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(Jalopnik)   Who at Ford thought that featuring the 1971 Pinto in a demolition derby was a good idea?   (jalopnik.com) divider line
    More: Vintage, Bonneville Salt Flats, Advertising, Ford Motor Company, Marketing, conscious child, Tobacco advertising, Triumph Bonneville, Utah  
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1127 clicks; posted to Business » on 11 Jul 2021 at 9:53 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-07-11 5:56:23 PM  
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My friend had the Starsky & Hutch Pinto in high school. and most of the way thru college. We took that car everywhere.
 
2021-07-11 6:00:32 PM  
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2021-07-11 6:05:34 PM  
Well Subby, the average American car in 1971 was about as maneuverable as an aircraft carrier, so it wasn't such a bad idea to suggest that the Pinto could avoid accidents. The "don't get hit in the rear or you'll be human barbecue" part came later.
 
2021-07-11 6:49:56 PM  
In 1974, I was in a 1972 Pinto that was rear-ended.  Gas everywhere. Rainy day.  Lucky times.
 
2021-07-11 7:04:52 PM  
I was a kid then; those cars were everywhere.
 
2021-07-11 7:07:07 PM  
My mom's Pinto got stuck in reverse. She had to drive it home that way. They traded it in thereafter.

/I'm sure there's plenty of My Mom jokes in there for you farkers.
 
2021-07-11 7:32:43 PM  
My first car was a pinto. I loved that car.

One night, I got rear ended at high speed by a driver whose brakes failed.

Fortunately, I had a date and had borrowed my Dad's big Mercury (for the spacious backseat *wink*), so the Pinto remained unexploded at home.
 
2021-07-11 7:46:09 PM  
As someone whose first car was a 1976 Pinto wagon, I'm getting a kick out of this.  What impresses me now is how much abuse that car could take and keep running.  (The wagons weren't explodey.)  I got it pre-abused from my dad.  He had caved in a good part of the front end hitting a deer and never got it repaired. He'd had an engine fire that melted a bunch of vacuum hoses so he chopped off the hose ends and stuck pencils in them.  It had rust spots on the body that he ground out and primed but never repainted, then the rust started coming back through the splotches of primer making it look like it had a horrible skin disease.  I always carried a few wire coat hangars and duct tape for roadside repairs. And it continued to run.   When I finally sold it for $300 I told the buyer "this is a really bad car.  It's a terrible car.  Are you really sure you want to buy it?"  It ran, and it was cheap, so he bought it.
 
2021-07-11 8:47:47 PM  
I drove one of those things for a while

/But it apparently wasn't f*cked up enough for me, so I traded it for a Triumph Spitfire
 
2021-07-11 10:14:55 PM  
Dad didn't like those, so he bought one of these.

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2021-07-11 10:38:02 PM  

solokumba: [Fark user image 850x634]

My friend had the Starsky & Hutch Pinto in high school. and most of the way thru college. We took that car everywhere.


So, were you Starsky or Hutch? Am i to infer that you are Hutch since your friend was driving?
 
2021-07-11 10:43:21 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I drove one of those things for a while

/But it apparently wasn't f*cked up enough for me, so I traded it for a Triumph Spitfire


oh man. oh man. I feel your pain. I hope you coped well. So. I had a girlfriend with a TR-6. Her dad let me drive it wherever I wanted, but of course there was a catch. If it broke down, I had to help him fix it. And it always broke down.

I could not break up with her until the car was in good working order, and it was never in good working order. Things did not end well.
 
2021-07-11 10:51:06 PM  

Raoul Eaton: As someone whose first car was a 1976 Pinto wagon, I'm getting a kick out of this.  What impresses me now is how much abuse that car could take and keep running.  (The wagons weren't explodey.)  I got it pre-abused from my dad.  He had caved in a good part of the front end hitting a deer and never got it repaired. He'd had an engine fire that melted a bunch of vacuum hoses so he chopped off the hose ends and stuck pencils in them.  It had rust spots on the body that he ground out and primed but never repainted, then the rust started coming back through the splotches of primer making it look like it had a horrible skin disease.  I always carried a few wire coat hangars and duct tape for roadside repairs. And it continued to run.   When I finally sold it for $300 I told the buyer "this is a really bad car.  It's a terrible car.  Are you really sure you want to buy it?"  It ran, and it was cheap, so he bought it.


Why can I relate to every post on this thread???

When I drove a beater, I had some coat hangers in the back for pretty much this reason. I had a hanging muffler that did not want to hang correctly and persistently. When I was driving around Costa Mesa looking for a friend's house, I got stopped for no reason. Everything was compliant and this patrol guy had to let me go, but he told me I should leave the area or he would cite me for having burglar tools.

The coat hangers. Burglar tools. I would have laughed at the guy, but I thought it better to roll up the window and get the hell out of there instead. It was a different time.
 
WGJ [TotalFark]
2021-07-11 11:12:54 PM  
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The MPG stood for my pussy getter.
 
2021-07-11 11:26:09 PM  
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2021-07-11 11:40:53 PM  
Don't tell me---another snarky "what were they thinking" internet writeup by someone not alive then?

