1976 Ford Pinto 2.3 4 cylinder gas from North America


Icon of the gas crunch of the 70s


It's 40 years old. You name a part and it's likely been broken and repaired.

General Comments:

America hated this car. It was an underpowered rattletrap deathmobile. I remember watching Johnny Carson present a gag safely award to Ralph Nader for his great work trashing Ford for its highly combustible compact car. Ralph's trophy was a metallic replica of a Pinto fashioned into a cigarette lighter: when you pressed on the hood flames burst out of the trunk.

That being said, I loved this car and so did my kids. My daughter learned to drive in it; my nephew and his girlfriend learned contortionist positions in the back seat, etc. I bought it for $450 from the Salvation Army. The paint had flaked off but the body looked intact and it started right up the first time I tried to start it. I thought to myself, how bad can it be? It took some doing, but I got it to run reliably and a new coat of paint made it look like new. It should have, too, because it cost me more to just paint the car than the original owner paid for it, wheels, motor, paint and all! Accumulated lots of stories about it over the years, and when I moved out of Cali I shipped it to my sister cuz my daughter wouldn't let me sell it. She said it was part of the family.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 2016

19th Jan 2017, 17:56

"America hated this car"

Then who was buying Pintos for the ten years Ford was selling them?

20th Jan 2017, 21:57

A more accurate description: "Pinto: the car nobody loved, but everybody bought."

21st Jan 2017, 16:19

Ralph Nader's 1965 report that was made public drew widespread attention to this flaw. Unsafe at Any Speed. Interesting the gas tank design flaw analysis on corrective action was determined to be only $1. Not $11. Really was not a bad car, but obviously extremely dangerous with burn risk from potential fuel tanks being rear ended. The Corvair was deemed likewise as an unsafe vehicle.

21st Jan 2017, 16:26

Ralph Nader's 1965 attention on vehicles this size was delayed by 8 more years in safety regulation affecting Pintos. Correction.