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This Pinto's Packin': V-8-Powered 1974 Ford Pinto on Bring a Trailer

1974 ford pinto
V-8-Powered 1974 Ford Pinto Is Today's BaT PickBring a Trailer
  • In their day, most Ford Pintos were pretty pokey. This one is emphatically not.

  • With a 302-cubic-inch V-8 crate engine installed, this '70s subcompact is built to surprise at the drag strip.

  • The best part is that the conversion is so well hidden. No one will suspect that your Pinto packs a V-8 wallop.

Ford brought back the Maverick nameplate, and it's never let the Mustang lapse, but you know we're never going to see a reborn Pinto. Infamously overshadowed by its reputation for ruptured gas tanks in rear-end collisions (although no 1970s subcompact was ever all that safe), the Pinto became forever the butt of jokes. Which means that getting your doors blown off by one at the drag strip is going to come as quite the surprise.

1974 ford pinto
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Yet that could happen with this super-sleeper 1974 Ford Pinto Runabout up for auction right now on Bring a Trailer (which, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos). Painted Grabber Blue with a white roof, it's as innocent-looking as Eric Forman promising his parents that he won't be out late on a school night. However, under that hood is a 5.0-liter crate engine ready to unleash some rock-'n'-roll rumble.

1974 ford pinto
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The Runabout was the hatchback version of the Pinto, and this 1974 example has further practicality thanks to its chrome roof rack. Reportedly an Arizona car, this example puttered around in the same family since new, a funky little classic that was perhaps not all that interesting to drive, but still good fun. That all changed in 2019.

1974 ford pinto
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The Pinto went under the knife, and in went a 302-cubic-inch V-8 from ATK engines. Added performance upgrades include a Holley Quick Fuel carburetor, a Weiand intake manifold, and a PerTronix distributor, with an FSR racing radiator to keep everything cool. The power isn't listed here, but an ATK 302 should be good for about 375 horsepower. A Pinto Runabout normally weighs under 2000 pounds. We'll let you do the math.

1974 ford pinto engine
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Those 165-series Vredestein radials don't stand a chance. However, this isn't some Frankenstein's monster of a hack job, but a very neatly done V-8 swap. The interior is correct and complete, and the fuel tank has had the period modifications made to make it more safe. The car even retains its single rear tailpipe for extra sneakiness.

1974 ford pinto
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This is one Pinto that's built to really ladle out the beans.

The auction ends on July 9.

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