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Fortune Teller: 1978 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon


According to the seller of this 1978 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon here on eBay, there’s a treasure trove of parts included that will make the next owner a fortune should they decide to part it out. I don’t mean to come across as pompous, but I think he and I have differing definitions of “fortune.” Surely there are some hard to find parts on this Cruising Wagon, but are they really that valuable? Hopefully, our Pinto experts can weigh in.

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I happen to like the Cruising Wagon quite a bit and think it’d make for a fun project that also has some use as a hobby hauler. The interior is a bit rough on this example, with a cracked dash that looks past the point of salvage and a steering wheel that will need recovering. The seating surfaces are also damaged, and my perfect Pinto would have a manual transmission, not a fun-sapping automatic.

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The engine is said to run and the listing claims it has less than 40,000 original miles. Those were some hard miles if so, but given the wagon is sitting outside in the snow, it’s clearly not been showered with affection over the years. Since there’s no title, the seller is listing this wagon for parts only, but for states without title requirements, I see no reason why this Cruising Wagon couldn’t return to the roads.

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So, Pinto experts: sound off below! Are these Cruising Wagons so rare that there’s some potential upside to parking this car out even after you pay at least $400 (the starting bid)? The seller specifically mentions the glass (porthole window?) and badges (unique to the Cruising Wagon?) as some of the more desirable parts on this project, so perhaps there’s ravenous fan base for these oddballs that would love to get their hands on the various bits and pieces. What do you think?


  1. Avatar photo JW454

    We’ve seen quite a few of these lately. With the car’s propensity for rusting away it makes me think these were not all that rare. I think I like the open window wagon look a bit better than that of the panel truck. I’d still like to find a very good Pinto hatch or trunk back on the right coast. I’ll just keep one on my list.

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  2. Avatar photo JW

    The seller has a vivid imagination or he’s high or both !!!

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  3. Avatar photo mark

    Nothing like cruising around in an underpowered car with an automatic transmission…………….

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    • Avatar photo BillB

      It’s got the 2.8 Cologne V6 which only came with an automatic in the Pinto. There are a few low cost aftermarket mods that can bring up the horsepower to around 200 or so, plenty for a Pinto.

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  4. Avatar photo Woodie Man

    Fortune and Pinto are oxymoronic

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  5. Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

    I really have a Pinto ‘THING’ going on but I’d only start with a really solid project (or better).

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  6. Avatar photo Mike
    • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

      Nice find!

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  7. Avatar photo todd

    Is that an LCD clock in the dash, in 1978? It does have the optional gauges in the dash maybe this thing has some more secrets he’s not telling us about?

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    • Avatar photo JW454

      Todd, I’m pretty sure I put that same clock in my 1980 Cutlass. They were aftermarket but I have no idea where I got it.

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  8. Avatar photo Paul R.

    The little 2.8 was choked down from the factory with smog equipment. But with the available at the time hooker headers, offy 4 barrel intake, a 650 Holley carb and a Isky solid cam, the make crazy power and all the RPM’s you dared to turn them! The 4 banger 4 speed tranny bolted up to the V-6 engine also to make it more fun. Built a few of them and they were fast.

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  9. Avatar photo HeadMaster1

    A Holley 650 would kill one of these, its the Holley 390 double-pumper that goes on the Offy really nice. I have that except holley/offy/isky set up in my 76 Capri II……It’s VERY good for power and road racing against it period correct peers. If you want a rally fast pinto, you need the SVO 4-banger, or if you like the look of modern plastic engines, that have excellent power/economy/reliability, bolt in a brand new ford eco-boost 2.3……300hp, 30 mpg and never look back…just don’topen the hood as all that plastic looks like crap…..I’m not far from this and it looks like f you bolt on a couple of new doors the rest of the rust isn’t too bad

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  10. Avatar photo Tsquare

    I have this Identical cruising wagon I purchased in my final year of collage. I still have mine and would consider purchasing the vehicle for parts only.

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