Lemons Contender: 1979 Pinto Cruising Wagon

1979 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon

Since we will be at the Concours d’Lemons on Saturday, we figured we should dig up a good car for the event. This 1979 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon is not perfect, but it would be a standout at this show. You can buy it now for $4k on eBay. Only problem is that it’s located in Fallbrook, California so you will need to pick it up tomorrow and drive it a little over seven hours to make it for the show. Luckily it does have air conditioning and XM radio…

1979 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon Side

We have seen plenty of Pintos, but cant say that we have ever seen a Cruising Wagon before. It is not the most attractive automobile, so maybe there is good reason there are not many around. It was meant to resemble a conversion van with its boxy rear end and round side windows.

1979 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon V6 Engine

There is a 2.8 liter V6 stuffed under the hood that the seller claims was recently rebuilt. The automatic  transmission was also rebuilt so this little van may actually be able to make the trip up to Monterey.

1979 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon Storage

One benifit of bringing this wagon to the events is that you will have plenty of room to haul all the automobilia items home which you will inevitably purchase.

1979 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon Seats

The plaid seat pattern and wild paint scheme is good for at least a few laughs. We hope someone picks this up and brings it out to the show. It would be a fun trip and you could always try to sell it in Monterey and fly back home. Let us know if anyone here ends up going for it.

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Comments

  1. Ray

    Never seizes to amaze how much Ford people talk, but 99.9% of those old classics have Chevy motors in them… just like this… Guess they know where the reliability really is after all…

    • Rick

      The comment I’m always told is that the “Chevy” engines are cheaper to install, using “crate” motors. You take the time to restore a car then go the cheap, easy,
      route for the motor?? Doesn’t make sense to me..

    • rob

      2.8L v6 is a ford cologne engine made in Germany….so why do you think it’s a chevy engine…..amazing how chevy people don’t know enignes

      Like 2
  2. steven laporte

    they were nice cars i use to have one

  3. E-Why

    Needs slot mags. $4K seems a bit steep on this one.

  4. Bryan

    This Pinto used the Cologne V-6, made by Ford. A friend had one of the first Pintos available in ’71. It was a fun car but very basic. A few glitches appeared soon after purchase but it was good transportation

  5. AM

    Chevy motor? huh? Ford’s 2.8L V6 is straight from Ford-Germany, dating back to the late 60’s. Used in Capri’s, Cortina’s, Mustangs and Rangers.It’s not the GM 60?? design motor from the mid-70’s.

  6. Karo

    The 2.8 used in the Mustang II, Pinto and Bobcat from ’74 to ’79 was the Cologne V-6, not the Chevy motor of the same displacement. It also showed up in the Ford Ranger and was later enlarged to 2.9 and 4.0 liters.

  7. Chad

    It also appeared in the 1984 Bronco II for that year only. Ya know, more than one car maker made a 2.8L V6. Not just GM.

  8. CadeO

    I have owned four , countem four pintos in my day, I would buy another off the lot today, they were comfortable, good on gas ( as long as you have a case of oil in the back) great smokers car , huge ash tray perfectly placed nxt to the steering wheel, Allways let me down but was a fun car to own,

  9. Rick

    I just saw a nice Pinto Squire Wagon (wood grain sides) in of all places downtown Newport, RI today. It sported RI plates KABOOM!

  10. Ray in PA

    I had two Pintos, a ’72 and a ’74 Squire-yes, with the fake lumber on the sides. I had to keep the crankcase of the ’72 full of STP, to keep the blue fog to a minimum. The ’74 wagon was odd, must have been a dealer demo, as it had every option on it. Good little car, had it a long time, and it took me everywhere. I miss the little beasts, but now I’m on to the finest old vehicles known to man…Jeep Cherokees!

  11. Bryan

    Economy cars like the Pinto, Vega, Omni, etc, are few & far between now days. Big, roomy cars are more popular and similarly priced on the used car market.

  12. Brad

    Cologne V-6 was also used in the Merkur (usa) / Ford (europe) Scorpio of the late 80’s. I had one…. loved that car, was stolen and never saw it again.

  13. tacsea72

    I used to laugh at these cars 30 years ago, but I wouldn’t mind having one now. It looks complete, except for the Ford slotted mags that it should have, but it should clean up just like new and would be a fun job doing a good detail. Readers are right, that is the Cologne V-6, had one in a ’74 Mustang II.

  14. Inline-6

    I agree with E-Why whole-heartedly on the slot mags, fo’ sho’. my aunt took me to disneyland in the late 70’s in an orange manual transmission pinto wagon with slots. no panel back with porthole window, though – it was just the regular windows. rad.

