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Life-size Poison Pinto: 1973 Pinto Wagon

It seems that Chevrolet Vegas always have more fun than Ford Pintos, but this 1973 Pinto wagon is likely a riot with its V8 heart and its simple, yet clean appearance. Ready to fake out your “local yocals”, or ready for a car show, this “sleeper” like Pinto is offered at a very reasonable $4,200. Find it here on craigslist out of Baltimore, Maryland. A big thanks to Pat L for the awesome submission!

Beneath the tiny hood lies a clean and tidy 289 cubic inch V8 with a C4 automatic transmission. The 289 V8 features 351 cylinder heads, Hooker headers, and a petronix ignition.  The engine bay overall is clean, with no missing paint, or surface rust. The engine is simple, yet clean, being a mix of “show and go” so to speak.

Often these small affordable American cars have sun bleached, stained, cobbled up interiors. Fortunately this Pinto has a very nice interior with only a few minor issues that are obvious to someone with a keen eye. Thankfully this ocean of blue is all the same hue, with the only issues to report are a few cracks in the steering wheel and a couple of cracks in the dash pad. Overall this interior is very nice and has aged very gracefully.

Clean and simple, the exterior has an alluring appeal for a Pinto wagon. All of the chrome is very nice, and the paint photographs well, but is described as a “20 footer”. The Keystone classic wheels set off this package in a proper period look. We find that this Pinto reminds us of a joyous toy that likely everyone grew up with. What might that toy be? Well, we think it is safe to say we all grew up with toy cars, and that a large amount of us had “Hot wheels” as well. The “Poison Pinto” is one that we always liked for some reason or another, and if we acquired this 1973 Pinto wagon we would at least have to get vanity plates that read Poison Pinto in some fashion. Would you bring home this life-size Poison Pinto?


  1. Adam T45 Staff

    This is another car that we never got down under, more’s the shame. We finished up with the Cortina instead. Ford Australia, in their infinite wisdom, shoe-horned two different inline sixes into the Cortina (200ci &250ci). With extra cylinders hanging forward of the front axle line, the Cortina brought under-steer to an art form. This Pinto with the 289 would’ve been a brilliant alternative.

    Like 0
    • Chris In Australia

      I assume the 289 would weigh more than the 200 and 250 boat anchors, even in non cross flow form. Granted the V8s weight is marginally further back, but neither are a recipe for good handling in either Pinto or Cortina. At least the Cortina offered a coil rear axle, rather than cart springs.

      Like 0
    • Howard A Member

      Hi Adam, to be clear, we never saw this at a dealer either. I think a V-6 was as big a motor the Pinto ( or Bobcat) got. I’d think this motor would tear itself out of this car.

      Like 0
    • Tirefriar

      Adam, wait a second… Are you saying you’d rather have a Pinto instead of a Cortina?!

      Like 1
      • Adam T45 Staff

        It would come down to a flip of the coin for me on that question. I read the post by racer99, and having driven a Mustang II I’m not so sure. I found the Mustang II to be an uninspiring and numb vehicle to drive. The problem with the Cortina was that you either bought it with the 2 litre Pinto motor, or the in-line six. The 2 litre was prone to wiping cam lobes off, requiring a new camshaft. The sixes went hard, but only in a straight line! The Cortina also suffered some major build quality issues, but that (unfortunately) was par for the course with Fords of this era. As a Ford man I found this really frustrating.

        Like 0
  2. Ck

    This is a Screamin Deal ,its pushin all my buttons,and I’m a Chevy guy,I love it.Worth $4200 all day long.

    Like 2
  3. Blindmarc

    It won’t last long. Hell of a deal to me.

    Like 1
  4. Coventrycat

    oh yes

    Like 1
  5. flmikey

    Love this car…I had been told the Pinto engine swap was much easier than the Vega swap…a stick would have made this one much more fun to drive…

    Like 2
  6. Fred W.

    It’s practical (haul whatever you want), and I’ll bet it could be reliable too. Should go fast (pun intended).

    Like 2
  7. M/K

    Didn’t a well known drag racing legend race a pinto in the 70’s? And he could walk on water too, oh who was that? LMAO

    Like 1
  8. David Montanbeau

    Pinto did great in Pro Stock.

    Like 2
    • Alan

      I know , but it still looks like a roller skate

      Like 1
    • Mike

      A friend put a stock 302 in a pinto in the late 70s. Broke several stock rear ends. No traction from standing start, but very fast from rolling start.

      Like 1
  9. David Montanbeau

    Another great car in Pro.

    Like 2
  10. David Montanbeau


    Like 1
  11. Bobsmyuncle

    Shows us what depth of knowledge you REALLY have.

    To see how much you truly DON’T know Google “Pinto racing”.

    A wealth of reading awaits you.

    Like 2
  12. Bobsmyuncle

    Don’t forget boys, that these went around corners too;


    Like 1
  13. Ck

    Hey Jake you must not be from around here.

    Like 0
  14. rustylink

    Amazing how small that 289 looks in that engine bay (with headers)!

    Like 1
  15. ROTAG999

    Blue Light Special of the day 4 Sure !

    Like 1
  16. Rustytech Rustytech Member

    At last! A Pinto I can get excited about!

    Like 1
  17. Smitty

    i was thinking these cars had “shock towers” ??

    Like 0
  18. Tirefriar

    I was admiring this build and a thought hit me: a while back BF had featured a Monzamino. I put together a list of much more interesting alternatives for the asking price of the Monzamino. Please add two of these Pintos to that list.

    Like 1
  19. racer99

    This seems really reasonable although manual steering and brakes and no heater or a/c would limit the usefulness. The Mustang IIs were basically Pinto chassis and they did come with a V-8 so it all should potentially work fine but would have to look at the suspension and brake components really hard before biting. With a few upgrades could be a really fun driver.

    Like 1
  20. patrick

    This is the perfect Poison Pinto! Just needs the rear side windows filled in, logos on the side, and a bright green paint job.

    Like 0
  21. Zaphod

    300/ 6 weighs 490 289/ 8 weighs 560
    Add 200 for accessories and manifolds.

    Like 0
  22. Jubjub

    Really decent looking. Noticed five lug wheels too. Bigger brakes and rear end already?

    Like 1
    • racer99

      I saw that as well — lots of conversion parts out there that fit both the Pintos and Mustang IIs. Front end is easy as the Mustang II front suspension is a popular hotrod upgrade so there are tons of different brake packages available (different brake diameters, bolt patterns, etc.). The rear is a little harder but still very doable. This is an interesting car that (in some places) looks like it’s been done very well but in other spots makes you wonder. The pricing is reasonable and if’s it is solid underneath probably a decent buy.

      Like 0
  23. Joe Howell

    I like it :)

    Like 1
  24. Melvin Burwell

    That looks like a Mercury Bobcat front end stuck on there. I had a 74 Pinto. Wonder if it was in a wreck.

    Like 0
    • Miguel

      That isn’t even close to a Bobcat front end.

      This is the 1973 small bumper Pinto front end all the way.

      Like 1
  25. Miguel

    Why are they calling this Poison Pinto?

    There is nothing Poison Pinto about this car.

    There are no filled in window, and no engine sticking out of the hood.

    I mean this isn’t even a Cruising wagon.

    Like 0
  26. james boyd

    Dyno Don also had a Maverick with a SOHC 427. FUN FUN FUN.

    Like 0

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