Live Auctions

Bargain Daily Driver? 1973 Ford Pinto Runabout

The Pinto was Ford’s answer to the success of the VW Beetle and other imports. It would become quite popular over 10 model years (1971-80) with more than three million copies built. This 1973 edition is the Runabout, which is another term for a 3-door hatchback. It currently serves as a daily driver and has had a ton of work done by its self-professed vintage car expert owner. From an airplane hangar in Portland, Oregon, this Ford is available here on eBay where limited bidding activity has only raised the ante to $3,800.

Like the Chevy Vega, its adversary, the Pinto would not escape controversy during its extended production run. The car caught the attention of safety experts who built a case about the location of the gas tank causing fires in rear-end collisions. But that didn’t slow down production much until the end of the 1970s and during that time a Mercury variant was also offered, the Bobcat (Ford loved those animal names!). Though sales had not yet peaked, the 1973 model year saw upwards of a half-million Pinto’s leave the assembly line, of which 150,000 were hatchbacks or Runabouts like the seller’s little car.

You could probably call this Pinto a survivor as its paint is original and its 2.0-liter inline-4 engine has not been rebuilt, although the odometer is showing a mileage of about 95,000. The car runs well thanks to the efforts and budget of the seller, who apparently is into old cars big time (we assume the other autos that pop up in his photos are his). We’re told there is no reason you couldn’t take this diminutive Ford with a 4-speed manual on an extended trip.

Rust is at a minimum and the car’s original green vinyl roof has been stripped away. One of the photos indicates that the sunroof was a project of sorts where it looks like the seller installed new seals. Of the mechanical nature, the extensive list of work performed includes, but is not limited to, a new carburetor, motor and transmission mounts, timing belt, water pump, hoses, valve adjustment, tune-up, new tires at all points, brakes, and the list goes on and on. The cost of the parts alone could easily exceed the current bid for the whole car.

The buyer won’t go home without extras of all sorts of things, including another whole engine. These cars were built to be cheap and economical, so the surviving population is not large after nearly 50 years (when was the last time you saw a Pinto on the road?). If you’re looking for a small car from yesteryear that probably won’t require any work done to it, this Ford might be the one.

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Russ. The seller has a long shopping list of repairs and maintenance, making it mechanically sound. So for someone who just wants a simple old car to have fun with, and not worry about the next ten things ready to go wrong, without expending much money, without worrying about the next rock chip, here you go. Or, like the seller, use it as a daily driver— spice up the mundane automotive landscape in your town.

    These were peppy and kind of fun to drive. The white/avocado is very 70’s, I wish it still had the avocado vinyl roof. The seller’s idea of installing a correct color wrap is an alternate solution.

    Like 16
    • 19sixty5 Member

      My former Army buddy and I built his little 2 liter 72 with an Offenhauser aluminum 4 barrel intake, Holley 390 carb, Racer Walsh cam with adjustable sprocket, headers and a Mallory Unilite ignition. Added Koni shocks and sway bars, it was a real hoot to drive. If the 4 speed was a closer ratio, it would have been quite the little pocket rocket, but the gearing was for economy. Fun car to drive, lots of good memories.

      Like 4
  2. alphasud Member

    I find myself strangely drawn to this little car. Look how simple things are under hood. Vastly different than the 77 Bobcat I’m currently working on. By 77 they were burdened with secondary air injection, catalyst, and lots of vacuum hoses for the evaporative emissions, egr, and other support items. Next add factory A/C and power steering and you got yourself a full house.
    I’m loving the green. Makes me want to go out and buy avocado appliances and install groovy shag carpet.

    Like 14
  3. Motorcityman Member

    I bet she sells for around $6,000 or so.
    Clean little runner and almost fun to drive with the manual.
    I’ve had a few Pintos over the decades, they all ran well.

    Like 9
  4. Big C

    Nice Pinto. Just what I’m looking for, and of course, thousands of miles away. ’73 was the last of the 2.0 liters. They weren’t too strangled by the EPA garbage, and ran really well. I had a ’73 wagon with over 160,000 miles on it, and besides a timing belt and plugs? Nary a problem.

    Like 9
  5. nlpnt

    I wouldn’t daily it – that would mean dealing with a carb when you need to be at work in 10 minutes, and in winter it would dissolve like everything did back in the day.

    But – the 2000 ohc engine , manual and sunroof means it has the requisites for a summer fun car.

    Like 5
  6. Rw

    Been driving carbureted vehicles for 42 years have never been late to work because of the carb.

    Like 23
  7. Dennis

    I owned a 71 Pinto back in 1980. It was a decent little car. Mine was dark green with a similar interior to the car here. I remember my father trying to burn off the dealer sticker on the back with a blowtorch. You’re not getting paid to advertise 😂

    Like 6
  8. Troy

    They are OK little cars for what they are but I used to buy them for $25- $50 bucks at abandoned car auctions fix them if I could or sell parts off in the little nickel paper, pre internet of course then I would scrap the rest so I just can’t bring myself to pay what the bid currently is, I hope the new owner enjoys it.

    Like 2
  9. steve

    …and then there’s the color of the interior………breathtaking…but not in a good way…..

    Like 2
  10. PairsNPaint

    If I could find a Pangra front clip, it’d be mine!
    https://www.hemmings.com/stories/article/pangra

    Like 3
    • Bob Bandfield

      My friend had a black 73 with that front end..had to pay alot to have it installed..I had 2 pintos put over 250k total Mike’s and had one timing belt break. If I had funds I’d buy this for my granddaughter 1st car..

      Like 3
  11. Karlos

    I’m confuzzed. One picture shows a sun roof but I don’t see it in others. Does this Pinto have a sun roof or not?

    • Duaney Member

      Karlos you can see the outline of the sunroof in the picture with the door wide open.

      Like 2
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $5,700.

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