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So, what’s your Ford Pinto worth?

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Should you get your Pinto appraised? 

The small and economical Pinto, which debuted in 1970, was Ford’s first subcompact car produced domestically, and its answer to popular imports like the Volkswagen Beetle and the Toyota Corolla. Lee Iacocca, then an executive vice-president at Ford and later to earn fame as head of Chrysler, spearheaded the Pinto’s introduction. 

The first version of the Pinto released in 1971 had a brand-new platform and borrowed the powertrain from the European Ford Escort model, costing around $2,078 new. The Pinto had the shortest production planning schedule in automotive history at that time. 

It was made from the 1971 to 1980 model years. Pinto was the smallest American Ford car since 1907. It was Ford’s first subcompact vehicle in North America. The Pinto was manufactured in three body styles: two-door sedan, three-door hatchback, and two-door station wagon. 

The Pinto engine was available in five displacements: 1.3 L (1,294 cc), earlier 1.6 L (1,593 cc), later 1.6 L (1,598 cc), 1.8 L (1,796 cc) and the 2.0 L (1,993 cc). Later 2.0 L (1,998 cc). 

The Pinto became infamous in the 1970s for bursting into flames if its gas tank was ruptured in a collision. The lawsuits brought by injured people and their survivors uncovered how the company rushed the Pinto through production and onto the market. 

The total recall to correct the issue would have been approximately $113 million (including the engineering, the production delays and the parts for tens of thousands of cars), but damage payouts would cost only about $49 million, according to Ford’s math. So the fix was nixed! 

In April 1974, the Center for Auto Safety petitioned NHTSA to recall Ford Pintos due to defects in the design of the strap on gas tank which made it susceptible to leakage and fire in low to moderate speed rear end collisions.

Ford subsidiary Mercury offered rebadged versions of the Pinto as the Mercury Bobcat from 1975 to 1980 (1974–1980 in Canada). Over three million Pintos/Bobcats were produced over its ten-year production run, outproducing the combined totals of its domestic rivals, the Chevrolet Vega and the AMC Gremlin. 

In 1977, a Pinto unexpectedly passed a NHTSA crash test. It turned out the car had a cheap plastic part that helped protect the gas tank, one of the parts Ford had known would work. 

Once among the most popular cars in America, the Pinto is now an endangered species! Of the 3 million Pintos manufactured, experts estimate that fewer than 10,000 are still on the road. 

So, what’s your Ford Pinto worth? The current average value of a Ford Pinto is about $9,700, although a nice example sold on the popular online auction website Bring-A-Trailer in July 2021 for $17,002. Yes, somebody bid the extra $2! 

If you want to know the current Fair Market Value of a Pinto/Bobcat, Chevrolet Vega, AMC Gremlin, or your classic car text/call 786-853-0711.

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So, what’s your Ford Pinto worth?