1. Built to all applicable Federal standards at the time.

2: 
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2021-07-11 11:45:07 PM  
Well, I do not really know.  Growing up with a series of used Pintos, they did not seem so bad.  They could take abuse and were easy to work on yourself.  Most of all, they were affordable.  As my family was not wealthy, they bought what we could afford.  Maybe I just have a place in my heart for them as a yellow Ford Pinto was what I taught myself to drive with whenever my family was away at the age of 12, mastering manual transmission, and everything.  Those fun excursions came to an abrupt halt when one of my aunts caught me doing so and she informed on me.

Can you even buy a bare-bones car today?
 
2021-07-11 11:53:59 PM  
"Easy to fix."

WHAT A GREAT farkING IDEA...*eyes cars made in the last 25 years*
 
2021-07-11 11:57:28 PM  
My best friends family had both a Pinto and a Maverick. They got rid of the Pinto when the ball joint snapped off. Lucky for him it was on a 30 MPH side street. They felt that anything built that shiatty was going to kill them, sooner or later. The Maverick wasn't built much better, but didn't actively try to kill them.
I really don't miss the days when a car with 80,000 miles on it was at end of life. The major parts that needed replacing was in a race with body rust to see who sent it to the scrap yard first.
 
2021-07-12 12:45:47 AM  
Pretty much everyone but Ralph Nader.
 
2021-07-12 12:47:32 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: I drove one of those things for a while

/But it apparently wasn't f*cked up enough for me, so I traded it for a Triumph Spitfire


You poor son of a biatch. I bought a Spitfire too. ... When it turned out to be a bad decision I parked.. or pushed it to a shed on my father's property. Covered it up and it sat there for 15 years. One day a new engineer from England was hired where my dad worked and he was an old Triumph car enthusiast. Without my knowledge my father sold it to him. I had already signed the title and told dad if anybody ever wanted it to sell it. I was living in Atlanta and had just bought my first home. Mom and Dad came up to help me move. At dinner my Dad asked me if I had forgotten about the car and now that I was in my own home should he put it on a trailer and so I could store it. Mom laughed. Dad have me a check for $6000 bucks. This was 1996.
 
2021-07-12 12:50:08 AM  

2fardownthread: solokumba: [Fark user image 850x634]

My friend had the Starsky & Hutch Pinto in high school. and most of the way thru college. We took that car everywhere.

So, were you Starsky or Hutch? Am i to infer that you are Hutch since your friend was driving?


Actually my friend did the hood slide all the time. He drove.
 
2021-07-12 1:02:27 AM  
I have history with the Ford Pinto. When I was a little kid my mom had a blue 1972 Pinto. When my sister and a bunch of her friends needed a ride somewhere, I, being the youngest, had to sit in the way back on top of the spare tire. On the interstate, while sitting on that spare tire facing traffic behind me, I'd give truckers the blow your air horn sign. They almost always obliged. Maybe it was because they felt sorry for me. The car didn't have air conditioning, but it was the 70's so in the summer my mom would wear skimpy little tube tops when she needed to drive. I used to have one of those Radio Shack 3-channel handheld CB radios with the fancy circular analog battery meter. I'm fairly certain I had undiagnosed ADHD but listening to truckers talk was a great way for me to pacify myself while riding in the car. I knew from Smokey and the Bandit that the channel 19 crystal was a must-have and was rewarded with some very colorful trucker language. "Breaker one-nine, anyone got eyes on them titties in the blue Pinto?"

When it was time to get a new car, my dad told my mom to get another reasonably priced Ford. Following his request to the letter, she came home with a used blue 1978 Pinto. He came home from work and wondered why the hell she hadn't replaced the car yet. I think it took him about a week to realize it was, in fact, a different car. Fast forwarding a few years, after my sister got her license, she took me to an isolated area and let me drive the 1978 blue Pinto. I was 14. No power steering. No power brakes. No power. It was awesome! Not long after that it died and sat outside, largely forgotten for the next two years.

When I was 16 I got my first BJ in the passenger seat of a yellow Pinto. It was late at night after a date with a girl 3 years older than me. We were parked behind the dead blue Pinto. I was still a few weeks away from taking my driver's test.

Once I had my license, It was time to resurrect the dead 1978 blue Pinto. It needed a new battery, new plugs, new plug wires, a new solenoid, and there were mice living in the air cleaner. I got it running, but my elation was short lived when I discovered it was making a big puddle of oil directly beneath the rear main seal. Upon seeing the mess my mom wanted it gone so I did what any reasonable high school kid would do. I took it to the nearest cul de sac and cranked out some donuts on a wet morning. That plus a couple brake stands and several neutral drops let smoke out of several areas that smoke had no business pouring out of. I limped it home on 3 cylinders, and it conked out forever as it returned to idle when I parked it. A few days later a wrecker came and hauled it away, but not before I yanked the battery out.

