Live Auctions

Future Collectible? 1972 Ford Pinto Wagon

When Ford introduced the Pinto in the Fall of 1970, they called it “The Little Carefree Car.” Apparently, a lot of folks agreed as Ford went on to sell more than three million of them over a 10-year span. Yes, there were the safety issues that plagued the car over the 1970s, but the energy crisis of 1973 kept demand for cars like the Pinto high. This 1972 Pinto Deluxe wagon has under 52,000 miles on and has generally survived nicely. Being in San Jose, California doesn’t hurt, and it’s available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $5,121 with the reserve still waiting to be met.

The Pinto was Ford’s first foray into the growing subcompact car market and the smallest American-made Ford car since 1907. 1971 models were limited to two-door fastbacks, but a hatchback and station wagon got added for 1971. As typically happens between corporate siblings, Mercury got their version of the Pinto in 1975 and called it the Bobcat. The Pinto wagon was the first Ford station wagon since the 1965 Falcon and had more than 60 cubic feet of cargo space. The wagon came with flip-open rear quarter windows, front disc brakes and Ford’s 2.0-liter engine. Thanks to Wikipedia for filling in some of the gaps.

This 1972 Pinto wagon comes with an abbreviated story. It was built at Ford’s former plant in Milpitas, CA and sold in Redwood City. The original owner held onto it for several years and it then sat unused even longer until his family sold it. The car was re-painted in its original color about seven years ago and a set of Mustang 15-inch wheels were added. We’re told the body is solid with the usual dings that you would find over the years and the only remaining rust on the vehicle is a bit of surface stuff on the frame. There was some rust on the passenger door that the seller patched himself, so it’s not perfect.

Once inside the passenger compartment, you’ll find front seats that have been reupholstered and new carpeting. The rear seat and doors are good, but the headliner could use a little work. Both the dash and steering wheel are cracked. The seller says the car runs well, but it’s missing the timing belt cover so I would think that has to be an immediate fix. The valve cover was chromed with electronic ignition added. There is a small leak coming from the transmission casing ahead of the driveshaft. Otherwise, the seller says the car is ready to go.

NADA says a 1972 Pinto wagon could go for as much as $15,000, but that would have to be a near perfect example. Does this mean that enthusiasts are starting to see the Pinto as a car to collect? Maybe, maybe not. To help sweeten the pot, the seller is throwing in the car’s factory wheels with new tires, an extra passenger door, the original build sheet and other paperwork.


  1. Todd Zuercher

    The phone dial Mustang wheels are a nice touch!

    Like 10
    • Patrick Farmer

      Phone Dial wheels. I have never heard that. That’s Funny.

      Like 6
  2. sir_mike

    Very nice but a question…when did Ford Mustang’s have 15” 4 lug wheels??

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      Fox body Mustangs 79-93 used 4 lugs wheel, with the exception of 84-86 SVO’s and possibly the 93 Cobra. They even used 4 lug 16’s on the last few years of the GT’s and V8 powered LX’s.

      Steve R

      Like 8
      • sir_mike

        Thanks for the info..

        Like 2
      • Tony Tabacchi

        93 cobra except for the cobra R was still 4 lug.

        Like 1
    • Frank

      First generation 6 cylinder models.

      Like 1
  3. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Since it already has the Mustang 10-hole wheels, why not drop a 5.0 in as well?

    Like 9
    • Skorzeny

      That’s what I would do.

      Like 2
    • Patrick Farmer

      Won’t fit without surgery. That was displayed in a hard way by Bad Chad, in one of his custom car build videos.

      Like 2
      • Nick

        What are you calling surgery, nuts and bolts? It will drop right in, no cutting needed, likely the only welding needed for the engine mounts. There more than a few swap kits back in the day and I’m sure someone still sells one. The Mustang II was a glorified Pinto platform and it had a factory V8 available.

      • Nick

        Chad must have issues because it will drop right in there. Kits were sold to do just that back in the day, I’m sure somebody still sells one. The Mustang II was just a glorified Pinto chassis and the came with a V8.

        Like 1
  4. nlpnt

    You’re a bit off on the launch dates; the fastback coupe with trunk (always called a “sedan” by Ford and possibly the lowest car ever marketed as one) was the initial version with the Runabout (hatchback) added midyear ’71, early in the calendar year. The wagon didn’t join the lineup until early spring ’72, leading me to suspect that the fastbacks (trunk and hatch) were part of the original plan but this wagon was the result of a crash program for Ford, the Wagonmaster as they called themselves, to compete with the Chevy Vega Kammback.

    That makes small-bumper wagons like this one a short-lived model, only a year and a half. I’d keep the 4 cyl/manual but see if there’s a possibility to retrofit the Squire woodgrain trim.

    Like 5
    • Little_Cars

      Why would anyone want to ADD the contact paper, I mean Di-Nok faux wood sides to this clean machine? Retrofitting would be a fools bargain and decrease the integrity of the body to boot. In these years I think the trim around the panels was attached with holes every foot or so. Sacrilege! !

      Like 4
  5. Redragula

    “First Ford Station wagon since the 1965 Falcon” ??

    Like 9
    • Steve R

      First 2 door wagon since 1965. This probably did not include cars manufactured overseas.

