Cohort Outtake: 1971 Pinto – Somehow It Survived In Tel Aviv

Pinto Tel Aviv fq

A 1971 Pinto on the street has become a rare sight anywhere, but here’s one still at it in Tel Aviv. T. Minor posted it, but the credit for the shots goes to Arthur Ginsburg. Well, it least rust isn’t a problem there. 

Pinto Tel Aviv rq

I had a lot of seat time in ’71 Pintos, in my job at Towson Ford that yer as a car jockey. The 1.6 L with the stick wasn’t too bad, if one caned it hard. These early Pintos were built very lightly (and they felt like it too), so it didn’t take a lot to move them along, and the Ford UK transmission with its stubby little shifter allowed very quick shifts. The engine and transmission were essentially straight out of the Cortina, along with some smog controls.

The optional new 2.0 SOHC four was built in Germany, and with the stick, it was a ball. This was the closest thing to a Euro-style sports coupe that Ford offered, and the rack and pinion steering made it a blast on the winding back roads in northern Baltimore County (I found excuses for my extended drives).

But the three-speed automatic sucked the life out of the 2.0; unfortunately, that was the what about half of them came with (the 1.6 and 2.0 stick each made up about 25% of the inventory).

The owner of this looks to have taken measure to improve his Pinto’s survivability, especially at the rear. Maybe all that hoopla about Pintos going up in flames when rear ended has made him extra cautious.