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When Ford Exploded into Compact Car History

Would you ever consider buying a 2,000-pound compact car for $2,000? Many car shoppers did just that back in the ‘70s. Here’s a little Ford history that sheds a different light on the often-misunderstood story of the Ford Pinto.


I Miss the ‘70s

At risk of dating myself, if I had to pick one decade as my favorite of all the ones I’ve lived through (so far) with cars, it would have to be the 1970’s. Cars were much more distinctive in appearance, showed more variety, had engines anyone with a box of tools and some attitude could work on, and there were plenty of older vehicles still around that were affordable and parts-aplenty to rebuild into something truly creative.

What brought on this bit of reverie was a recent “The History Guy” YouTube channel episode focused on the most infamous car of the 1970’s---the “exploding” Ford Pinto.

My memories of the Ford Pinto were that it was a fun little car to zip around in with a manual stick transmission and close-to-the-ground profile that actually felt “sporty” to a young body with few cares in the world and even less money to drive something better.

However, what I remember the most is all of the news about how the Pinto was an exploding deathtrap due to the calculating cold heartedness of Ford manufacturing.

But was this news hyperbole really true?

Here’s a quick and interesting video that provides a little of the history behind the Pinto (and other forays into the 70’s compact car market) that might give all of us a new perspective of just how good or bad the Pinto really was.

Ford's Disaster: The Pinto

And finally…

For an additional semi-related article discussing cars and the changes made over the years, here is another history-related bit titled “Are Cars Too Complicated Today? History Says No!” for your consideration.

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Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pixabay