Last Of The Breed: 1980 Ford Pinto

1980 Ford Pinto

I know another Pinto, but this one is special, well at least for a Pinto. Besides being one of the last Pintos built, this car has survived the past 36 years with just 42,000 miles. All of those miles were put on the car in the first 6 years of its life by the original owner, who parked it in their barn in ’86. It looks almost like new inside and out! The seller changed the fluids, put some new gas in the tank and it started right up. It is now listed here on eBay in Henderson, Nevada with bidding to $1,500 and no reserve.

1980 Ford Pinto Engine

Every time we feature one of these, we get at least a few comments about how terrible they were, yet Ford built and sold 3 million of them in a 10 year run. They must have not been that bad to find that many buyers willing to hand over their hard earned money, even after the whole fuel tank debacle. Don’t get me wrong, they won’t wow you from a performance standpoint, but for a basic driver they aren’t bad. They actually handle fairly well and the 2.3l isn’t a bad little engine. Strap some Mustang II suspension bits to it and you’d have a really fun to drive classic that is cheap and easy to work on!

1980 Ford Pinto Interior

I can see why some people dislike these cars, compared to a Mustang or just about anything built prior to ’74, it would seem slow, ugly and low quality. However, you have to remember the time period and environment that these cars were built in. They weren’t built to win races, they were meant to be cheap and easy on fuel to compete with the masses of cars coming from Asia.

1980 Ford Pinto Survivor

I for one like the Pinto and I’m glad to see a few have survived the years! This one looks to be in fantastic shape, but would benefit from some detailing under the hood and inside. I’d do a little more cleaning and put it back on the road where it belongs. How about you?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. nessy

    This is the nicest looking Pinto I have seen, for a Pinto…. The 79/80 updated front end really improved the look of this car and the two tone paint really stands out. The interior looks more plush and upgraded over the early Pintos. No, I do not like Pintos but I like this one.

    • Rod Wilson

      this is my 1980 187.000 miles on it

  2. boxdin

    Pintos actually did win races! SCCA and other series had lots of Pintos esp w the Kent 1.6 motor. Contrary to nessy I prefer the small bumper 71 style more and I’m a wagon nut, Pinto wagons can be pretty cool and also cut up into pickups are cool too.

  3. Chris W.

    The only Ford I ever owned was in 1978. A 1975 Pinto Wagon converted into a Cruising Wagon…bought it with a V-8 327 Chevy conversion… Was BaddAss for its day!!!

  4. ccrvtt

    I remember a road trip from Georgia to New Mexico with 3 adults, 2 of whom were 6’3”, in one of these. We broke down in the middle of the great Western desert. I pulled the distributor cap and noticed that the breaker points weren’t opening. A strip of duct tape on the cam follower got them working again until we could limp to the next town. A super nice guy kept his shop open until he could fix it properly. These cars were actually quite roomy. And simple enough to fix with duct tape.

  5. Barry

    Henderson, Nevada and no air conditioning. Yes, I’d have parked her in the barn too!
    Still it would be as clean of a Pinto as you’d see now.
    Neat find!

  6. sparkster

    I bought a used 71 Pinto about 35 yrs ago for $280 and drove the hell out of it. Ran great, with oil in it or not. The oil dipstick “popped” out on a 6 hr drive and didn’t noticed until the next day heading to work. four quarts down on oil.

  7. JW454

    My brother’s girlfriend had a ’78 or ’79 back when it was only a couple of years old. It was a 4 cylinder with factory A/C. Even at highway speed, when you turned on the A/C it felt like you slammed on the brakes. I do like them though and wouldn’t mind having this one. Nice car.

    • mat

      Now that’s funny!

    • Roselandpete

      I knew somebody who had a similar problem in a Skyhawk with A/C. She kept complaining that the engine kept dying at stop signs when the AC was on.

  8. Skip

    I’ve always loved the Pintos…ever since they came out. My roommate in college (now deceased) bought a new 1973 Pinto and I loved driving that little car when he’d let me. He had been driving a late ’60s Cougar prior to buying the Pinto; so you can see the big difference there.

    The only downside I ever saw was that he always kept his foot in it and I thought he was driving that little car too hard. I tried my best to buy it from him, but he never wanted to part with it…at least not until he blew the motor from driving it so hard. It would seem that $1500 for this Pinto is almost a steal!

  9. Blueprint

    A survivor with a stick for once!

  10. Luki

    A Pinto? Really?
    I’m going to chalk this one up to a slow news day.

  11. brad

    I’ve had 2 Pinto’s, both wagons. A ’71 that I bought for $100, and a ’79. I owned the ’71 while living just north of Chicago, in 1981. It was one of the worst winters in Chicago history, with wind chill temperatures approaching -80. Over 30″ of snow. It was SO cold (how cold was it?) that there was ice inside the instrument cluster and on the rear view mirror. The car had the optional 2.2 liter 4 cylinder. After pumping the gas pedal 3 or 4 times, I hit the key, and the car started after about 3 revs. With snow tires, it would push snow with the front bumper. This was from a $100 car. VERY dependable !

  12. big rick

    that is a beautiful car….hard to believe a 1980 anything didn’t have A/C

  13. Prowler

    Nothing but crickets

    • Dub

      My 1980

  14. Joe Howell

    Had a 72 wagon and loved it. After 19 years an 163,000 miles the rust finally killed it. It was good in the snow and always reliable. Early bumpers would really dress this one up. If I didn’t already have 3 old cars to keep running I would be all over this.

  15. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    I think the owner may have upgraded the wheels somehow on this Pinto with 14″ from a Granada. Those are Granada wheelcovers. I don’t think owners are putting earlier chrome bumpers on these cars either–like many do retrofitting MGs with chrome on later rubber bumper cars.

  16. Mr. TKD

    I think it’d be a fun little blast from the past to just tool around in and a cheap way to get into the classic car game. I like it.

  17. zaphod

    Set fire to it. Horrible little excuse for a car.

    • Will

      The fact that you want to torch a survivor simply because it does not meet your standards then I guess we know all we need to know about you Mr. Beeblebrox. If that is what you want to do then all you have to do is start bidding. Just be sure and post the pics when you are done.

  18. Barry T

    Very attractive Pinto, love the color but are those bumpers ugly. I bought a Pinto wagon new in 1973 with 4/spd. I loved that little car and also loved the 27 mpg I got in it when the Arab oil embargo hit. Mine looked like this except it was dark green and I got it without the fake wood side.

  19. Barry T

    I am puzzled why they is so much hate for the Pinto. Does anyone remember the Chevy Vega? What a pile of crap that was. I almost bought one because I liked the looks but to happy I did not, a co-worker at the time did and within two years the front fenders began to rust through and the engine was nothing but trouble. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a6424/how-the-chevy-vega-almost-destroyed-gm/

  20. Terry

    Had several Pintos back in the day. The first one had been rear ended and didn’t explode so I figured it was ok. 1.6 ohc and 4 speed. Great car! Also had a wagon my uncle built by grafting the back half of one car to the front half of another. He sold it to me with the caveat that I could never sell it. He was furious when I did. He always thought the two halves would separate at some point in time. We did live in the rust belt…..

  21. George Morrison

    What that little guy needs stuffed between the shock towers is a GT-350 5.0and an aod tranny now don’t that just sound a bit better than that tired old 2.3l…..I feel better already

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