t imagine that Ford would have two different spacings on this.

      Like 3
  7. Tom Member

    Well call me Clark Grizwald and slap my A_ _ !

    Not a fan but have to give props to whoever took care of this car especially with 109K on it and at least it is NOT GREEN !!!!

    Like 10
  8. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    You almost reeled me in with this one, then I came to my senses and realized we were talking about a Pinto.

    Sweet Mother of God, can we agree no more Pintos and no more Vegas?? Gremlins and Pacers, fine. But please no more Pintos and Vegas. Thank you.

    Like 2
  9. Hank from illinois

    Work on my old truck, but, some measurements, a good saws all blade…. And basic stick welder. Bumpers fixed. Still kinda ugly. But hey. So am I. I know 70’s was bad.. This was both ugly and Bad.

    Like 3
  10. Boatman Member

    California car. Got an air pump on it. Had a paint job too. I don’t mind the bumpers at all, but I’m old and used to them, I guess. Nice little car.

    Like 4
  11. Roarrr Member

    PINTOS ARE DECENT USERS, they offered a handling kit and most were used up as racers, They were durable and easy to work on- not so on modern cars like the Focus etc. The SCCA has racing classes for Ford powered cars from the Formula Junior up! These were the STARTER CAR for lots of us!

    Like 4
  12. Larry q

    Needs a 302….

    Like 3
  13. Derek

    I love everything about this car. In 2005 I had a Mercury Bobcat wagon and loved it. Fun to drive great on gas and ice cold ac. Love the big bumpers I’d like to cream a Toyota with one.

    Like 5
  14. Barry Traylor

    I bought a 1973 Pinto wagon new and a friend at work bought a Chevy Vega (brother did he ever have engine problems with that beast). The 73 was a good car that got excellent mpg (for the time) but the 1976 Pinto was awful as it did not warm up well at all and then after it was driven it did not like to shut off. I traded it for an Opel manta the next year. Now that was a great little car.

    Like 4
  15. Howard A Member

    Hey, all right, I think we’ve finally turned a corner. A Pinto post without the usual, you know, misgivings of the car. ( like a Corvair without the Ralph Nader baloney) This is a great find, priced right, and go ahead and laugh, but this going to be the next collectible. Just watch.

    Like 4
  16. Tom Justice

    The later year Pintos were pretty good cars. I did have a pal in college, for those of us old enough to remember, drove a “napalm” edition Pinto with Firestone 500 tires. He lived.

    Like 2
  17. Michael

    15 Minutes to go, bidding only $2100. Great looking little car. Rust-free! Very, very tempted. Alas, no A/C. [Vinyl top, deluxe exterior trim, side moulding, deluxe interior trim, am/fm/8-track, full wheel covers, but no A/C. Wow!]

    Like 2
    • Michael

      Just sold for $4250. Bidding was rapid. I was the high pre-bid with $2200. Not enough details form auction house to continue beyond.

      Like 3
  18. Mike jabczynski

    Last pinto I had, you had to bung the doors together to keep them closed.

    Like 0
  19. Victor Bailey

    I had a 1970 pinto with the 1600 cc engine in it.wish I still had it got better gas mileage then most of the new car

    Like 0

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