Pinto Day Finale: 1977-78 Cruising Wagon – The Most Desirable Pinto?

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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.

1977 Ford Spring Wheels Folder-02 (800x515)

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.

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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!”

1978 Ford Pinto-07 (800x472)

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!

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