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Mega Loser Ho! 1977 Pinto Out of Box Review
Mechworker
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: September 20, 2013
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Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 12:19 PM UTC
If you know me, then you know my thing is weird cars, the everyday and what I call ďloser carsĒ. One of the most recognized, reviled and joked about loser cars of the Automotive Dark Ages was the Ford Pinto. With a reputation for blowing up like a stick of Looney Tunes dynamite and a design that was a weird mix of practical and impractically underpowered and underbuilt, the Pinto has long epitomized how low things could go.

Itís no surprise then that I was beside myself with excitement when Round 2 anounced they were going to give us our SECOND Pinto reissue. First, there was the Pony Express wagon, followed now by the AMT 1977 hatchback! For Pinto-philes (even sounds gross) and loser-lovers like me, getting a chance to own the second-ugliest installment of Fordís incendiary blighter was something that had only been hoped for.

I managed to snag one a week and change ago, and Iím really surprised to see that no one else out there seems to have jumped on this one. Of course, that might be because, unlike me, they knew what to expect! Check out my out of box review for this new stain on your modelling display at the link below, and bring your fire extinguishers!

https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/1-25-amt-round-2-1977-pinto-runabout-oob/


Cosimodo
#335
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 12:47 PM UTC
Noted today that Lee Iacocca has just passed on. I am pretty sure that the Pinto was one of his though he would rather be remembered for the Mustang. The polar opposites of car design.
Mechworker
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 01:04 PM UTC
I heard about Lee I. today too.

I don't know. The original Mustang was kind of a secretary's car; a gussied up Falcon, but more economy than suds. The Pinto is also a weak little beater... seems kind of the same to me...

(Puts on steel helmet, ready for the rain of hate from 'Stang fans)
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 02:32 PM UTC
'Tis truly a thing of beauty Adam, well worthy of your dedicated attention and lengthy review.

How about you join us in October and enter this one in the "Blue Oval" Group Build ?

Cheers, D
brekinapez
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 03:44 PM UTC
My mother owned a Pinto wagon; mustard yellow. We lived in Florida on the Gulf Coast and for some reason she hadn't gotten one with the optional AC, so summer was no fun, especially the year we had over a week of temps hitting 100įF. Upon announcing to us one day that she was considering having the car painted black, my brother said if she did that he would drive it backwards into a telephone as soon as she got it home.

That is my favorite memory of the Ford Pinto.

Fun and possibly creepy fact I discovered looking up info on the Pinto:

Ford introduced the Pinto on September 11, 1970.

I was at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
AussieReg
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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#007
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 05:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Fun and possibly creepy fact I discovered looking up info on the Pinto:

Ford introduced the Pinto on September 11, 1970.

I was at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.



Following on from your creepy fact date-wise:

I flew in to Washington from Australia on September 11, 2000 on a business trip to Leesburg.

My father died on September 11, 2017.
brekinapez
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Posted: Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - 07:40 PM UTC
Apparently that is a day we should stay indoors for.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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New York, United States
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Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2019 - 12:52 AM UTC
Wow, one rough crowd today.

It's easy to see all the faults of the Ford Pinto in hindsight, but one needs to remember that the car was Ford's quick answer to the economic conditions of the time.

The Pinto was classed as a subcompact car was introduced in 1971, the smallest and most basic of any car manufacture's line. It was Ford's answer to the wave of imported cars that were addressing the nearly constant increase in gas prices, OPEC slowly but surely rolling back our allotment of Crude Oil, which effects every aspect of our lives, the rising cost of cars at our dealerships, and the consumers dissatisfaction over what we considered a 3 year life expectancy of the iron from Detroit.

Now I'm not saying that the Pinto was a great car, but Ford certainly didn't produce it knowing that it would most likely blowup from being rear ended. Back then, cars just weren't safety tested, they were market tested.

One econobox was as basic and boring as the next, including most of what was being imported. Where the differences lay is in gas mileage, and what was perceived as a better built product. And time has certainly proved that concept to be correct. But remember that at least for middle class suburban America, our families lived on basically a 3 year cycle for a new family car, with Dad getting the old car as his daily beater. That is life as I remember it growing up.

Ford's Pinto whether we like it or not, was the US car manufactures 1st attempt at meeting the needs of the present economy, a new concept for Detroit for sure.

And yes, by today's standards the car was ugly, poorly built, and as cost effective as they could make it. But to a great extent, so were most of the Oriental imports. Nothing to us 20 year old's was uglier then those econoboxes. No looks, no power, no sex appeal.

As far as the passing of Lee Iacocca, we truly lost another American car icon. Not only did he led the Ford efforts to produce both the Pinto and the Mustang, which has evolved into a true icon American Sports type car, but with his move to Chrysler, it was his designs and concepts that led to the creation of another whole new class of cars: The Mini Van.

One thing I really don't understand is the "where you were on a any Sept 11th". It certainly was the day that our world changed for good. I'm a New Yorker from the suburbs on Long Island, but for my early years we lived in Manhattan on 1st Ave & 20th St., so I saw those twin Towers go up, and unfortunately, I saw them come down in real time on TV, being very late to work that day.

Everyone of us seemed to have known someone who died in one of the Towers that day, and yesterday was the funeral of one of the 1st responders that passed from Cancer breathing in all that debris. So it's really still quite personal to me and a lot of New Yorkers. 'nough said, I'll just leave it at that.

