Survivor Series: 1972 Ford Pinto Runabout

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We just featured a bunch of Mustang IIs, the least regarded of the various generation mustangs. One of the knocks on the Mustang II is that it’s essentially a Pinto, which it isn’t. The Mustang II was indeed developed from the Pinto platform, but the original 1964 1/2 Mustang shared more with the Ford Falcon than the Mustang II shared with the Pinto. The Pinto, of course, is one of those perennial top 10 nominees for “worst cars of all time” lists. It’s known as a fire hazard, because of lawsuits, but statistically it was no more likely to burn in a collision than other small cars of the era. Whether the Pinto was really as bad as people think today open to debate, but there’s no question that it took the Detroit automakers decades before they started producing decent, and now, competitive small cars. Regardless of the Pinto’s mechanical merits or demerits, aesthetically it was a nice looking car, with taught, trim lines. The Runabout model was one of the early hatchbacks sold in the U.S. This car is a genuine survivor. It has 52,000 original miles and it’s been owned by the same family since it was new. Apparently it owes its remarkable condition to the fact that it was “Grandma’s summer car at the cottage”. Always garaged and put up for storage every winter. The family is selling it, and if you want it, it’ll cost you $3,750, not quite twice what the car cost new in 1972. The base MSRP on a ’72 Pinto Runabout was $2,038. This Pinto was spotted in the parking lot across from Greenfield Village during the Old Car Festival. It may be a 41 year old car, but that’s 30 years too young, since the Festival is only open to cars made in 1932 or before.

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