Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ford Pinto Turns 40--Join the Stampede!

Are you a fan of the Ford Pinto? Built from 1971 to 1980, Ford's diminutive little vehicle was meant to stem the tide of Japanese imports that invaded our shores starting in the mid 1960's. Sure, we had the first batch of "compacts" for 1960, when the Chevy Corvair, Ford Falcon and Plymouth Valiant (actually, it was just the Valiant the first year) arrived to battle the already-compact Rambler.

In any case, by the late 1960's more help was needed, so subcompacts arrived--in the form of the Pinto, Chevy's ill-fated Vega and the odd but loveable AMC Gremlin. Yeah, remember the Gremlin? It was two-thirds of a compact sedan, but completely unique and cost very little to design (AMC was hurting for cash). Chrysler began importing Mitsubishis to fill its compact car needs (remember the Dodge Colt?).

All this is prelude to the big news. To celebrate the anniversary, over the last several days, a convoy of Pintos, called the Pinto Stampede, has driven together for 1,600 miles from Denver, Colorado to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where a huge event, the Ford Nationals was taking place. Actually, it's probably winding down right now.

What makes someone a fan of an odd little car? Well, maybe it was their first car. Maybe they thought they were cute back then and always wanted one. As the owner of a Nash Metropolitan I think I understand.

The Pinto debuted as a three door hatch or a two-door coupe, but later was sold as a cute little wagon--including a model with woodgrain applique on it like a Ford Country Squire! Hmm, cute. It was more efficient and got higher mileage than contemporary big cars. It was a start. I kind of liked them, especially the hatchback with the large rear window. But I've never driven one.

Today, you can buy a Ford Fiesta that's much better in every way, but there's nothing like an American classic. Ask members of the Ford Pinto Car Club.


Anonymous said...

Great website. A lot of useful info here. I'm sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks on your sweat!

Here is my web page;

Anonymous said...

A fellow blogger heгe, found youг ѕitе via Ѕilex,
аnd Ι have a рiеce оf aԁviсe:
wrіte more. Honestlу, it apρeaгs
аs though уοu dерendеd
on thе video to drive youг ρoint
hοme. It's clear you know your stuff, so why not use your knowledge to write something more substantial and keep the video as something supplementary (if there at all)?

my web blog woodworker

Anonymous said...

This is why parents should make normal doctor
visits available to their daughters. Palpitation.This
is the alteration of the coronary heart beat rhythm. Cardiovascular
illnesses are considered lifestyle diseases.

Also visit my blog post