1980 Ford Pinto

The 1980 Ford Pinto was still in the mix when Ford unveiled that year's model lineup in fall 1979. With the front-wheel-drive Escort waiting in the wings, the Pinto was on its last go-round, so virtually no money had been allocated for updates. In fact, the biggest technical news of the year might have been the deletion of the V-6 from the options list; the 2.3 four would go it alone for '80.

Even in the Pinto's death throes, marketing was able to spruce up the little car with several appearance packages. Runabouts could be decked out with the striped and bespoilered Rallye Pack, the Cruising package, and the ESS option group. The Cruising Wagon returned, too, this time with a Rallye variant. To the end, the price-conscious could still get Pony versions of the sedan and station wagon.

The inflationary spiral of the national economy was clearly reflected in Pinto window stickers. Base prices had more than doubled in the car's 10 years on the market. Even a Pony sedan now started out at $4,117. The Squire station wagon was tagged at $5,320 before extras -- and there were almost always some of those added to the price.

Perhaps that explains why the the sedan again won the greatest share of Pinto orders, and why the wagon saw the lowest production count in its history with just 39,159 made. With the final 185,054 units produced for the 1980 model year, more than 3.1 million of the little ponies had come down the trail.

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