Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Pinto With Plaid: 1978 Mercury Bobcat


Apart from some seriously questionable interior modifications that may be able to be reversed, this is a really pristine looking example of Mercury’s smallest cat, obviously based on the Ford Pinto. It’s located in Cincinnati, Ohio and is offered for sale here on eBay, where the opening bid is $5,500 without reserve.



It doesn’t say whether or not this is the original paint, but I believe it’s at least the original color. The seller has been showing the car locally and has even had it appear in a movie filmed last summer. Apart from painting the trim at the base of the windshield black (why?) it appears very stock in this view. I like the Ford/Mercury version of the “rallye” wheels as well.


You can see one of the modifications here; does anyone really need a huge speaker in the back of one of these? At least they didn’t cut a hole in the interior to put it in, although that may well be one in the right rear.


Just look at that plaid! Wow! Those of you that get past the fabric without your eyes burning out will notice the over-the-top added console. I’m guessing the owner is an audio-visual tech enthusiast, because the work is certainly done to a high standard, but I’m afraid it’s the first thing I’d remove from the car. Maybe they’d give you a discount if you let them keep all the stereo stuff?


The engine has received a lot of tune-up work recently as well, and is said to run nicely. Of course, with 56,070 miles, it should! I wish they had left the modern noise reduction material off the hood and not painted the inner fenders black. They’ve included a lot of photos here if you want to look further. I think I’d contact the seller and see if they were willing to reduce the price if they got to keep the sound additions if I were interested, but I really think this would be cool to pair with the Mercury pickup we featured recently to take to a International Mercury Owners Association meet just to be different from everyone else!


  1. Avatar photo Mitch

    If a good sound system is put into a classic car & done right & professionally, it makes it that more desirable to me. I myself like period tunes-if I ever in my lifetime get my ’63 Plymouth wagon, that’s what I’m going to have done.

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo sparkster

    It would be a great sleeper with Ford Eco Boost turbo 4 in front of a manual trans. Possibly out of a new Mustang , Focus RS. My 71′ Pinto was fun but not fast.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Jim

    Cute little car, it will be interesting to see if it’s $5500 cute!

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Jim

    The plaid is the factory interior pattern.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

      And cool as heck! I think the editorial on this one is WAY off. If it was a Porsche or old VW the plaid would add huge value!

      I think the bass speaker in the back is also moderate and tasteful.

      If this was local it would be mine.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Jamie Staff

        Guys, I LIKE the plaid! It’s just bright :-)

        Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Jim

    See attached picture

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo mark

    Nice looking car but I don’t think 5500 dollar nice. 3000 at the very top end in my opinion. However cars are really worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo piper62j

    Yepper!!! 3k at the most.. Fords upgrade to the Pinto… Very nice and the interior is typical for the year..

    I like it..

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

    At 3 I would have bid on it. I would tap out at 4 with the automatic.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Karl

    The black square in the right quarterpanel trim is the access plate to change the side marker light bulb. Normally it’s the same color as the interior, but either the owner replaced the original with a black replacement, or he has a small speaker installed in the original hole. Either way, it’s not a hack job.
    The sound system installation is pretty nicely done–I like how he color keyed his mods to match the interior–but looking at that console, I’m wondering, where is the emergency brake lever? It’s normally dead center on the transmission hump between the two seats (you can see it in Jim’s photo, under the hat). Now THAT seems like a bad idea.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Aussie Imperial

    Didn’t James Bond back one of these up to a set of wings and engine and fly off somewhere in one of his movies filmed in the US ?
    Could be mistaken, may be something similar.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Sean

      It was a ’76 AMC Matador in “The Man With the Golden Gun”. But it wasn’t Bond that flew it, the villain played by Christopher Lee did.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Randy

      @Aussie Imperial: I think that was an AMC Hornet used in The Man With the Golden Gun.

      Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Tom

    I had a pinto years ago. It was a good little car fun to drive.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.