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Author Topic: 10th Anniversary!  (Read 670 times)

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Offline Wittsend

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10th Anniversary!
« on: November 14, 2017, 03:40:41 PM »
I just got a notification from the PCCA that I received a 10th Anniversary award. Has it been that long? Yes, a check of my archived emails show I joined on 11-12-07.  Maybe it is time to relate my Pinto story.


When I was a teenager my world revolved around Datsun's, 510's to be exact. The Pinto was kind of a "looked down on" car at the time. That said I (silently) did like the look and followed/cheered for Glidden, Gapp & Roush etc. .  In 1992 I bought a salvaged T-Bird Turbo Coupe to be my daily driver. And it fulfilled that duty for ten years. But, it eventually failed it's smog test and I felt it was time to move on. Thus I parked it in the backyard and pretty much let it sit.  When my wife found out a rat had gotten into the HVAC system she wanted it gone.


It had been a dream of mine to put the T/C drivetrain into a Pinto  Thus I found a 1973 white wagon on Ebay that interested me. I contacted the own who ironically was an airline steward - in flight.  He said he would pull the car from the auction if I was willing to pay $850. It was an offer he made, not my asking.  I PayPal-ed him the money and it was mine..., if I could get it.


 The "get it" part was that it was in San Francisco (actually two blocks from where my wife grew up) and 400 miles from where I lived in Southern California.  I was initially going to drive it from San Francisco to Orangevale (Sacramento area) and make it more road worth before driving it home - when I could get up there. The seller said there was an issue because it was parked on the street and needed frequent moving. There was a pause on the phone... .  Then as an airline employee he offered me  FREE "buddy pass" to fly up and get the car.  I had the flight made for Sacramento and then would have my brother drive me to S.F..


When I landed I had my brother take me to the local Pick N' Pull (Mack Rd) where I got a needed front turn signal lens. Not knowing any better at the time I passed on a set of cruise wagon panels that I have never seen since in a self serve yard (oh well).  The next day my brother drove me to S.F to get the car. As we pulled up my heart sank. On a scale of 1-10 the pictures looked like a 7 or 8. In reality the car looked more 3 or 4.  The guy was not there and the keys were under the seat. So, all I could do was drive it away. He had told me it ran on three cylinders and in fact, yes it did.


Thankfully I had a new plan in place. I was going to the S.F. Bayshore U-Haul and bringing it home on a trailer ($425 including gas). Still it was a white knuckle drive getting it the five or so miles there.  When I arrived at the lot I was greatly relieved to see I was getting a 10ft. box truck with only 7,000 miles. I had heard horror stories of substitutions with 300,000 mile, 24 ft. trucks from U-Haul.  The yard guy was super nice and apparently in 2007 a Pinto wagon was such a rare site that about six people came out of the office to see it.


The drive home was rather uneventful.  I left S.F. at 11am and arrived home at 7:00pm. I averaged 12.9 MPG which for a gas box truck towing seemed decent.  What with the truck/trailer size I had to park it up our short cul-de-sac, grabbing a few things out of the Pinto as I went inside to relax. The next morning my "car guy" neighbor knocked on my door (the Pinto was in front of his house) wanting to know whose Pinto that was.  Apparently he was looking the car over in the morning and there was a cat inside!  Thankfully it turned out to be the neighbors cat and not one from San Francisco. Apparently it got in when I gathered my things out of the car the evening before. Double thankful the cat hadn't done any "business" over night.


A few days prior I had joined the PCCA. When it became known what car I had purchased I received pictures from Pintony (he told me one of his "spies" had taken them) illustrating the real condition of the car. Mind you the car isn't horrible, but it was't to the caliber of the images on Ebay. I don't fault the seller, he was straightforwar d with me. It was more low res images and my wishful thinking. The engine turned out to have zero lash on some of the valves, hence the running on three cylinders. I tuned up the engine (getting all cylinders) and drove it stock for about six months. The process of the Turbo Coupe drive train swap is here on the site for those who want to search.  The car is still a "work in progress" ten years later but I have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that has been on hold for 18 Years and it is getting attention next. So, that is my Pinto story... ten years later.

Offline dga57

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 03:53:18 PM »
So, that is my Pinto story... ten years later.

Gosh... we've all got a story, haven't we?  I joined just over ten years ago myself, although my Pinto affiliation goes all the way back to the 1974 Runabout I bought new when I was sixteen.  Fortunately, the three I've purchased over the past ten years all were completely driveable; haven't had to tow one yet!  Thanks for sharing!

Dwayne :)
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Offline pintosopher

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 07:00:32 PM »
Great Story! And you have a Tiger too.  ;D. I have a friend in Napa that I spent some time helping get his Tiger ready for a Hillclimb in 1988 in Oregon. It was an adventure, him with an untried Tiger, Me and my 72 Pinto at speed on a mountain road against the clock.. Another "glory day" in my past, wish I could get the momentum back to this whole cosmic  motorhead peak experience, it was a peak time in my life! ::)
Yes, it is possible to study and become a master of Pintosophy.. Not a religion , nothing less than a life quest for non conformity and rational thought. What Horse did you ride in on?

