Green Plaid This Time: 1976 Ford Pinto

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Pintos and Bobcats never fail to bring out comments from Barn Finds readers. Our last featured 1978 Bobcat with a bright orange plaid interior had both lovers and haters. This 1976 pale green car has a lime green version and has been off the road in storage since 1986. It’s located in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada and is listed here on eBay with what I think is a really reasonable buy-it-now and bids quickly approaching that price.

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Unfortunately the passenger side window has been broken, although a replacement window is included in the auction. There’s also a piece of green vinyl trim missing from the side molding on the rear fender. Overall, though, the car looks to be in pretty good cosmetic shape.

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The carpet has faded somewhat, but if it’s in good enough shape it can be re-dyed. The large hatchback opening and fold down rear seat made these runabouts useful at the time, and they are still practical today. The seller tells us that the car will need exhaust and fuel system replacements to be roadworthy, although it runs, drives and shifts now.

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And here it is in all it’s lime green vinyl and plaid fabric glory! What a period interior! I love it! Imagine my surprise as well when I saw the third pedal and the manual transmission shifter. Hmmm, this could be fun to drive as well. I know that little 2300cc four-cylinder well, and they can be modified to produce a lot of horsepower!

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Wait a minute! There’s a V6 under here (painted what I think is Chevrolet orange, I might add). Apparently the original owner, a vehicle collector, wanted more speed and fitted a 2.8 V6. I’m a little suspect of this as these Pintos were available with the V6 from the factory; why not buy one in the first place (or maybe this one was there originally)? Regardless, it’s in there now, and I’m guessing it’s been taken out at least once considering it’s painted a non-stock color. The question is, would you leave it in there? I sure would, although I think I’d change the engine color. So do you like your plaid better in green?

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Comments

  1. Scotty G

    My dad had a couple of Pintos (gold and then dark green) in a row as company cars after having a succession of Chevy Impalas. that was quite a change. It was weird to see a “mobile phone” in a Pinto, and it was even weirder to call someone from a Pinto in the mid-70s; it was like being Elroy Jetson.. well, other than the Pinto part.

    • Gene

      Or just like being Sebrina from Charlie’s Angels if it had a woman driver, if u remember that 77′ had a mobile phone in it.

  2. piper62j

    Yep! Now yer tallkin. V6 and plaid interior.. Factory mags and good floor pans.. A mild cam and electronic ignition would put more muscle in this one..

    No gas tank shield modification which should be a priority once you own it..

    Other than that, this one would be a keeper..

    • jim s

      yes that would need to be done. safercar.gov show 6 or 7 recalls for 76 pintos.

  3. Glen

    We had two Pintos over the years. The first was chestnut brown with a 4 cyl., the second was blue with a 6 cyl. The 6 was a lot of fun ! My brother drove the first one off the road and buried it in snow, it eventually ended up in the scrap yard. Correct me if I’m wrong, I was under the impression that the 6 cyl. version wasn’t available in Canada. I think our car was originally an American car.

  4. Hector

    The 2.8L Cologne V6 was available from 1975 on in the Pinto.

    • karo

      But only with the automatic (from ’75-’79), so something is not stock here.

      • Mike H. Mike H.

        Per the seller’s ad:

        The original owner was an amazing individual with many vintage motorcycles, automobiles and aircraft in his history. To give the Pinto a little bit more spunk, he replaced the original 4 cylinder engine with the 2.8l V6 at some point early in its life. It is nicely mated to the 4 speed manual transmission.

        Why you’d want to escapes me. It didn’t really offer that much better power for the weight gain, and the Cologne V6 with its backward rotating camshaft (and gear-to-gear placement) wasn’t a terribly reliable engine as compared to the 2.3L he replaced.

  5. Mike H. Mike H.

    The seller has been listing this car for more than a few weeks and the question that comes to my mind each time I see this sale (and many others I see):

    Ahh, it has a broken window. You have a replacement part? It’s included in the sale? Why wouldn’t you just make with the repair? It isn’t a difficult or time consuming prospect, and you’d think it would be a better sale if it was taken care of prior to the listing.

  6. JoeT

    I seem to remember the shifter for the manual trans on these had a tendency to snap just above the trans housing. Not that difficult to repair but makes for an interesting drive when it happens far from home.

    • Mike H. Mike H.

      Joe, you’re correct! The shifter had a rotating boss which screwed into the top of the transmission and had ears which bent down to hold it in place. Early versions had steel threads which – over time – would tear the threads out of the transmission housing. Later versions changed the threads to plastic so that the threads would tear out of the shifter mount and not the transmission body.

      Not really the greatest design, but they lasted through all the generations of the Pinto, Mustang II, and the Fox body Mustangs with the 4-speed (until the T-5 was introduced in *I believe* 1983).

  7. jim s

    per winwiz.com the VIN is for a 4cyl. i too wonder why the window has not been installed. i would not want to ship or drive home with the window out. interesting find.

  8. jake

    Why, these cars were crap when new and only in a Bad Dream would they be a Collector Car!!!! Please wake me up form this bad dream!!!!!

  9. pintosopher

    Because the Cars were never sold in the U.S. with v6 and manual boxes, this is either a swapped in 70’s Capri v6/ Ranger v6 or they had a Burton Bell housing to connect the Stock hummer trans to the V6 like they do in the UK. This combo has great potential to make a Mini Mustang type vehicle. Only cars kept outside the US (Especially Californica) could be emissions approved with this swap. But if you’ve got the money for federal certification, all can be done.

    • PVDave

      It could have the Mustang II Bell housing with a Borg Warner 4 speed.

  10. Bobsmyuncle

    Oh wow…I might get sucked into this one.

  11. Fogline

    After totaling my ’73 Cutlass Supreme, I was relegated to driving one of these for the following summer. I actually thought with the 4 cylinder with a 4 speed it wasn’t bad, but really screamed for more power. The savings at the gas pump for a 19 year old wasn’t a bad thing either.

    I could see taking this and trying to soup it up somehow. Supercharged Pinto? Anyone? Anyone?

  12. Sukey

    It’s hard to be green and have 5 mph bumpers

  13. Bob

    There was a rouge used car dealer in Lincoln Ne in the mid 70s that was rebadging these as “Kabooms” and advertising them on local TV. He sold them like hotcakes until Ford reportedly forced him to stop. His low budget TV adds were hilarious, kind of reminiscent of the b -movie Used Cars.

    Like 1
  14. Bobsmyuncle

    That would be a great badge to find!

  15. David meichelbock77

    I had a 77 full glass back orange & place interior paid 400.00 for it out of a impound yard it ran likea champ who ever lost it did a great job on the motor I could get rubber in all 4 gears had the same mag wheels on it

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