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Ride Of The Week 10/04/2021: Brenda and Guy Walker's 1979 Ford Pinto


The license plate on this car is what got my attention. In the early 1970s the Ford Pinto was at the center of vehicle safety with its tendency to burst into flames after a rear-end collision. It seems the gas tank was mounted to0 close the rear bumper and at low speeds would tear away from the fuel filler and rupture. At higher speeds, the car could buckle all the way to the passenger compartment, seizing the doors and trapping the occupants. Add a spark and, well, KBOOM!

By the time this 1979 Pinto was on the road, it was subject to a significant styling update more inline with the Ford Fairmont than the earlier Maverick-based Pinto. It’s owned by Brenda & Guy Walker of Jersey Shore, PA and is all original, with the exception of a new muffler and a factory correct AM/FM Radio replacing the AM-only receiver it was born with.

The Walkers have been a Pinto Family for years with 10 in their collection. Six of those are unrestored and on the road. Brenda bought this Pinto because she wanted one of her own. “I got tired of going to car shows and cleaning his car,” she says.

They found it at an estate auction with 50K mi on the clock. “I figured it would go for about $1,500,” Guy says, “But it shot past that in the blink of an eye. I asked her, now what?” That when Brenda chimed in, “Keep bidding til I smack ya!” The winning bid was $4,200 and they’ve been enjoying it ever since. Ten years and 14,000 miles later, it still puts a smile on Brenda’s face.

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