      Steve R

      Like 4
      • Rick Rothermel

        This is a cool little wagon. I used to rent these from RENT-A-BUG in Anchorage when I worked on the pipeline. The wagons are close to 50/50 weight balance f/r, and I perfected my ‘reverse spin’ at 900 degrees on packed snow in a theater parking lot in a silver wagon. It was cold. I got bored.
        An Ecoboost crate motor would be fun in this but you’d have to change everything else too…

      • boxdin

        Or Galaxie wagons or torino wagons……

  6. alphasud Member

    Definitely prefer the pre 73 bumpers and the Mustang wheels. I would be more inclined to install the 2.3 Turbo from a Thunderbird or a SVO. Those have serious power potential.

    Like 12
  7. Patrick Farmer

    How about a turbo 4 cylinder from a new Mustang. They can be turned up to 500hp. That would grenade the rear end. It also might shatter a U-joint, so a driveshaft loop would be a an absolute mandatory requirement. We don’t want to flip the car. As a station wagon it would make an ideal strip car. Station wagons do so because of better weight transfer. A lot of work to get there. Man, would it be F-U-N!

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      Any weight distribution advantage is more than negated by the improved suspension of Fox body Mustangs and the variety and quantity of bolt on suspension pieces available. That is not an option with this car unless someone were to start with a clean sheet of paper rework. It’s cheaper and easier to start with something else.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  8. Patrick Farmer

    Ever see a Maverick station wagon? They were built in Brazil. Very cool. Especially the Shelby Maverick and believe it or not,the customizer trend of placing of 1971-73 Mustang tail lights as replacement tail lights. The Shelby Maverick is A Mexico only. It has a Comet GT front end a duck tail rear spoiler ala 70 Camaro.

    Like 4
  9. Steve Clinton

    When I got married in 1975, I sold my ’68 Corvette convertible and bought a ’72 Pinto wagon. (My wife was NOT pleased). What was I thinking? Be that as it may, it served it’s purpose until we bought a new 1976 Porsche 914.

    Like 1
  10. JC

    $5K and the reserve still not met? Seems like the owner thinks he has something greater than he does. Rust repairs, a dash and a steering wheel with covers over their damage, the wrong wheels…..this is a restorable car for which the owner is asking a restored car price.

    Like 3
  11. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    What makes or breaks it for me with this one is the three pedals and original condition (with the exception of the wheels). I don’t know if this motor is capable of being re-worked for more horsepower, but if it is, then I could see a bright future here.

    Like 1
    • JerryS

      That 2.0 accepts upgrades. I had an Offy dual port manifold, headers, rejetted carb, modified distributer. Offy had a 4bl dual port if you reworked the head.

      Like 1
  12. djkenny

    It has rust and in CA? Something Fishy. Still has not met Reserve? Its over $5500?!?

  13. Jcs

    Good looking little car.

    Like 2
  14. Bunky

    I bought a ‘72 Pinto wagon in ‘74. Went from a ‘68 442 that got 12mpg on Premium to the Pinto that got mid 30s on whatever you gave it. The 442 was a hard act to follow, but besides the obvious benefit during a fuel shortage, it was a blast to drive! It handled exceptionally well, and the 2.0 ohc engine performed well. I added 195/70-13 tires on ET IV mags, a Panasonic Stereo and a tach. Also ducted the intake to air vents already present in the core support. The only problem/irritation I had with the car was that the timing would slowly retard, and I had to reset the timing and points at least monthly. That’s nicely dealt with by the addition of electronic ignition! I would love this car, but too rich for my blood.

    Like 2
  15. bone

    I used to race Mini Stocks; 99 % of the cars there were running Ford 2300s . We always ran them without the timing covers and never had an issue with it

    Like 1
  16. Stephen Coe

    Not a Pinto in the world with more than 900

    Like 1
  17. Miguel

    Why does every car have to be modified from stock?

    Just buy it and enjoy driving it for what it is, and not what you think it could be.

    Like 2
    • Patrick Farmer

      Miguel, This site is called A barn find is an old American tradition that is tied to something known as hot rodding. They go hand in hand. After World War II, returning GI’s and the kids that grew up during the war started buying up old Model T’s and Model A Fords for cheap transportation and to make faster for fun and the spirit of competition. Not all GI’s did this. But, the ones who did found old cars in barns.

      Barn Finds

      This became somewhat of the fish that got away story. A “You never know what some old grunt got in his barn” lesson to be learned. A bargain.

      What else that is going on here is called “Bench Racing” Where you sit on your duff, drink beer and talk about what engine combo would like in what car. Like figuring out a project to build in Home Depot or Lowes.

      With a strong history in the United States of racing anything that moved and ……well not to get long and drawn out, but Damn why not modify a car. What is wrong with dreaming. There is nothing wrong with a pleasurable brain building exercise.

      Cars like this Pinto have very little enjoyment in owning and driving them in their stock form.

      Sites like these have guys that know that if you buy this pig, the first thing you do is to MODIFY it.

      These little gems have a very nasty surprise if you are involved in a rear end collision. They tend to explode. Not so much the station wagon and more so much the coupe’s. Now what other site but a hot rodders site would tell you this.

  18. Paul S

    Nice car, but for that price, I would like the timing belt cover.

  19. Patrick Farmer

    Yes I know about the Mustang II being based on the Pinto. I am not a Pinto expert by any means. I remember that they were cheap, everywhere and not to slam into one on the road. I also remember my hero the cat in the hat, Jack Roush stuffing a BOSS 302, a 351C and a 460 into one. You just got to admire a guy like that. I assumed a Mustang II was different, as in wider because everyone went GAGA over it’s front suspension. It’s not a Pinto front end it’s a Mustang II.

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