Restoration Required: 1978 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon – SOLD!
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June 18, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Even the most unloved rides typically have one very desirable model. In the case of the Ford Pinto, our vote goes for the two-year-only Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon. With its typical side windows replaced by a solid metal panel supporting a custom van round porthole window, the Pinto Cruising wagon was Ford’s attempt to cash in on the custom van craze with budget-minded consumers. This 1978 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon originally listed in May 2022 on Craigslist in Cincinnati, Ohio is deserving a restoration. The current color scheme appears to be a repaint that we would like to see returned to what the factory offered in 1978. Specifically, a Marti report for this Pinto would confirm whether this Cruising originally came equipped with the standard or optional graphics package that year:
Currently offered for $4,000 or best offer, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is at the very low end of this guide’s five-year results summary for all models of Pintos. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:
As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $3,325 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $6,100.
Ford’s first foray into the North American subcompact market was the rear-wheel-drive Pinto launched for the 1971 model year. Ford offered Pintos in three body styles: a two-door fastback sedan with a trunk, a three-door hatchback, and a two-door station wagon. Ford produced over three million Pintos over its ten-year production run, outproducing the combined totals of its domestic rivals, the Chevrolet Vega and the AMC Gremlin.
For the 1977 model year, the Pinto received its first significant styling updates with slanted back urethane headlamp buckets, parking lamps, and grille. The tail lamps were revised except for the wagons. Runabouts offered an optional all-glass rear hatch for the first time. While Ford’s ubiquitous overhead cam 140 cubic inch (2.3 Liter) inline-four powered the vast majority of Pintos by this time, wagon buyers could opt for Ford’s 2.8L V6.
Hoping to cash in on the popular custom van craze of the late 1970s, Ford offered a new option package on Pinto wagons. Dubbed the Pinto Cruising Wagon, it was the sedan delivery version of the Pinto styled to resemble a small conversion van, complete with round side panel “bubble windows” and a choice of optional vinyl graphics. All Pinto Cruising Wagons featured steel side panels with bubble-glass portholes, dual color-keyed sport mirrors, front spoiler, four-styled steel wheels with trim rings, and carpeting on the inner quarter walls and load floor. Despite the sedan delivery type blocked side design, Pinto Cruising wagons still came equipped with a fold-down rear seat.
The Bionic Disco YouTube Channel features this 1978 Ford Pinto Wagon Commercial:
A bit rough around the edges, as far as we’re concerned this 1978 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon deserves a restoration or even better, a restomod treatment with a modern Ford power train.
Here’s the seller’s description:
Restore or Restomod: What would you do with this 1978 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon for sale? Please comment below and let us know!