What Ever Happened to the Ford Pinto Of The 70'S? A Classic That's Been Forgotten...
Remembering My First Experience with a Ford Pinto
Anyone who drove, or whose parents drove, in the 1970's, will remember the Ford Pinto. They were introduced September 11, 1970 for the cost of $1850. This was about the time more people were wanting to drive smaller cars for the better gas mileage, making the Pinto a perfect choice for that reason alone.
As a teen in the '70's, I remember the Pinto well, but not always fondly. My parents had owned this really cool burgundy 1967 Fastback Mustang that they had bought new. I loved that car and was the envy of all of my friends when they saw my parents come pick me up at school in it. I had dreams of driving that car to school functions or cruising with friends on weekend nights. It had a 3 speed on the floor, and my dad was teaching me how to shift gears smoothly while creeping down our quiet little dead end street. I was getting pretty good at it, and couldn't wait to get my driver's permit, so I could drive it around town.
My Parent's Dream...My Nightmare
My Dreams are Shattered
Well, this was in 1975. And one day, just weeks before I was to get my permit, I come home from school to see that the beautiful Mustang was gone, and in its place sat a little white Pinto sedan. I was inconsolable at the time--what were my parents THINKING? All my dreams of cruising in the Mustang were shattered, and replaced with the horrifying thought that I now had to drive a PINTO. I never forgave my parents for that transgression... Sure it had a 4 speed on the floor, but it just didn't have the same thrill as shifting the gears in the Mustang gave me...
You Need Sunglasses to Look At This One!
My Own First Pinto
But I got over it...eventually, but I did buy my very own '66 Mustang with my graduation money in 1977--it was a rust bucket, but I had a boyfriend who was a car guy, so he fixed it all up for me. But I also went on in to own a few of my own Pintos.
The first one was, I believe, a 1974 or so yellow Pinto Station Wagon. Talk about ugly, but it was a reliable car, and I had just gotten married, and money was tight, so we decided to go with a more economical car than the old Nova we'd been driving. You could sure see us coming in this car...
Mine looked a lot like this one...
MY Squire Wagon Looked Just Like The One In This Ad
The Pinto Runabout
Ironically, the next one I bought was after I had sold my own '66 Mustang, because it had been causing me too many problems, and I couldn't afford the upkeep anymore, since I was getting divorced. I sold it for $450(this was in 1980), and I went out and bought a used Pinto Runabout--I can't remember what year it was, but probably a '73 or '74. It was a hatchback, so in my eyes, it was cooler than those plain sedans that a lot of other folks drove. I ran the wheels off of that car, and it never let me down.
Last, but Not Least...The Squire Wagon
The last Pinto was a light blue '79(?) Squire Wagon--remember those? They had the wood-look panels along the sides--supposedly to add some class, I guess, although I don't think that caught on too much. I drove that until the wheels pretty much fell off of it...and the transmission gave up the ghost.
The Question of the Day
But, my question is--what has happened to these cars? Where are all the Pintos? You see many classic cars from the 70's that are still on the road, but when was the last time you saw a Pinto? Were these cars not considered "cool" enough for restoration?
Who wouldn't want to own a fully restored Pinto? Well, to be honest, I've had my fill of them, and really have no desire to own another one, even for old time's sake, so I suppose I can understand why other people feel the same way. After all, most of the new cars these days resemble Pintos anyway(according to my husband), so why go to the trouble of restoring an old one, when you can buy a brand new car that looks so much like one... :)