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Mini-Ponies! It’s A Ford Pinto Three-Fer!



In the town of Alton, Illinois, reside these three Ford Pintos, offered for sale for your consideration. The years 1971 and 1973 are represented, in a nice array of colors. Bright red, yellow, and butterscotch. Rust-wise, they aren’t as bad as so many we’ve seen from the Midwest, but is that enough to make them desirable? Has the Pinto finally come into it’s own enough to be considered as a collector car?


The seller says all of these have been sitting for 20 years, but were in running condition when parked. The asking price is $975 per copy. The possibility for a package deal-discount is not mentioned, but he didn’t say it was impossible either. That’s assuming just one of these is not enough for you.


I’ve had a few of these myself, years ago. My own two cents worth is that they were decent cars for what they were, and considerably better than the offerings from the competition, which was the Chevrolet Vega, and the American Motors Gremlin. The Pinto’s reputation for exploding gas tanks was completely over-blown. I’m sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. I couldn’t control myself. I said I was sorry. Anyway, ‘overblown’ meaning there were just a tiny handful of cars involved in these collision-induced explosions, (ie; less than 30 cars), out of more than three million produced! Tons more of interest to read on this subject here on Wikipedia, be sure and scroll down to the heading “Fuel system fires, recalls and litigation.”


But back to these three cars. Normally, this is the part where we’d be looking at interior and engine compartment shots, except yeah, there aren’t any. The seller tells us these would be great to use for dirt track racing, (they wouldn’t, nor would most of that crowd be willing to pay almost a grand each for cars to be used for that purpose), but hey, nobody’s perfect. If the possibility of purchasing one or more of these cars interests you, check out the seller’s craiglist ad. Meanwhile, let us know what you think: Collector car, or not? How about the pricing?


  1. Glen

    We had two Pintos in our family, a 76 in chestnut brown. Nice colour, but the 4cyl. wasn’t much fun. the second was light blue with the 6 cyl. Both were autos, but the 6 cyl. was a lot more fun. My brother wrote-off the brown one when he drove off the road into a snowbank. I don’t remember what became of the blue one, I always liked that one, probably drove it into the ground. Kinda hard on vehicles.

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  2. grant

    You’ve all heard my story about dad’s Pinto, but his was a wagon. A buddy in high school had a hatch like these, we set it up with a 460 and a C6. He made his own motor mounts out of plate steel and we had to cut the hood to allow the radiator to stick out the top. This is what happens when you give sophomores access to the auto shop. They wouldnt let him run it at the strip (no rollcage) but he terrorized the streets of Columbia County Oregon with it for a year or so. Rode in it once. Scary car.

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  3. piper62j

    Meh!! These are all plain janes and not worth much.. It’s possible to make one or two good ones out of the three, but there would still be not much value there..

    Good find.. Good cars.. If you’re into Pintos

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  4. Howard A Member

    The Pinto was a good car. I had a friend, whose mom traded in their ’69 Impala wagon on a new ’71 Pinto. We beat the crap out of that car. Remember, this was uncharted territory for US cars, and I too, think the Pinto was the best of them all. I agree, the whole gas tank thing was poppycock. All cars had gas tanks in the back. I think their biggest drawback, was American’s weren’t used to small 4 cylinders, and drove them hard. Oil changes were the key. I had a friend with a Vega, that changed the oil religiously, and was a good car too. Cars like this were around for years in Europe. We burned these cars out and no one ever thought of keeping one,( if there was anything left to keep) so to see 3, in one place, is pretty rare. As with most CL ads, it’s hard to tell the condition. Clean ones pop up from time to time, so to rebuild one of these, is a tough call. If for nothing else, historically, these cars started it all, ( small US cars) and that says something. Great find.

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  5. Roselandpete

    Maybe good for parts but not worth restoring

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  6. roger

    I would like to find a pinto to buy local.
    Passed my drivers test in 1973 pinto wagon I borrowed from my cousin.
    Cool cars

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  7. Blindmarc

    Making a hot rod in my mind, with Mississippi queen playing during the burn out……

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  8. Marvelous

    Nice. Back in the mid to late 70’s I owned a 71 and a 72. The 72 I got from my Dad…who actually survived a huge rear-ender. Correct, the gas tank did not explode…. I liked them, took care of them, got good gas mileage. I have often thought of getting back into a ’71…with lots of mods and HP.

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  9. Zchonas

    I was working in a body shop at the local Ford Dealer at the time when Pinto sales were at their peak. they came in almost daily wrecked. an easy fix most times. and when they totaled out. I would buy all that I could, and repair them and resell them. I bought and sold at least 15, and probably more. The Mustang II came out in 74, on the Pinto design, But it was much tougher than the Pinto.

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  10. todd

    had several pinto’s myself, loved them they were a lot of fun too!
    those pesky carbs though, I found that a standard holley 2 barrel would fit sideways and made that motor come alive!

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  11. Andrew

    It sounds like the world is still not ready for a restored Ford Pinto, lol.

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  12. Jubjub

    Bring some elbow grease. The red and maybe the yellow one seem to have potential. The butterscotch looks pretty ravaged by rust. Nice looking with the early fascia and bumpers. Picturing a set of Libre wheels. Probably still some go faster parts for the 2.0.

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  13. Charles

    Make one out three, sell the leftovers for parts. Think there maybe some folks out there who need parts!

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  14. junrai

    if they were closer I would grab all three as fast as I could get over there

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  15. Ron Engel

    Early Pinto motors were the bomb for sandrails! Had two of them, first one was built witha Holley carb with all the trick done to the carb to make it run up the dunes. Second was a mid-engine with 4 side draft Makuni carbs! That would scream! Also saw a couple installed in Model A’s. Got my attention when the outran my built 4 banger in my A bone! Still speed equipment around.

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  16. robert

    i to had a 73 and got rear ended in it and nope didnt expload im still here but never hopped it up a friend of mine had one we punched it out 60 over and put a mild came in it and a weber carb which works great on the 2.0lit he and i was very impressed on the difference in power it made this was in the mid to late 80’s we did this and on friday and saturdays local drags night well he smoked alot of mr2s that were turbo charged and alot of other cars in the day but was never able to beat my 510 with l20b block sss head and side draft carbs with a 410 gear and flywheel with a 5 spd i was out running vettes and camaros on the line but at the end of the quarter it was tough to win lol. as far as pinto goes id pass it up any day there not worth fixing . nope not for me.

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  17. nita

    looking for a pinto with a clean title

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