Ford Pinto First Year

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This version lasted until 1997 in various guises.

Ford pinto first year. See all 41 photos. The rebadged lincoln mercury version the mercury bobcat debuted in canada in 1974 and subsequently in the u s. The ford pinto was a subcompact manufactured by the ford motor company for the north american market first introduced on september 11 1970 and built through the 1980 model year. When the ford pinto hit the market as a 1971 model.

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. By january 1971 california dealers were reporting sales of ford s new subcompact equal to 17 8 percent of all import sales. What made this news so special was that california was one of the hottest markets for imports yet pinto was winning customers there at an unprecedented rate. With the new nhtsa crash testing rules delayed until the 1977 model year ford made the decision to produce the pinto as designed.

Initially 11 carefully coordinated crashes were conducted and in all but three of them gas tanks ruptured and often burst into flames. The ford pinto used the ohc version a 2 3 l 2 301 cc unit introduced in 1974 which has a 96 04 mm 3 78 in bore and 79 4 mm 3 13 in stroke. Records indicated that ford had first conducted rear end collision tests on the pinto in december 1970 months after it was already in production. The author s own 1972 ford pinto at second creek raceway in colorado in 1991.

The ford mustang launched a whole new genre of automobiles known as pony cars. The smallest american ford vehicle since 1907 the pinto was the first subcompact vehicle produced by ford in north america. From the 1971 model year to 1980 pintos left assembly lines as everything from four cylinder runabouts to v6 powered custom wagons and more or less sold like crazy. Ford planned for 100 000 first year sales but dealers sold 22 000 on the first day.

The earliest units produced 66 kw 89 hp and 160 n m 118 lb ft.

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