Junkyard Treasure: 1980 Ford Pinto Runabout



The Ford Pinto, butt of numerous exploding-car jokes from the day Mom Jones released “Pinto Madness,” was constructed from the 1971 with 1980 design years. I have actually recorded many discarded Pintos (as well as Mercury Bobcats) throughout the years, yet today’s Junkyard Treasure is the only final-year-of-production Pinto/Bobcat I have actually taken care of to discover in a cars and truck graveyard.

This vehicle is not simply an instance of the last design year for the Pinto– it is among the extremely last Pintos ever before constructed. Overall Pinto manufacturing for the 1980 design year pertained to 185,054 systems, as well as the last 6 figures of this vehicle’s recognition number are 184 xxx (I have actually obscured out the last 3 figures in the picture of the develop tag). This Pinto is just one of the last couple of hundred ever before constructed, coming off the now-defunct Edison Assembly line in New Jacket in April of1980 We can see that this vehicle was marketed by means of the Denver DSO; most likely, it invested its whole job in the area.

Oldsmobile commemorated the Final 500 of each of its last designs, yet Ford really did not trouble with any type of type of unique ceremony for the death of the Pinto. More than likely, that was because of a mix of the car’s notoriety as well as exhilaration over its upcoming substitute: the Escort.

The argument over the Pinto as well as its alleged safety problems is just somewhat much less warmed than the disagreements concerning the Chevrolet Corvair as well as its alleged safety problems The fast recap is that the gas storage tanks of Pintos (which lay in between the back bumper as well as the differential real estate on the back axle) tended to rupture during rear-end collisions, as well as an internal Ford memo showed up to recommend that enabling Pinto residents to melt was more affordable than repairing the trouble. In truth, almost all little autos of the period with likewise positioned gas storage tanks– that is, many American-made compacts as well as subcompacts– experienced the exact same susceptability, as well as the Pinto had not been truly a lot more harmful than its rivals. Regardless, Pinto sales were already declining when the Mom Jones post appeared in the loss of 1977, as well as Dearborn plainly required a contemporary substitute with the boosted indoor room as well as gas performance of a front-wheel-drive format anyhow (no, the tiny, European-built Fiesta really did not matter).

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As a matter of fact, the “park-to-reverse” malfunctions of 23- million automatic-transmission-equipped Ford cars constructed throughout the 1966-1980 period (in which the gearshift would slip from the P position to the R position with the engine running) might have wound up being a much more costly trouble for Ford than exploding Pintos ever before were. Beginning in late 1980– when this vehicle still had That New Pinto Scent– advising tags like the one in the picture over were sent to all proprietors of afflicted cars, as well as lawsuit claims caused by the park-to-reverse problem accumulated. I still find great deals of these stickers throughout my junkyard trips.

Ford called the hatchback version of the Pinto the “Runabout,” while the variation with a trunklid was marketedas a two-door sedan This has a fascinating baggage rack on the hatch that appears like an aftermarket device.

For the 1975 with 1979 design years, the Pinto can be acquired with an optional 2.8-liter Fragrance V6 engine, like the one inthe Capri For its last year, however, the Pinto went back to its four-banger-only origins with this 88- equine 2.3 as the only engine readily available. Manufacturing of the 2.3 proceeded for North American-market cars completely with 1997 (for the Ranger), as well as a brushed 2.5-liter variation powered Rangers completely with 2001.

I have actually never ever had a Pinto or Bobcat, yet– having come of driving age in the early 1980s, when Pintos were still almost everywhere– I have actually driven, ridden in, as well as dealt with a lot of them. They weren’t fantastic autos also by the lax requirements of the 1970 s, though they were better-built than the Chevy Vega as well as somewhat quicker than the Dodge Colt. Still, they did the job as well as millions depended on them for standard transport.

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The 1979-1980 Pintos obtained a modified nose with rectangle-shaped fronts lights as well as a Fairmont-ish grille.

I have actually been informed by my Pinto-expert pals that these late hubcaps are unbelievably uncommon.

The 1980 Pinto Runabout had an MSRP of $4,564(concerning $17,380 in 2022 bucks), while the stripped-down Pinto Pony two-door car price simply $4,056($15,445 currently). The transmission included 340 dollars ($ 1,295 today) yet this cloth-and-vinyl furniture was typical devices on the Runabout.

There’s no cooling, yet at the very least the initial purchaser sprang for the $80 AM radio ($305 in our present bucks). Simply things for paying attention to the hits of the day!

It’s traditionally substantial, without a doubt, yet no one cared sufficient to save it from this destiny.

Right here’s a family members that acquired 9 Pintos, consisting of a brand-new ’80 Pinto wagon.

The Schlueter household liked their Pintos.



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