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Would You Tear Up This Perfect Car To Make A Hot Rod Out Of It?

Would You Tear Up This Perfect Car To Make A Hot Rod Out Of It?

Okay, so it’s a Pinto. I happen to dig Pintos. In fact, it’s kind of funny because I would prefer a Pinto, Maverick, or Comet over a Mustang in most cases. Anyway, back to the question at hand. Would you tear up this perfect car to make a hot rod out of it? Would it make a difference if it wasn’t a Pinto? What if it was a 1968 Mustang. Or a 1970 Chevelle. Pick your favorite car. What if it was that, and in this kind of shape?

I have to say, I might actually feel a little bit bad about tearing into this one if it was mine. I want a Pinto really bad actually, so I can cut it up for a particular project. But, this one is so nice I would prefer not to do that to it. I would if I couldn’t find another one I supposed, but generically speaking I would at least have a moment’s second thought anyway.

What about you? Does it matter what kind of car it is, or is any car this nice off limits?

If you want to buy this one, the link for the Craigslist Ad is at the bottom of the page.

World's Cleanest Pinto 5

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World's Cleanest Pinto 6 World's Cleanest Pinto 7


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23 thoughts on “Would You Tear Up This Perfect Car To Make A Hot Rod Out Of It?

  1. Matt Cramer

    I’d preserve the interior, but I wouldn’t hesitate to put something more powerful under the hood and an axle and transmission that could take the extra power. I probably wouldn’t want to do anything that requires any serious cutting, though, and might even keep the old drivetrain in storage if I had the room.

    For me, the main appeal of Pintos is their mod potential.

  2. 440 6pac

    IN A HEARTBEAT! Pintos need all the help they can get. Even a shit box Chevy engine would be better than the one that’s in it now.

  3. C1BAD66

    Does it have the [plastic] diff cover/gas tank shield retrofit?

    Peyton’s 1st car?

  4. Tony Sestito

    If we are talking about this particular Pinto, YES. However, I’d do a turbo 2.3L under the hood that makes an obscene amount of power and keep everything else looking just the way it does now. I think it would be hilarious pulling up to the line with it, and having the guy in the other lane looking all over the place to see what is making those weird turbo sounds.

  5. Ron Ward

    I’m thinking that car would benefit from some quality time in Jon Huber’s shop.


    If it was in that nice of shape…I’d probably only do a FAST (Factory Appearing, Stock Tire) type of modifictions on it. Once found an 81 Buick Regal Indy Pacecar that I was in the same delima with but ultimately didn’t buy it so it was a moot point.

  7. Jim

    I remember many years ago at the Gatornationals some rocket scientist took a Pinto and mounted it backwards on a chassis. Was running C/A I think. Rumor was that was the most aerodynamic was to push that car though the air. It reminded me of an ugly dog I once had. I shaved its ass and taught it to was backwards.

  8. Burner303

    Nope, nope nope. I love hot rodding cars, but this whole “lets hot rod everything, no matter how clean because the hot rod is better” attitude as taken away so many clean, irreplaceable cars. EX: Try finding a clean straight 6, grandma fresh Nova anymore. Everything is a V8 now, no matter how horrible, say 307’s thrown in for no other reason than ‘V8!’. The pristine green exteriors were painted over with Maaco paint, the perfect green interiors were replaced with crappier and ripped black just because it is cooler. I’ve seen so many shitty cars on ebay that were probally better than when the owner started, just the car wasn’t cool enough originally. “So lets take the perfect green car to Earl Shive for a nice coat of yellow!”

    If you are going to change out an entire drivetrain, repaint a car, cage it, all that stuff, you can find a nice rust free shell that is missing all the parts you were planning to replace anyway, and probally do it for less money.Save stuff like this for people who like to collect oddball cars or just trying to save the last few unmolested undesirable cars. It’s only a Pinto, but cars like this don’t come up often, and they are only original once. Everyone is saving chargers, camaros, mustangs, corvettes, etc, no one is saving these in their original state. Someone needs to, just so future generations can see what a real car from the 70’s was like, not like how TV makes it out, where any modern movie/show taking place in the 70’s has every other car being an SS454 Chevelle.

    Sorry, major pet peeve of mine. I hate it when anyone hacks up clean survivor cars just to make another hotrod that will be horribly outdated in 10 years anyways, when they could have just used a diferent not so original car.

