Ford’s compact Pinto, launched in 1971 as a response to the growing number of subcompact imports being sold in this country, isn’t exactly fondly remembered — except maybe by my mom, who bought one new and didn’t keep it long enough to get in any accidents.
However, we’ve been seeing more of these cars pop up at auction lately — some of them in very clean condition, down to the earth-tone paint colors and matching vinyl interiors. One such example sold at Mecum just a few months back for a reasonable $4,500. The car pictured above made $15,400 at Mecum Portland this summer. Colin Comer sold his unrestored 1974 Squire wagon in Monterey this year for $27,500, which to me seemed like all the money and more considering what else you can buy with that same money. Am I wrong?
ACC has followed the trend in 1980s cars for the better part of two years now — prices on cars from that era are up as collectors start to buy both the halo cars they always wanted, such as the GNX or 5.0 Mustang, and the pedestrian drivers that used to be everywhere but are now thinner on the ground — think early Honda Civics and Accords. I even wrote about a 1978 Malibu I should have bought in the last issue of ACC.
Where does that leave the Pinto and its American subcompact counterparts like the Vega and Gremlin? Do you think they are collectible now? Is there a cool factor there? Here’s your chance to weigh in on that topic, as it’ll be our Readers’ Forum question in the next issue of ACC.
So what do you think? Is there movement left in the collector market for the Pinto, or will they forever be a flammable footnote in American car culture? Leave your comments below, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, November 17. Look for your comments in the next issue of ACC!