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 09:40:28 AM »
Joe! Only you can get that momentum back. I've been there and done that. Only you can make it happen. If the Pinto is street legal put it back on the street. The first rule on mod's to a Pinto is never get the car down so far that you can't drive it. You will louse interest big time if you can't drive it. Around the block will help keep the interest up. I did not follow that rule on my 80 Pinto and its been in my shop for 5 years now. My health has got to a point where I may never get it on the street again. But that is my problem and only my problem. Up, Up and away is a good reminder to motivate you.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 10:02:53 AM »
Well Tom that is one of the best Pinto story's I've heard in a very long time. Your Pinto still looks great, at least in the pictures. I've owned 16 Pintos in the last 44 years. Some were $50 cars, but all were drivable. Back in the 70's there were Pinto's for sale on every street corner. It was not a car most people would keep over five years. It was a great time for Pinto lovers and / or racers. It would take me a week to type a story as long as your post. I type with one finger due to my RA. Your story is really great and I hope to hear more from you.
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 11:56:17 AM »

...  I did not follow that rule on my 80 Pinto and its been in my shop for 5 years now. My health has got to a point where I may never get it on the street again. ... 


I don't know Dick. I see the hood and trunk up and a gentleman looking like he may be working on it.  I think there is hope right there! ;D

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 02:56:23 PM »
How did you get that picture? For the question of hope all I can do is live one day at a time. Car could be drivable in a week or so if I could get out there. If it's and but's were peanut's and nut's, oh what a Merry Christmas we would have. (Don Meredith to Howard Cosell)
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2017, 02:59:54 PM »
Joe! Only you can get that momentum back. I've been there and done that. Only you can make it happen. If the Pinto is street legal put it back on the street. The first rule on mod's to a Pinto is never get the car down so far that you can't drive it. You will louse interest big time if you can't drive it. Around the block will help keep the interest up. I did not follow that rule on my 80 Pinto and its been in my shop for 5 years now. My health has got to a point where I may never get it on the street again. But that is my problem and only my problem. Up, Up and away is a good reminder to motivate you.
The Interest is always there, but the financial realities of this punitive cost of living have sent my pinto to Storage and most of the goodies that go with it. My Dodge Dakota 4.7l V8 has 130 k and is nickel and diming me on parts. Just ate the third radiator and I found the Delay from last summer on installing the new mounts was most likely the cause. Damn vehicle has to be nearly disassembled just to replace these damn mounts, No wonder the flat rate labor is extreme for these newer vehicles . My Joints are giving me hell since last winter, and it's an inflammatory condition . Between that and dealing with Low T , I have a short leash to work on the cars, and have to change my diet too or become a info tech jockey until the rocking chair calls. Enough of my woes, Aging is now a battle to stay mobile, and get even with the forces of "greener loons" :o
 Stay on the offensive, You have much to contribute yet.... ;D

 Pintosopher, a stubborn Horse yet to be broken ;)  Holistically full of ginger and oats :D
Yes, it is possible to study and become a master of Pintosophy.. Not a religion , nothing less than a life quest for non conformity and rational thought. What Horse did you ride in on?

Check my Pinto Poems out...

Offline Wittsend

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2017, 04:53:52 PM »
How did you get that picture? For the question of hope all I can do is live one day at a time. Car could be drivable in a week or so if I could get out there. If it's and but's were peanut's and nut's, oh what a Merry Christmas we would have. (Don Meredith to Howard Cosell)

A while back you mentioned that a certain celebrity family had exchanged a holiday tradition with you.  I looked the celeb fam's address up on the internet and then dropped the Google Maps Street View icon in proximity of nearby homes. I think I got it on the first or second try as the unmistakable Pinto tail end caught my eye.  There's nowhere to hide anymore! The eyes of gOOgle are upon us all!!! Actually had the garage door been close I would have never known.


They got my Pinto too. Harder for you to find though. My nearest celeb is Abby Sunderland the girl who was stranded in the ocean trying to sail around the world at 16. But she lives a good three blocks from me.

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2017, 09:09:56 AM »
Did you get a good picture of that "celebrity family". Their house is about a 1/4 mile away with just our pasture between us. Their house well back from the road. We pass by their house every day on the way to town and about once a week we see people stop'd taking pictures of their house. Very nice family.
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2017, 09:29:35 AM »
Joe! I've owned several Dodges over the years and all required high maintenance. The most maintenance free were Chevrolet suburban's. I've had 5 of them and towed race cars with them all. The perfect tow car bar none. Very best tow car I ever had was a full size 77 Ford station wagon with a 460 C6 four wheel disk brakes. Would tow any thing at speed's way over the posted limit while driving in total comfort. I'd buy another in a New York minute if I could.
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2017, 11:04:33 AM »
Did you get a good picture of that "celebrity family". Their house is about a 1/4 mile away with just our pasture between us. Their house well back from the road. We pass by their house every day on the way to town and about once a week we see people stop'd taking pictures of their house. Very nice family.

