One of the most interesting Pintos was the Cruising Wagon, introduced in mid-1977. Few are seen these days–much like all Pintos!–but the CW might well be the flashiest and most interesting Pinto, if perhaps not the most desirable.
How did it come about? I can’t say for sure, but I suspect it had something to do with the Vega panel. The Vega version was marketed as their “truck,” and all the ones featured in the brochure were pretty plain-Jane (a front passenger seat was optional). An opportunity was lost in GM not offering a flashy version, and the Vega Panel faded away after ’75.
The Ford folks probably looked at it and said, “Hey! We have a small wagon too! Let’s capitalize on the custom van craze and offer a trimmed up Pinto panel wagon! Even if it bombs, the tooling will be dirt cheap!”
And thus did the Cruising Wagon presumably come into existence. Our featured car looks a bit drab without the flashy graphics, but I still liked it. There were two graphics packages available: A really crazy package, and a less crazy package. Both were pure ’70s, and if not super-valuable, seem to be getting more and more collectible today. This white example is the first Cruising Wagon I have ever seen!