READER AD: $750 1974 Ford Pinto Project

The Pinto may not have been pretty, but it did help Ford enter the then emerging econocar market. The Beetle had been around for a while and a flock of small affordable cars was headed to our shores. The Pinto had its fair share of problems, but with over 3 million produced, I wouldn’t call it a failure. This one needs some work, but the $750 asking price makes it tempting. Take a look at the humorous ad here on Roscoes’s etc.

In ’74, the Pinto received some huge bumpers, as did most cars. New 5mph rash standards forced many manufacturers to slap on rather ugly appendages like this. Usually, big bumpers are a bad thing, but considering the fuel tank fiasco the Pinto went through, you might be thankful for them in a rear end collision. Some Pintos caught on fire and a lawsuit/recall followed. I believe it was actually the largest recall in the automotive world up to that point.

So, these cars got a bad rap and since they were considered cheap transportation anyway, few were kept around. Ford may have produced a ton, but when was the last time you saw one driving around? This particular car may have survived, but its owner must not have had much love for it. The interior is trashed and there’s some rust in the rocker and door. The 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed transmission are still in place, but the seller doesn’t know their condition.

A clear title is included though so you could either use part it out and send the shell to the scraper. Or you could attempt a restoration… As much as we love original cars, I wouldn’t be sad if someone stuffed a 302 V8 under the hood of this little guy. I’ve read that the job is doable and this one is cheap and rough enough that you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting it up. Just make sure the underside is solid. Otherwise, you may have more to worry about that exploding gas tanks!

If you have a cheap project that you would like to sell, please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

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Comments

  1. LT1 Mike

    The USPS used the Ford Pinto for years, and from what I’ve read they were very reliable and economical. This would in fact be a cool candidate for a 302, and any other modifications one would want to throw on it for that blue light special price. I wish I could pay $750 to go back to the 70’s for a little while, they were some REALLY fun times and I for one will never forget them ! ✌

    Like 12
  2. Ian C

    Can’t go wrong for the price. Body seems relatively straight, and has a title. I would be interested if not for other things going on at the moment.

    Like 2
  3. carbuzzard Member

    Congratulations on a write-up that repeats the standard Pinto tropes. Exploding gas tanks? Sheesh.

    Like 1
  4. Rob

    I have been told a few times that a Ford plant in Ontario, I believe the St Thomas plant, made a limited run of Pinto’s with a V8. They were identified by a dual set of tail lights. I have seen Pinto’s in S Ontario with dual tail lights, more than once.
    Seems a bit hard to believe…

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Rob, the Mercury Bobcat had what looked like dual tail lights, but no Pinto ever had a V8 from the factory.

      Some cars has the 2.8 V6 however.

      Like 1
  5. Miguel

    If this car was a 1972 model it cold have been my car. I had the same color although I had the 1.6 OHV engine.

    As far as the bumpers, I wonder whatever happened to the 5 MPH regulation.

    The guys on TLF Car just bought a Tesla model 3 and one of them backed it into a wall at like 2 MPH.

    It did almost $7000 worth of damage.

    If it had had those big bumpers, it wouldn’t have cost anything, other than a new wall.

    Like 1
    • PatrickM

      Don’t you just love inflation!!

    • Bobinott

      @Miquel – sadly just another example of how modern cars are not suited to the real world: un-bump-able bumpers, and low profile tires/rims that cannot survive a pot-hole are common now.

  6. John Oliveri

    My sister in law had a 74 Vega, my cousin Marie had a yellow Pinto, 2 of Americas worst cars, rite in the middle of the Bicentennial celebration, we didn’t care, we were doing the Hustle

    Like 4
  7. Mike Fanton

    Is this pinto still available?

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