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My 1971 Ford Pinto

Posted by LOTGK on October 22, 2007


The next installment of the Cars of the Grassy Knoll Institute is my beloved 1971 Ford Pinto. I purchased the Pinto in 1982 for a total sum of $75.00. It was predominately dark green in color with patches of red and gray spray paint that covered the damaged spots on the car. The picture at the top is not my car. Just merely what one looked like in good condition. Mine was not.

I have several fond memories of the Pinto. One day on my way to the Grassy Knoll Institute laboratory I was heading up Market street and was coasting to the red light at the intersection of Route 224 when the Pinto started to shake and shimmy. No big deal, the Pinto always did that. I just held in the clutch and revved the engine a little but this time something different happened. The Pinto began to violently shake as if possessed by some demon from hell. (I need an old priest and a young priest) Then it began to backfire wildly with very loud blasts from the exhaust.

People stopped next to me were looking somewhat concerned at my car and me; knowing that the Ford Pinto has been prone to catching fire and exploding, and these people were in the dead center of the blast zone. The other motorists believed they were witnessing such an event. For me, I was just trying to hang on to the wheel much like a rodeo cowboy hangs onto the reigns of a bucking bronco.

Then it happened. The Pinto shuddered and gurgled one last time and then backfired with the force of an exploding volcano. A second later, all went silent as my eyes followed a dark green object just above me. It was the hood of the Pinto! It was blown clean off the car and was spiraling straight up into the air about 30 feet. As the hood was still going up I started to pray that it would not come down and land on another car.

In an instant, I had my answer as the hood fell just a couple of feet in front of my car on the hard pavement street. A smile came over my face and I started laughing out loud as the other motorists all gave me very peculiar stares. Apparently, they thought that somehow I also became possessed by the demon car as well.

I got my wits back together and quickly tried to restart the Pinto but it was no use as all the wires were blown clean off the distributor cap. I opened the door and collected the hood and tossed it back on to the Pinto and then pushed the car into the parking lot of the bank on the corner. A little rewiring and it would be good as new…

The beginning of the end.

The Pinto did get going again and on another day I had a rider, a fellow Grassy Knoll Institute scientist named Ben. Ben decided to take his life into his own hands and called me for a ride to work. It was cold that day with several inches of snow on the ground and the road. Ben jumped in and away we went. Going down route 165 I hit a large area of slush, ice and snow and I heard a large WHOOSH sound coming from underneath the Pinto.

The Pinto almost didn’t get through the bad patch of road and as I glanced to my right there was Ben completely covered with snow and slush. The floor of the Pinto had given way and left the right side of the Pinto exposed to the road allowing all the snow to splash in and cover Ben. He looked just like Santa Claus sitting there. I tried not to laugh but of course I couldn’t help but laugh. He started to grin and I asked him to give me a HO HO HO!

I replaced the floor with a very handy stop sign. It fit almost perfectly.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. One day I picked up my girlfriend, my future wife, in the Pinto. Her parents were not all too happy with the Pinto and luckily, one day just like in the old West, the Pinto broke an axle and being a humane person, I put the Pinto to sleep putting a bullet into the radiator. The junk yard gave me $45.00 for it which wasn’t bad considering. It would be my down payment on my next vehicle.

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5 Responses to “My 1971 Ford Pinto”

  1. My girlfriend taught me how to drive in a Pinto. It was a nice little car.

    Sex in the back seat was an acrobatic adventure.

    I liked driving it too.

    $75 bucks. wow…today in California, you can barely buy a new tire for that. And it costs you a fortune to register & smog your car.

    Smog check 2. More smog Naziism…


  2. Jim said

    I had a ’75. Baby-poop brown. Any trip over 10 miles caused the car to deposit the radiator’s contents onto the ground. No reverse gear. Two of three passenger side seat bolts were rusted through so my girlfriend bobbed quite a bit in the seat as I went over bumps.

    Of all the cars I’ve had, that one was my favorite.

  3. Gumby said

    Jim, your girlfriend bobbing quite a bit in the seat is never a bad thing. Lucky stiff.

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