The Ford Pinto was Ford’s first domestic subcompact car. It was marketed in 1970 with competitors such as AMC Gremlin, Chevrolet Vega, and imports from Volkswagen, Datsun, and Toyota. It was a very popular car with 100,000 units delivered in January 1971. A version produced under the Lincoln Mercury name was called the Bobcat.
The Pinto used propellants proven in Europe, but the Vega had an innovative aluminum engine that caused problems. The Robert Eidschun design of the exterior of the Pinto was chosen, which was unusual because most cars consist of styling elements from many designers. The Ford Pinto featured an inline 4 engine and bucket seats. And the entry-level Pinto cost $ 1,850, making it the cheapest Ford since 1958.
Seats in the Pinto were low compared to imports. Body styles were the two-door coupe, a hatchback called the Runabout, and a two-door station wagon. A top of the Pinto Squire line had faux wood sides. Road & Track magazine didn’t have the standard drum brakes and suspension, but I loved the 1.6L Kent engine. The Pinto was available with a choice of two engines, and Ford changed horsepower almost every year. The Ford Pinto Pangra is a modified sports Pinto produced by Huntington Ford in California and only 55 were sold in 1973.
The Ford Pinto is best known for its design issue that allowed the fuel tank to be easily damaged in a rear-end collision. Deadly fires and explosions were frequent in rear-end collisions. The Pinto did not have an actual bumper or reinforcing structure between the rear panel and the gas tank. In some collisions, the gas tank is pushed forward on the differential which has projecting bolts that could puncture the tank. Also, the doors could jam during an accident due to poor reinforcement. This led to the Pinto nickname as a barbecue that seats four.
The Ford Pinto memo is Mother Jones magazine’s cost-benefit analysis that they say Ford used to compare the cost of an $ 11 repair to the monetary value of a human lifetime. This characterization of Ford’s decision as a disregard for human life led to lawsuits, although Ford was acquitted of criminal charges. The NHTSA ruled in 1974 that the Pinto had no recovery problems, but in 1978 Ford initiated a recall by providing a dealer-installable safety kit that places protective plastic material over sharp objects, thus eliminating the risk of puncture in the tire. Gasoline tank.
The Ford Pinto has the dubious honor of being on Time magazine’s list of the fifty worst cars of all time.