PintoThe Ford Pinto was introduced in 1971 as
competition for the new import and domestic subcompacts. Designed to be a
simple car that Ford could produce with little time and money spent to
redesign and retool every couple of years. Those efforts were needed for
the changes made on other Ford cars to meet with new government safety
regulations and for better fuel economy. But... |
changeThe changes were minor, in the beginning, to
meet with the same regulations and standards all cars had to meet in the
mid 70's. Later, many of the changes were to appeal to the younger
generation. While others were for increased fuel economy and some for
71It came only as a two door sedan at first, with a
three door Runabout added mid-season to the Pinto line. The standard
equipment was ventless door windows; high back, slim line bucket seats;
all vinyl upolstery; 2 pod intrument cluster;glovebox; intertior dome
light; floor mounted transmission controls; rack&pinion steering; hot
water heater; Direct-Aire Ventilation system; and 6.00 X 13 rayon
blackwall tires. The 3 door Runabout received the same standard equipment
PLUS a fold-down rear seat with load floor color-keyed carpeting and
passenger compartment color-keyed carpeting.
The standard engine was a
British built 1600cc inline ohv four cylinder with a four speed
transmission. A German built 2000cc inline SOHC four cylinder was a
popular option with the Cruise-O-Matic transmission.
Continuing the concept,
72-73The next two years followed the idea of the
"worry free" car that Ford wanted to produce. The only changes in 1972 was
the Runabout received a larger rear window and a new model was introduced,
the two door wagon.In 1973 the Pinto exterior remained the same as the
with exception of front and rear bumpers. Front bumper guards were made
standard equipment for this year, but was deleted in later years. Because
of the bumper design changes, the Pinto was actually about one and a half
inches longer, although the true body length was not changed. Standard and
optional equipment remained the same in 72 and 73.
Let the changes begin
74-75More Federally mandated safety requirements
were initiated in 1974, primarily in the form of massive safety bumpers.
This brought an obvious change in the appearance of the car. The bumper
was plain on the base trim models, but came with rubber faced, vertical
guards and a black vinyl impact strip on models with the DeLuxe Decor
package. Pinto wagons could be had with optional trim packages that
included simulated wood grain exterior paneling and rooftop luggage racks.
A new engine was available, a 140 cubic inch (2.3 liter) inline SOHC four cylinder and the 1.6
liter was dropped.
A 170 cubic inch (2.8 liter) ohv V6 engine is available in 1975 as
the optional engine only in the station wagon, with the 2.3 now being
76Appearance changes in 1976 included a new argent
painted eggcrate grill with inset square parking lamps, bright headlight
bezels and bright front hood lip molding. Interior features changed as
well, including the choice of all vinyl or sporty cloth - vinyl and four
new trim fabrics were offered. The Pinto Stallion appearance package was produced to
target younger drivers, along with the MPG for the budget minded. The V6
was now an option on the sedan and hatchback.
77-78A new soft nose with sloping hood and flexible
fender extensions revised the appearance of the 1977 Pinto. New larger
rear taillights, extruded anodized aluminum bumpers and an optional
all-glass third door finished off the new exterior. Also new for 1977 was
the Cruising Wagon, styled along the lines of the
Econoline Cruising Van, aimed at youthful buyers.
1978 didn't bring
much changes in the Pinto, just a few new options, including exterior and
interior colors. Mid year a panel delivery Pinto was added, with full
length flat cargo floor and metal side panels.
And More Changes
79-80Restyling brought another new front end look
for the Pinto in 1979. This new look included rectangular headlamps in
bright housings, new sloping hood and fenders and a slat style grill. New
aluminum bumpers had black rub strips and end sections. Once again, new
colors inside and out. New for 79 was the ESS option for sedans and runabouts, with black
grill and exterior accents.
The last year of the Pinto, 1980,
didn't bring much change in styling. The V6 was dropped, making the 2.3
OHC 4cyl the only engine available. The Cruising Wagon and ESS were still
available, as was the Rallye Pack option on the hatchback and wagon.
The monocoque chassis features conventional design with the
engine mounted at the front with the power being transmitted through
either a manual or automatic transmission to an integral or removable differential type rear
Front suspension is of the unequal length A-arm design with
coil springs while the rear suspension features leaf springs. Steering is
manual rack and pinion with power assist optional.
Brakes are drums or disc at the front and drums
at the rear with vacuum assist as an option.