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Follow the link for more information. This article is semi-protected until March 3, 2018. Over 3 million vehicles were produced during the 10 years of production. Beginning in 1977, controversy arose surrounding the Pinto’s fuel tank design, which was linked with an increased risk of deadly fires after rear-end collisions. The issue gained media attention after it became public that Ford knew about but did not fix the issue.
A subsequent analysis of the Pinto’s overall safety indicated its safety was comparable to other cars of its class. American automakers would soon introduce their own subcompacts. Pinto was introduced on September 11, 1970. Initial planning for the Pinto began in the summer of 1967, was recommended by Ford’s Product Planning Committee in December 1968, and was approved by Ford’s Board of Directors in January 1969. Pinto project was the shortest production planning schedule in automotive history up to that time.
Some development processes usually conducted sequentially were conducted in parallel. Decisions which threatened the schedule were discouraged. The attitude of Ford management was to develop the Pinto as quickly as possible. Iacocca ordered a rush project to build the car, and the Pinto became known internally as “Lee’s car. The Pinto’s bodywork was styled by Robert Eidschun. 352,402 for the entire 1971 production run. 1974 saw the most Pintos produced in a single model year, with 544,209 units.
The Ford Pinto went on sale on September 11, 1970 in one bodystyle, a fastback sedan with trunk and metal trunklid. In 1971, the Pinto brochure came with a paper cutout Pinto that one could fold to make a 3D model. The hatch itself featured exposed chrome hinges for the liftgate and five decorative chrome strips, pneumatic struts to assist in opening the hatch, a rear window approximately as large as the sedan’s, and a fold down seat — a feature which became simultaneously an option on the sedan. The hatchback model matched the sedan in all other dimensions and offered 38. By 1972, Ford redesigned the hatch itself, with the glass portion of the hatch enlarged to almost the entire size of the hatch itself, ultimately to be supplemented with an optional rear hatch that was entirely glass. On October 30, 1970, less than two months after introduction, 26,000 Pintos were recalled to address a possible problem with the accelerator sticking on once engaged at more than halfway. Pinto station wagon debuted with an overall length of 172.
The first 2-door Ford station wagon since the 1965 Falcon, the Pinto wagon was equipped with flip-open rear quarter windows. Along with front disc brakes, the 2. 0L engine was standard equipment. Unlike the majority of 1970s cars, the addition of larger bumpers to the Pinto would not necessitate major changes to the bodywork.
While the underpowered Kent engine was dropped, the optional OHC engine was expanded to 2. In various forms, this engine would go on to power a variety of Ford vehicles for 23 years. In 1974, Mercury began selling a rebadged version of the Pinto called Bobcat as a Canada-only model. 544,209 units sold, 1974 would be the most popular model year for the Pinto.