Back in late 1970 when Ford introduced the Pinto, they promised a couple of
things. First, the Pinto wouldn't be changed for the sake of change, at least
through 1975. Promise number two was a pledge that Ford would endeavor to keep
the car simple.
As successful as the Pinto is, it has never been able to
establish a youth image as strong as its direct competitor, the Chevrolet Vega.
Oh, they tried with red, white and blue Pinto Sprints, white Pintos accented
with avocado, or orange trim, and even a Pinto Rally which was seen in the 1971
Pinto catalogue, and nowhere else.
The model year now is 1976, and Ford
is freeing itself of the "no change" policy for the Pinto, and predictably,
there are some changes in store. The most visible of these is an all-new
egg-crate grille, a change which doesn't make the Ford sub-compact run any
better, or go faster. But after five years, the car, the buyers, and the Pinto
stylists deserved it.
Some of the other changes are new interior trims,
which include a really great looking plaid cloth interior with the Mustang
II-like low-back bucket seats, an all-new competition suspension package,
woodgrain bodyside applique available on the Runabout, and a new sports version
called the Pinto Stallion.
Unlike the stillborn Rally of '71, the
Stallion is more than a tape stripe job on a base Pinto. Five years ago the only
performance options available were a 2000cc engine, disc brakes, and A70x13
bias-belted tires. Compare that with the current Pinto option list, and don't
forget to add the trick new suspension package, and you might get an idea of the
Pinto's "new direction."
The Stallion will be distinguished by black-out
windshield moldings, upper door frames, and rear window surround. In addition,
the hood, rear panel and lower bodysides all carry black accents. As a final
touch, the grille is painted flat black, and a "Stallion" emblem is affixed to
the front quarter panel. Ford will deliver a Stallion in any color you want, so
long as it's silver metallic, bright red or bright yellow. What! No black?