People who know me, know that I adore the Ford Pinto. It's an interest that first developed in junior high school, and it grew as I collected my first piece of Pinto memorabilia - a Pinto badge I bought at the Turlock Swap Meet for $4. It became my good luck charm; I literally brought it to school every day in my backpack. Today I do not own a Pinto, but I have some Pinto literature, an owner's manual (did you know the Pinto's optional roof rack has a higher load rating than the roof rack of a first-generation Honda CR-V?), and multiple Motormax Fresh Cherries diecast Pintos. I actually bypassed the Johnny Lightning diecast of the Pinto because the proportions were wrong. In a college book arts class I made a 1:15 scale papercraft model of a '73 Pinto Squire with an opening tailgate and corduroy-lined cargo bay. I told everyone it was a storage box.
I'm sure most of my love for Ford's 1970s compact is due to nostalgia for an era before I was born, and the irony that I 'adopt' vehicles most people detest, such as the Edsel and most AMC products. I'm not a hipster, I just like unconventional stuff. That, and the Pinto is in my opinion a rather good-looking little car.
My grandparents once had a dark brown Mercury Bobcat Villager wagon (the Pinto Squire's twin) which wore the fake wood on the sides and had an interior that I believe was butterscotch, but my mom called it baby-poop brown. My parents almost bought the car and actually had it for about two weeks, but hated it so much they gave it back to my grandpa, who promptly got rid of it.
I'd known about this '74 Pinto wagon for a while before I went out in search of it. There are still several Pintos lurking around San Francisco and I was happy to locate one sitting still long enough to photograph it. This one is a solid driver, painted a cheerful solid orange with chrome baby moon caps on its steel wheels. The owner is outspoken about his or her views, evident by the many anti-war bumper stickers which look like they date back mostly to the Bush administration. Politics aside, I could do without bumper stickers on a vintage car. The body on this car is in great shape apart from some little bumps and scrapes on the driver door and right rear corner. The passenger door is beginning to rust on the bottom corners, but that's the only worrisome rust I see on the car.
My fantasy garage contains a lot of cars, but there's a spot saved in one corner for a clean little Pinto wagon.