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Toronto Sun artical

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this is as good as I can get it


FORD'S success in its 2005 year of the car theme hinges not only on an enthusiastic acceptance of the company's new Mustang 500, but also on the continued popularity of its refreshened FOCUS.  34 years ago, FORD introduced its sub-compact PINTO.  Here was an all new small car that would go head-to-head with imports, GM's Vega/Astra and American Motors Gremlin.  In 1971, the just over 900 kg rear-wheel-drive PINTO was originally available only as a 2-door sedan.  The stylish PINTO came equipped with rack and pinion steering,  vinyl-clad bucket seats and a British-built 75 hp, 1600cc OHC four-cylinder or an optional  german-built, 115 hp 2.0 litre, ohv 4-cylinder engine.  Both engines came standard with a 4-speed manual transmission, but the auto 3-speed cruise-o-matic transmission was optional with the 2 litre engine.  In mid-year,  a hatchback was added with a rear-fold-flat seat for additional cargo space. 

     The PINTO was a sales success story for FORD in 1971 with 352,402 units sold and a 2-door station wagon version - with optional woody applique - was added in  1972.  In 1973,  the most visible change was the addition of bumper guards and as a result, the PINTO gained 38mm in overall length.  Sales had continued to climb with the  best selling model being the station wagon at 217,763 units - 67,000 more than the hatchback.  The less popular 1600cc engine was dropped.  Due to the newly mandated 5-mph bumper regulations in 1974,  the PINTO was heavier and bulkier looking.  It was also slower because of the new government pollution controls.  The 2.0 litre was strangled down to 86hp, while a new 2,773 cc engine managed only 80 hp and a 2,294cc version was rated at 90hp.  In 1974,  the first energy crisis hit North America.  Fuel prices increased daily and lineups at the pumps were common.  Fuel economy became a #1 priority for manufacturers and Ford was well prepared.  As a result, PINTO sales reached a staggering 544,209 units.  For 1975,  Ford added a 2.8 litre V6 to the PINTO lineup, but it was available only on the hatchback and wagon with automatic.  Industry sales were down on a whole and PINTO production tumbled to just 223,763 units.

     Overdue for some styling upgrades, the 1976 Pinto sported a new egg crate grill and some more chrome trim.  Inside, you could now order a cloth/vinyl interior option.  A low end Pony MPG version was made available.  A "Stallion" edition,  with special decals, blacked out trim and a sport suspension - was aimed at the youth market.  All PINTO's came equipped with front disc brakes and rear drums.  Sales rebounded slightly, hitting 290,132 units.  From 1977-1980, the final year for the PINTO, sales continued to decline.  In 1978, PINTO recalls began for gas tanks that might burst into flames.  The V6 was dropped in 1980 as the PINTO faded from the scene - only to be replaced by the Ford "World Car" FWD Escort and subsequently by the AJAC award winning Focus in 2000.  Different in drivetrain layout,  as well as design,  the Focus provides far more room, comfort and performance compared to the old school PINTO.  For 2005, the styling has been mildly reworked, with bigger headlamps, grille, etcetera, but the DNA is undeniably Focus.  My handsome 4 door Red Focus ZX4 ST with the 16in. aluminum wheels sported a black cloth interior.  The interior space provided ample headroom and legroom while the trunk remains uncompromised.  The Focus provided for a road test also featured a number of amenities including heated seats, a 6-disc in dash CD stereo system, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and power windows and door locks.  The new dash is much cleaner looking, as well as being ergonomically friendly.  The Focus might not be the fastest sport compact on the street, but it felt light quick and nimble. 

So FORD and the whole sub-compact market has come a long way since the last PINTO and Bobcat rolled of the assembly line in 1980.  Not only do we get economy, but a whole lot of fun too!

i wanna reply to the auther of that artical. that was a very nice artical.

So what is the author trying to say???
 That we have gone nowhere???? ;D
From Pintony

I think he was trying to say was that the Pinto started all for small cars in north America and they were great, and with the Focus it's now the best small car that they make.
P.S if you want to email them try    or
Henry   buy a calendar


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