Cohort Capsule: Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon – Trial Size Debauchery

How fashionable were custom vans during the late 70s?  Enough for Ford to turn their smallest wagon into a shrunken clone of one.


The sheer kitsch factor makes the sight of one of these things outside a car show a real novelty, and the fact that GM did not respond with a Monza-based competitor suggests it wasn’t the most brilliant concept.


This car appears to be a 1979 or 1980, judging from the grille.


In Washington state, interiors more accurately show how hard a life a car has led.  As we can see, all the partying encouraged by this custom van wannabe wore its durable cut-pile carpet down.  Perhaps a nice orange shag covering would fit the theme nicely.


Lest owners take the cruising van theme too seriously, Ford was generous enough to remind owners that your mobile orgy would have to be limited in size.  4,000 pounds is actually not bad a bad gross weight rating for this sort of a car, leading me to suspect that this example is powered by the V6, which was discontinued for 1980.


And we end with the rear window louvers. This wasn’t actually standard, but could almost be considered a mandatory option, given the major role privacy played in the cruising van’s appeal.  After all, no one wanted the fuzz peering in on their good time.

Cohort Photos by runningonfumes.