Chevrolet V8 Power? 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon

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To the likely chagrin of Ford fans everywhere, finding a ’32 Ford, or other Fords of that era, bowtie powered, is pretty commonplace. It’s somewhat of a head-scratcher as Ford has its own Windsor-based small-block V8 and it’s no slouch of an engine. Well, the beat goes on because today, thanks to Pat L., we have a ’74 Ford Pinto wagon just so powered – ouch! This interesting mashup is located in Stockton, California and is available, here on craigslist for $18,000, OBO.

Pinto power, an oxymoron at best, was limited in ’74 to an inline four-cylinder engine displacing either 2.0 or 2.3 liters and generating 80 or 82 net HP, respectively.  Pinto aficionados will recognize this example as wearing a ’78 vintage front end and adorned as a porthole-equipped “Cruising Wagon”, a package that was introduced in ’77. We’re a bit light on images but the overall presentation shows a pretty sound specimen. The driver’s side fender needs some help and strictly as a matter of preference, a hood scoop covering the through-the-hood- air cleaner could help with the optics. The functional side pipes and Cragar S/S wheels are a solid ’70s throw-back but then again, this is a Pinto, so why not, right?

OK gearheads, you’re gonna have to read the details in the listing to get the full flavor of what’s going on under the hood. But in a nutshell, the powerplant is a fuel-injected 383 CI stroker (bored and stroked Chevy 350) developing an estimated 500 HP. Power to the Ford 9″ 4.11 rear gears happens courtesy of a GM Muncie M20, four-speed manual transmission. The seller adds, “This car is so much fun to drive“. Yeah, I bet!

The interior shows really well as the seller mentions, “Interior is in great condition, new window gaskets and felt…“Aftermarket gauges have been installed and the black vinyl upholstery looks barely used. Nice to see is the fabrication work performed to accommodate the shifter. Frequently, these modified arrangements appear as if someone took a Sawzall to the floor, threw caution to the wind, and just hoped for the best – not the case here.

I had a stupid thought flow through my mind, it would have been hilarious to have substituted the original Ford Pinto engine for a Vega pea-thrasher and advertise this Cruising Wagon as being Chevrolet equipped. Doubtful that most would get or appreciate the sentiment (I said it was a stupid thought). Anyway, I get the swap – and I have to say, what can be seen looks well-executed. I suppose my only question is why not a Ford engine?

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  1. alphasudMember

    When I was in high school a neighbor on my street had a Pinto cruising wagon with a SBC sitting in his driveway. He had asked me to look at the car and from what I saw it was a hack job as well. I think they eventually had it towed somewhere. Like many the idea might have seen right but the execution was wrong. Why throw a HP number at this engine if you don’t have the Dyno sheet to back it up. To me that’s like shop vac HP. What do they call it? peak HP or effective HP? Seems like 5K would be a more realistic number.

    Like 4
  2. Rw

    Why not a Ford? They wanted it to perform.

    Like 6
    • qmmq

      Don’t normally respond, but just can’t help myself. “sbc”…and, yes I meant lower case are just that. Cheap, and an easy way out for performance and sound. But, I haven’t been beat by one yet, with my coyote.

      Like 10
    • Motorcityman

      Ford DOMINATED Racing in the late 60s early 70s bud.

      Like 7
      • bone

        I think Mopar had a bit of luck back then in Nascar and drag racing ……

        Like 5
      • MoparMike

        Mopar dominated in that era and were sometimes restricted or banned by various sanctioning bodies like nascar and NHRA. Some would race in IHRA and ADRA instead.

        Like 1
    • Melton Mooney

      For what it’s worth, and in reference to 60s-70s, there are no Fords on the Pure Stock Drags all time fastest cars list.

      Like 7
      • Motorcityman

        I meant track racing, not drags.

        Like 0
  3. mike

    Why screw up a Pinto wagon like this?? And why with a chevy mtr??

    Like 11
  4. Rw

    I knew that comment would chap some A.

    Like 3
    • Motorcityman

      😆 Naw, but facts r facts, I’m more a Pontiac and Dodge fan.

      Like 5
  5. Brad460Member

    Love the yellow and two tone green color combos, but for the love of Pete a sbc? I’ve never understood the fascination with the chevy small block. Yes they are simple and easy to work on but talk about bellybutton.

    Over the years I’ve heard soooooo many overstated sbc hp numbers I dont pay them any mind anymore. I’d be surprised if this engine makes 375 hp, much less 500. Just because it has a lumpy idle and raps loudly doesnt mean it makes a lot of power.

    Small block Chevys became so generic that I kid you not, our local true value store had a crate 350 for sale in the aisle. Ok, I need some nuts, bolts, 2 inch sink trap, and oh yeah another 350 just to keep on hand.

    I know this will make a lot of chevy fans mad but I call them as I see em. Currently own a 73 square body, 18 silverado, and a 2020 Silverado HD, an 84 corvette, and an 83 z28

    Like 7
    • Melton Mooney

      Early hot rods used chevys because the rear sump pan on the 265-283 would clear the drag link on the old fords, whereas the front sump ford 260-289 motors would not. Might be the case on the pinto as well.

      Like 13
  6. Big C

    Why a General Maintenance engine in a Ford? Because there are cheap and less intelligent people born everyday. Or, he just likes oil spots on his driveway.

    Like 6
  7. Tbone

    At first I was thinking that this car is very polarizing. On the one hand, there are people who hate it for the obvious- it’s a hideous hack job. Then there are those who hate the Chevy in a Ford. Some hate it for both reasons. Can we all just agree that we hate this pile and be united in our disgust?

    Like 4
  8. chrlsful

    shagin wagin is fine, better w/the great Lima’n weber progressive. I’d just put the Ranger head on it & B very happy. It’s an appliance, not a drag vehicle. In this livery certainly nota well handeling vehicle. Mix’n match tho is not about either~

    Like 1
  9. Mikey P

    $7500 tops!!

    Like 1
  10. Troy

    No thanks, I don’t need those kind of tickets and there isn’t a track near me to have fun so that leaves the highway.

    Like 2
  11. JustPassinThru

    The front fascia and the Cruisin’ Wagon style, both date the body as a 1977 or later.

    I suspect a title/VIN switch.

    Like 0
  12. Ralph4

    Much of the use of SBC in fords had a lot to do with rear sump pan being able to clear the front cross members and steering components

    Like 1
  13. Howie

    Yes a lot of work done, but the price is way too high.

    Like 0
  14. Sam Shive

    destroy with fire

    Like 0
  15. bruce baker

    The big reason why a Chevy engine, is they know what end of the engine to put the oil pump. Plus that Ford hex rod can twist, and break off if you get it near to 500 Hp.

    Like 0
  16. Karl

    What a complete waste of a decent sounding engine LONG LIVE THE SBC!!!

    Like 0

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