  9. tps67dmh

    Burner you are sooo right. If you think about it, go to about any American History museum and you’ll see a Model T Ford, the least expensive car you could buy in the 20’s and it’s as original as they can keep / make it.
    This little sweetheart is a 1970’s Model T and should therefore be preserved as such because it has historic significance. It was not a great time in our history, but is a part of American history nonetheless.
    I’m a Chevy guy and would actually LOVE to find a granny fresh I-6 Nova but you’re right, they practically don’t exist any more.

  10. Gregg68

    If it’s clean & original, leave it alone. If it’s rough enough that originality is moot, then modify it. I personally like the idea of a faded pastel colored Pinto (like Steve Magnante’s) with subtly widened steelies (color scheme below) a significant amount of money in a well-placed fuel cell, a hidden roll cage and (whatever Ford engine is installed) a quiet exhaust note (until you open the cutouts). Ideally, the Pinto will have the ugly 5 mph crash bumpers, too. A fender and door that is a different color than the rest of the body and wheels in different colors.(surface rusted body color for at least two, black for one, and another body color for the 4th) would complete the picture for me

  11. Seppo Kokko

    289 cid High Output Ford is all that it needs. As the plate says… Otherwise stock… mmmm…. maybe a roll gage?

  12. steve esman

    actually had a 74 wagon that my dad built in the late 80’s,it started as a 401 buick nailhead junkyard motor”see what happens” thing,well….it ended up with the motor in the front seat[you sat in the stock back seat],it had 12 gauge fire wall and trans tunnel,switch pitch automatic with 400 guts,2600-2800 stall converter,and 9 inch with 3.70’s,the nailhead was replaced with a 425 nailhead that had a bigger cam,.030 over,balanced,dual carter afb’s,and ran alot stronger than the 401 but the 425 had 257,000 miles on it when it was put in,and the car is still running around somewhere near battle creek michigan,current owner claims to have done alot of work to it but he is full of B.S!!!!by the way,on the street with road hugger street tires it would jump everyone 5-7 cars out of the hole and run well over 160 in the quarter!!!!

  13. John T

    yeh I agree with not really modifying this fellah too much…I’m sort of in a similar quandry myself. I have an XB coupe that was a ratty as hell 6 cyl when I bought it which has since seen lots of modifications . Recently i bought an XA (1973) Falcon sedan for family run around type duties that has virtually no rust, very straight, bog stock 6 cyl 3 on the tree bench seat 6 seater. I initially had all these ideas about hotting it up but honestly, its so unmolested that I can’t do it! It even has a completely stock dash with radio delete panel…I’m thinking about getting hold of a later crossflow 6 (local Aussie motor from the 80’s) which will actually bolt up to my original 3 speed so I doen’t even need to lose the column shift or bench seat…but yep same deal, i’ll keep the original motor in the shed

  14. Clive Macann

    I chopped mine around a wee bit.
    Fitted a 250 cu/in Falcon 6 and auto.
    Had to recess the engine back a bit.
    Not easy in a Pinto, due to the small footroom area.
    But all don, it literally flew.
    Good fun car.

  15. GuitarSlinger

    Yup !

    First and foremost …. because it is a Death Trap CarBQ Pinto

    And second … because as Big Sid so often said ;

    ” Stock is a can of beans on a shelf “

  16. Roger

    One big ass turbo and change nothing else. Super sleeper. I own a tube frame pinto so a completely stock looking pinto would be cool.

  17. tigeraid

    Without QUESTION I would tear it up. It’s a damn Pinto! Maybe keep the body and interior just the way it is, but otherwise, complete chassis and drivetrain overhaul.

  18. Jimbo

    It’s a FEAKEN PINTO!!! Its not a Duesenburg! Sorry it is tough for me to get misty eyed over a PINTO! Jack it up, drop it down, chop it, put a Hemi in it and it is still a PINTO! I got a better idea. Lets hermitically seal it up in a cocoon, put it in a time capsule and bury it so that future generations can dig it up and realize how dumb we were to think that this was the best we could do for a compact car in America. 1970’s answer to the Model T? Whats the question?

  19. troy

    keep it stock looking with some improvements…but under the hood will be a 2.3 turbo motor, a 5-6 spd manual.oh and it would be the 2015 mustang 2.3 turbo…over 300 hp

  20. Lon

    Yeah I’d hot rod it. I think I’m with a few people commenting, I’d leave the paint and interior alone.

  21. Wink Dinkler

    I would love to build it in to a street car with a killer turboV6 and pro touring suspension!

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