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Rare Pinto: 1979 Ford Cruising Wagon

When it comes to one of the coolest wagons around, the Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon has got to be on the top of your list. I don’t care whether you’re a Mopar guy or hate domestics, the Cruising Wagon was just straight-up cool. This one is bit tired but really, it’s pretty good considering how many are missing the factory graphics kit by now. In fact, there may be even be Cruising Wagons running around with out those easily identifiable graphics down the side, but not to worry – you’ll always have the porthole. This one is even equipped with the desirable and optional V6. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace for $4,000 in Lyons, Oregon.

Ah, Oregon – the land that time forgot for old, classic cars that have been crushed or otherwise rusted away everywhere else. This one sports what looks like bullet holes in the side, but I don’t think they’re real. This is one of those new fads that needs to die quickly, that of sticking adhesive bullet “hole” onto your car. Regardless, the Cruising Wagon looks to be in decent shape overall with lots of original details preserved, including the hard-to-find rear window louvers, factory alloy wheels, and roof rack. It looks to have an aftermarket set of side pipes, but who knows if those are even functional. Even with the V6, they won’t help much, as the optional 2.8L was anything but powerful.

Image courtesy of Flickr user coconv

Still, if you have to have one, finding one with the six-cylinder is the way to go. Regardless of the appeal of a panel wagon that could haul while still looking pretty shag-tastic and being dirt-cheap to run, the Cruising Wagon never caught on. By my estimates, less than 20,000 were sold, making one a rare find today. The market for a Pinto of any variety is never going to be particularly hot, so you can likely pick up a Cruising Wagon in darn near mint condition for short money. But if you want one with a V6, your options may be far more limited. Would you restore this forgotten classic?


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks for the write-up Jeff. This just screams 1979, and given that context it is definitely cool. I distinctly remember the brochure with those young, good-looking beachgoers. Typical crappy Facebook Marketplace ad, few pictures and no information. But if it isn’t a basket case (and it doesn’t look like it) and it runs, for not much money you could do some work and have a fun conversation piece.

    Like 7
  2. Sam Shive

    $2000.00 Too Much.

    Like 3
  3. Sam Shive

    $2000.00 Too Much

    Like 1
  4. Skorzeny

    Those are NOT factory alloy wheels.

    Like 4
  5. Howard A Member

    I worked with a guy that had one. It was a pretty neat car, the only thing the back was good for was,,,um, well, it wasn’t for sitting and talking, let’s say that.

    Like 13
  6. Jason

    I could never understand what Ford was thinking when they redesigned the front of the car with that dowdy, conservatively styled grille and headlights. The rest of the car had a really stylish shape, for a hatchback and wagon!

    Like 2
    • DON

      Everyone was going to square headlights at the time , and even some cars at the end of their model run ended up getting a plainer front end -79 Nova , 80 Volare /Aspen as well as the Pinto. I’m guess they didn’t put too much thought into it as the cars were soon to be discontinued , and the new lights may have sparked a few more sales out of it.

      Like 0
  7. bobk

    perfect example of “rare does not equal valuable”. And I like Pintos.

    Like 4
  8. Vance

    Where there is a will there is a way Howard A , I owned a 1980 Pinto hatchback and I am 6′ 3″. The backseat folded down and I used it for …….rest. Dated the prettiest girl in my small midwest college, and had some of the best times of my life in that car. It’s true, youth is wasted on the young, but it was a hell of a good time.

    Like 8
  9. DarkWolf

    My friend had one with a 327 SB Chevy in it. I won it off him in a race and he bought it back 6 months later..
    I had a Chevelle SS BB…

    Like 1
  10. Steve Clinton

    Fake bullet holes? Where’s the fake baseball stuck on the broken window?

    Like 2
  11. Tull

    If that was closer to Michigan, I’d be all over it.

    Like 0
  12. PRA4SNW

    I used to love seeing the ads for these in the car magazines.
    When I got old enough to own a car, however, this was not my choice.

    Like 3
  13. PRA4SNW
  14. Bunky

    “optional and desirable V6”- optional: yes, desirable: no. To put as kindly as possible, the early Cologne V6s were not Ford’s best effort. I owned a ‘72 Pinto Wagon with 2000/4speed, and a ‘74 Wagon with 2300/4 speed. I really enjoyed them. I’d buy one now with a 4 cylinder stick- and bolt on the fiberglass panels if I could find some.
    Skorzeny- check out the period Ford adds featuring the wheels that you claim aren’t factory.

    Like 2
  15. steve

    I cannot imagine some 9-5 Joe walking into a dealership, seeing this car and thinking “I GOTTA have that!!”
    How many people with the money to buy this would have plunked that money down? Yes, we were in the middle of a van craze but this ain’t a van and for the same money could have has a 2 year old Econoline, two port holes and several yards of shag carpet…

    Like 1
  16. Synth

    Mad Max

    Like 0
  17. genemak1

    About as grotesque as a Pontiac Aztec. Too bad, the plain wagon was much better looking vehicle.

    Like 0
  18. Howie Mueler

    Only two poor photos?

    Like 0
  19. PatrickM

    Basically, I like Pinto’s. I had a ’75 wagon and have commented on it several time before. But, I never have liked these. Just don’t like the styling. Looks like a midget sedan delivery. And I always liked the fill sized sedan deliveries.

    Like 0
  20. Bruce G Hughes

    For a lot of us if we want a car to take to cars and coffee events an old Pinto of whatever flavor might be all we can afford. Wouldn’t be complete without the “This car explodes on impact” bumper sticker.

    Like 0
  21. Kevin

    😂🤣,I’m sorry, but this is one of the ugliest, bizarre looking turds I’ve ever seen on here,an escapee from Roswell for sure,it needs to be featured with the other aliens, and their flying saucers!

    Like 0
  22. Marky Jay

    I actually bought this car in oakton IL ,back in august 2022 for $1200,
    I’m super shocked to find this listing of it,

    I’m currently trying to get it reliably running . It was shocked when I purchased it however from what I could tell it had been sitting ,

    I had been trying to find a mechanic that still messes with Carburetor however here in chicago they’re a dime a dozen .

    I thought I found one however long story short he scammed me out of $1200 for some basic work,
    I just got it back the end of December,

    It needed upper & lower ball joints , Inner and Outter Tierods , front break pads and rotors ,

    Just realized the transmission might be slipping and was quoted $2100 ,

    Hopefully I can find an affordable mechanic that can really understand how this cars supposed to look , not one that doesn’t touch carburetor but wants to charge and arm and leg for everything else.

    Like 0

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