Yes, anyone who has seen their show would know the distinctive green roof. That is what made it possible to find your place.

Trucks/tow vehicles.  I can't believe all the car hauling, parts hauling, house building I've done ..., and never owned a truck. Well, I did have a '61 Ranchero (with the rare Dagenham 4 sp.) but I only had it about 6 months. And, OK, I have called on a friend with a truck to haul about 4 cars.  But in general I've hauled engine's in the back of 240-Z's (twice in fact, hatch strapped to the roof), Mazda 323's and 12 ft. lumber from the firewall, through the interior, to 3 ft. past the  bumper with a red flag. Even recently working on my daughter's Tiny House I hauled 17 ft. boards on the Pinto's Roof rack and a small sofa in the Valiant with the trunk removed (We looked like a '70's version of the "Beverly Hillbillies").

I'd love to have a truck, and it isn't the $2,000 I'd pay for something "serviceable."  It's the yearly registration, insurance and gas mileage I'd get that dissuades me. Like my "classic" cars I'd probably drive it far less than 500 miles a year.  I wish I could convince myself I really need one but my frugal inclinations have me on a short chain.

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2017, 11:33:41 AM »
My suburban gets around 15 miles to the gallon. Not too bad with $2.00 gas here most of the time. Gas goes up $.25 when ever a holiday comes around. My oldest son has a 4 door Ford pick up with a 351 engine. He tows a 25 foot enclosed trailer with his race car inside with no problems at all. Just about any new full size pick up will work pulling a trailer now days.
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2017, 07:39:44 AM »
Joined: December 20, 2010, 11:56:35 AM

Time passes way too fast !

Truck)s)..... My 2012 diesel was off warranty & acting up. Had the delete done. He just "flashed" the computer & put it in tow mode, giving me an extra 40 HP. ( no tuner so I can make changes)
The (about) 7' long "cruse missile" muffler was removed & a (custom) straight pipe installed.

If I had known the truck would perform as well as it now does, I'd have done the delete from new !
Awesome power now & went from (about) 800 km per tank of fuel to over 1000 km per tank !

Offline dga57

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2017, 07:54:35 AM »
Joined: December 20, 2010, 11:56:35 AM

Time passes way too fast !

Truck)s)..... My 2012 diesel was off warranty & acting up. Had the delete done. He just "flashed" the computer & put it in tow mode, giving me an extra 40 HP. ( no tuner so I can make changes)
The (about) 7' long "cruse missile" muffler was removed & a (custom) straight pipe installed.

If I had known the truck would perform as well as it now does, I'd have done the delete from new !
Awesome power now & went from (about) 800 km per tank of fuel to over 1000 km per tank !

Sounds good!  Hopefully it will serve you faithfully for many more years.

Dwayne :)
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2017, 04:03:18 PM »
Dwayne! Didn't you post a picture on here of your Mazda 323 with the 12 foot lumber load? If so its time for it again.
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2017, 06:07:34 PM »
Dwayne! Didn't you post a picture on here of your Mazda 323 with the 12 foot lumber load? If so its time for it again.

Nope, that wasn't me.  I've never owned but one Mazda, and that was a 626 which was never used for hauling lumber; at least not during my time of ownwership. 
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2017, 08:28:04 AM »
Oh no! It was Tom (Wittsend) I was thinking of. Sorry to all. This is what happens when you get old and all you can remember is Pintos, Pintos, Pintos, etc, etc.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2017, 11:49:34 AM »
 I can't remember what I hauled in which cars over the years but here are a few pictures.


#1. 350 Corvette engine (for the Studebaker) transported in the hatch area of the Mazda 323. Note the engine being "wheel chocked" with a jack. I dreaded having to slam on the brake with that one. But as it was I made it safely. I tried to get it forward of the rear axle so as to not give it a running start of bulldozing me in a panic stop.  The engine was right at about the max load of four additional passengers.


#2 -#4. Transporting wood for my daughter's Tiny House. Pic #4 is various lengths of shiplap that came free from a martial arts group taking over space of a former hair salon.


The Pinto played a very active roll and probably was used upwards of ten times to get the job done.

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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2017, 12:20:24 PM »
That's them! Great pictures! (Necessity is the mother of invention.)
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Re: 10th Anniversary!
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2017, 07:06:43 PM »
That's them! Great pictures! (Necessity is the mother of invention.)

Now I see why you were anxious to see them again!  lol

Dwayne
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2017, 09:09:04 AM »
And don't forget there a good looking Pinto wagon in those pictures.
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