The next year I was at the boneyard looking for cheap 5" front door speakers because I was broke and my current car had a blown one. I spotted that same blue Pinto sitting in a row of other small junked out cars. How it hadn't met the crusher yet was beyond me. Feeling a wave of nostalgia roll over me, I popped the chrome Pinto badge off the hatch and still have it to this day.

Now I can't stop thinking about that girl with the yellow Pinto. She was a good one.
 
2021-07-12 1:16:51 AM  
The only car ads I have a memory of were the "Horace Wink" ones. Ford hid the fact that it was a car ad or who it was for and had all of Southern California wondering what the hell this mysterious ad that didn't seem to be selling anything was about. Later we learned it was for the Mustang.
 
2021-07-12 2:06:20 AM  

IDisME: Dad didn't like those, so he bought one of these.

[Fark user image image 850x907]


Still my favorite taillights from that time.
 
2021-07-12 2:06:53 AM  
my first car was a 1971 pinto. I got that damn thing airborne more than once and drove it away every single time. It was a badass little car.

/replaced the oil pan twice
//rebuilt transmission once
///rebuilt engine once

I should not have been allowed to operate a motor vehicle back then.

):
 
2021-07-12 7:27:45 AM  
As I watched Stranger Things I always wondered how much work the crew had to do to keep the Pinto running

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2021-07-12 7:35:49 AM  

HighZoolander: [images.cdn.circlesix.co image 585x438]


Love the flammable sign on the back.
 
2021-07-12 8:09:23 AM  
Make fun of it all you want, then check old SCCA results or look up the Car And Driver "Reader Beater"

Remember, it wasn't the gas tank outside the frame that was the scandal, it was the memo saying it would be cheaper to pay the wrongful death suits than to reengineer

Anothe former Spitfire owner here, think about where that was, and separated from the cockpit by cardboard and vinal
 
2021-07-12 8:11:39 AM  

GrizzledVeteran: Don't tell me---another snarky "what were they thinking" internet writeup by someone not alive then?

1. Built to all applicable Federal standards at the time.

2: [Fark user image 850x426]


Seriously....almost all of the smaller cars back then had the gas tank directly in the back end of the car, exposed to any vehicle coming at them. Everyone had a story about "a guy they knew" who "knew a guy who had a Corvette" that hit a (Pinto/Gremlin/Maverick) and both cars exploded on impact. Because of the low front end of the Corvette, you see. At my smallish high school (115 person class), there were ~10 Pintos, 3 Gremlins, and ~5 Maverick/Comets, none of us exploded despite getting rear-ended rammed from behind hit in the backside multiple times. I'm not saying it never happened and wasn't concerning, we simply never heard of it happening except in the newspapers, and we were in the suburbs of Detroit where everyone's dad was a Ford or GM engineer and each family had a big ol' station wagon or Grand Marquis and a beat up Pinto or Vega for the 16 year olds to drive.
 
2021-07-12 8:29:31 AM  
Ahh yes, I have fond memories of driving my Ford Intercontinental Ballistic Pinto with a 12-pack of beer while driving  on America's roadways, keeping the Russian's terrified.
 
2021-07-12 9:07:48 AM  
pheelix: When I was 16 I got my first BJ in the passenger seat of a yellow Pinto. It was late at night after a date with a girl 3 years older than me. We were parked behind the dead blue Pinto. I was still a few weeks away from taking my driver's test.

Now I can't stop thinking about that girl with the yellow Pinto. She was a good one.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-07-12 9:49:46 AM  

Al Tsheimers: My best friends family had both a Pinto and a Maverick. They got rid of the Pinto when the ball joint snapped off. Lucky for him it was on a 30 MPH side street. They felt that anything built that shiatty was going to kill them, sooner or later. The Maverick wasn't built much better, but didn't actively try to kill them.
I really don't miss the days when a car with 80,000 miles on it was at end of life. The major parts that needed replacing was in a race with body rust to see who sent it to the scrap yard first.


Also had a 1971 Pinto and a  76? Maverick.  The Pinto was my wife's first car.  Bought because it was cheap and had a stick. Rear quarter panels were more rust, duct tape and Bondo than metal. Same for doors.  We eventually had to replace one of the doors with one from a junkyard. But it did get her back and forth to work. We gave it to her sister when she got a better car. Engine seized on her, probably because she never checked the oil.

The Maverick was better -- leather seats and vinyl roof, but same rotten doors.  Ford doors rusted quickly
 
2021-07-12 10:34:13 AM  

GrizzledVeteran: Don't tell me---another snarky "what were they thinking" internet writeup by someone not alive then?

1. Built to all applicable Federal standards at the time.


Hindsight has 20/20 Snarkiness. The Pinto was a great car for its time. It was fun to drive, perfect sized and inexpensive.

Average income was 10k, this car fully tricked out would be 25% of that. (Average income in 2020 was $98,000. Making it equal to a $24k new car today).

Trying to judge ANYTHING (safety standards, civil interactions, media fairness) 50 years old by today's standards is going to be a fail. Every time.
 
2021-07-12 5:29:36 PM  
Pintos were actually decent demolition derby cars for compact car derbies when RWD compacts were more prevalent.

/The gas tank was moved to the back seat area.
 
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