As Damian suggested, why not join us for the Ford Blue Circle Campaign with your Pinto build. We'd love to have you along for the ride.

Joel

brekinapez
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2019 - 04:35 AM UTC

Quoted Text



Not only did he led the Ford efforts to produce both the Pinto and the Mustang, which has evolved into a true icon American Sports type car, but with his move to Chrysler, it was his designs and concepts that led to the creation of another whole new class of cars: The Mini Van.

T



Um, actually that was actually Ben Pons, the designer of the Volkswagen Transporter, which was introduced in 1949.

And 9-11 was a bit more personal for me than you, as I was standing at the base of the second tower when the plane hit it and subsequently destroyed my place of work, so I can mention it when I want. In fact, I do a presentation on the anniversary at my school every year. Are you trying to imply I can't talk about it ever?

**EDIT: Before anyone else chimes in on this, Joel and I have discussed what was a misinterpretation and things are fine, but I didn't want to delete what I wrote as I find that kind of thing disingenuous.
Scarred
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2019 - 05:06 AM UTC
Let's not forget another of Mr. Iacocca wonderful cars, the K-car. We had 3 of them when I was in high school. Two were for parts to keep the third one running. One of the last things I did before reporting to basic training was help haul all 3 to the wrecking yard. Thought I was done with them until I saw how many were bought by the military.
Mechworker
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Ontario, Canada
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Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2019 - 12:30 PM UTC
Ah, so many "fond" Pinto memories. Many of these things were rotting around my townhouse complex while I was growing up. Not for long, though; within a few years most had rusted away.

Thanks for the invite to the group build. I've put my two cents in on that thread.
jimb
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Posted: Thursday, July 04, 2019 - 12:51 PM UTC
It seems that my family had several of Mr. Iacocca's cars. My mother had a 1967 Ford Mustang convertible, then I came along in 1968, so that took care of that. My dad used a 1975 (or '76) Ford Pinto wagon for his farrier service for quite a while. Hauled all of his tools (including a small forge & an anvil) around in that thing. Lots of fond memories of that car. And we also had a 1986 (I think) Dodge Ares K.

Jim
Kevlar06
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Posted: Friday, July 05, 2019 - 04:17 AM UTC
Not to hijack your thread much, but I have a funny story about two Ford Mustangs and Pinto products. I used to own a baby blue Mustang II in 1975-6, but got rid of it as I was deploying to Germany. I Bought a Volkswagen Rabbit to replace it, and was glad to be rid of the Mustang because it had become a maintenance nightmare. When I met an American schoolteacher in Germany, and subsequently married her, she owned a lime green Mustang II. I wanted to keep the girl, but rid myself of yet another Mustang. I didn't have to wait long. In January 78 (we'd been married 1 month) my wife was driving the Mustang on the autobahn and the engine blew. I was deployed to the border, so my wife was on her own. She got the car to the Army and Air Force Exchange repair shop in Wurzburg Germany where it sat for three weeks awaiting parts for the timing gears. When they finally came, the German mechanics promptly put them in for $395 (a princely sum in 1978--and more than half a months paycheck for me) and my wife was on her way back to our home-- for about ten minutes--until the engine blew again. She was fuming mad when she found out the German mechanics had "mistakenly" put in the timing gears from a Ford Pinto, thinking they were the same, instead of ordering the right parts. This time, after a three month wait, the car was repaired, (for free this time) and we promptly sold it. Bought a Datsun 280Z 2+2, which we drove all over Europe and the US later. So we owned two Mustangs and at least part of a Pinto. I still have the girl though.
VR, Russ
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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Posted: Friday, July 05, 2019 - 05:47 AM UTC
Russ,
Zero for two on the Mustangs. But you really can't blame the 2nd blown timing chain on the engine design, as the mechanics screwed up big time. Why they ever thought that a Mustang used Pinto timing gears is beyond me.

You made out a whole lot better with the 280Z+2.

Joel
Stickframe
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California, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 05, 2019 - 08:22 AM UTC
Hard to say what the story is on the root problem is here - thereís a pretty good chance that both the pinto and mustang used the 2.3l engine...Ford used it on all sorts of cars and light trucks at least into the late 80ís....I can imagine the mechanics making that call, especially if parts were scarce. No, not the ideal, or all that smart a solution, but likely not all that unusual of a decision either. BTW - those engines had all sorts of problems - predictable carburetor troubles, leaking head gasket and even piston slap. Yes - there are ways to modify them into pretty strong units - but requires a lot of work and money - but not great or all that strong off the factory floor. Oh - also many (maybe all?) of the 2.3l engines used timing belts and not chains - a single imperfection in the belt would quickly lead to failure and a blown engine....

** edit - I was curious, so, it turns out the 2.3l engine was used between 1974 and 97 and were belt driven overhead cam engines used in both types of cars. So, on one hand, maybe fair enough mistake - on the other, there are differences between the US and European versions - but that would suggest that although in Europe (per Russ) the mechanic would have mixed US and European parts.

Also, as Inoted above, there were numerous variants and methods used to enhance overall and even racing performance.

If the Mustang had a V6 - then thereís no excuse...the parts were simply wrong.

Hopefully those mechanics have a better parts manager these days!

Nick