  15. Karo

    Chad:The 2.8 lasted until ’85 in the Ranger/Bronco II. In ’86 the 2.9 came in, with fuel injection, where the 2.8s were carbureted. Some prefer the 2.8 as they are easier to modify, while the fuel injection can be problematic if it needs repairs, which can get very expensive.

  16. His Royal Flatulence

    Looks like someone hit the buy-it-now yesterday afternoon. So maybe it’s en route to CdL right now. If so, it’ll be the hit of the show.

  17. Ray

    I stand corrected guys… sorry… BUT YET!! All those Mercs…. all the F100’s from the yesteryear… SO MANY GM motors put in them…. You NEVER hear of a GM man putting a Ford motor in their classic Chevy… Have a good one…

  18. TOM

    Yea Ford called their motorr 2800 back then

  19. Lou

    only because chevy motors are a dime a dozen and everybody and their brother makes parts for them

  20. Barn Finds

    This Pinto never made it out to the Concours d’Lemons and it is really too bad because it probably would have taken the Best Pinto award! It was a good time though and be sure to check out the coverage of the event which we just posted.

  21. Robert

    Why would anyone put in a GM in Ford Product and vice versa, When I see something different in Ford or Gm Engine bays besides factory equipment, I walk away. All my Fords always had Fords and My Gm had Gm Engine ( was an ok vehicle) Fords all the way, used to have Bright Orange 74 Pinto with Brown Vinyl Top, was a Great Car

  22. Joshua Calloway

    I remember those Pinto Cruiser wagons! I saw more silver ones around Michigan(where I grew up) than the white color sheme. They all rusted out there 25 years ago! It looks like a baby version of my 1978 Dodge Trans- Van(my daily driver LOL!) which is a restoration- in – progress. Its a mini-motorhome with the Dodge van cab and chassis, with the porthole windows in the back( like the Pinto wagon’s), along with blue stripes on the sides that angle upward toward the porthole!

  23. Randy

    I have had 2 Pintos. Bought both new, and put over 100K miles on both without a problem. Ray, there is a guy that lives in the next town over, has a ’53 ‘vette with a 302 Ford in it. Saw it with my own eyes. Since I am a Ford guy, I love this ‘vette.

  24. edwin pike

    back in the early 90s i had an 1980 pinto that was dark blue with starky and hutch white stripes chrome spokes white wall tires and powered by a stock 302 ford smallblock and c-4 auto i drove it from houston tx to eastern nc it was a blast to drive i sold it later on after rebuilding a 289 with mild cam headers alum intake 650 dual line holley 3.73 posi it got scary a time or to and i fiannly sold it then started round track racin pintos but thats another story

  25. Ken Jones

    I love this site!

  26. Bob Denton

    This little cruiser is actually kind of rare. It’s what as known as a ship-through package. The parts were put on it after it left the factory, before it went to the dealer. The company that did this was headed by Jim Wangers, of GTO fame, and was the first of many of this type. Jim also did the Mustang Cobra II, the Pontiac Can AM, The Little Red Truck, etc. I worked with him on these.

  27. Dave5275

    Does anybody know if production figures (like a Marti report) are available for Pintos?? One of the last cars my Dad bought for his collection is a ’79 Pinto Cruising Wagon (yeah, with the portholes in back & the blanked out windows). Only thing is that this one also has the Squire option, so the usual hockey stick tape stripes are deleted in favor on the woodgrain paneling. Bright red w/red plaid interior. Can’t have been too many built with both the Cruising Wagon & Squire option packages, I’d really like to know since I may keep the car. A nice original survivor, it would be a real attention getter at a cruise night. Just have to buy it from my folk’s Trust….

  28. chad

    the 2800?
    Turbo! turbo! turbo!
    rather have this than a corolla or some honda…

  29. Miguel

    I had this exact car, at least from the outside. Mine had the four cylinder in it. I only caught it on fire once.

  30. W9BAG

    One of my dream cars; really. The Crusin’ Wagon was really cool. They had a Rallye steering wheel, full instrumentation, including a tach, and interesting graphics. I’ve owned 2 wagons; a ’71 and a ’79. Both were comfortable, fun to drive, and very dependable. The ’71 did some groaning when I hit the starter, but it fired right up with a temperature of -38. Neither ever used or leaked any fluids, and they were great in deep snow, with snow tires. Love to have another.

  31. Dustin

    Never seen one of these but the paint scheme is totally out of the 70s.

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