Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Pinto

11 years later in 1985 [some jerk stold the ringcaps around my headlights]
My New Pinto - April 1974
This is my new Pinto Wagon I bought in 1974. The price was $2400 out the door. I saved up $1700 from my first job and put that money down and was worried about making $44/month payments. I was so worried I saved up $900 and paid off the car loan. The Pinto ran good except not much power up hills like my Dads 65 Mustang 289. The day I bought it, I stalled it out 12 times trying to drive off the Dealership. I had never drivin a stick-shift before but I had watched friends and relatives drive theirs so I felt I had enough experience. Well getting home all the way in 2nd gear was a new experience but I only had to go like 3 miles on back roads so that helped tremendously.
             I didn't do any city driving for 3 weeks so I could get used to stopping and going again. I hated stopping on steep hills cause I stalled it out a lot and had to listen to horn beeps and cuss words of the drivers behind me. In a few months I had it down much better.            My sisters started being nicer to me also. I suppose it was because I could take them to friends houses or to the Mall. I even took my little sister Mindy to a Donny Osmond concert in Detroit at Cobo Hall. Man could those girls scream at Donny. I thought I might lose my hearing but I survived. On the way back we got lost but only for 30 minutes or so.                     One year my Uncle Jerry came to visit and we all went to see the Cascades Waterfalls. They turn different colored lights on the waterfalls at night and it looks pretty and they play nice music. Cascades also has a room to purchase souveniers and T-Shirts and posters  and stuff. Well we came in 2 cars but when it was time to go home, my dads car battery died so we all piled into my Pinto Wagon. It made it home ok but I think I heard the shocks bottom out a few times.The nice thing about a wagon is you can put huge stereo speakers on the floor in the back and with the back seats lowered it sounds so nice. Sometimes I would open the back hatch and turn the speakers around and blast them during an outdoor party.One day I was driving and my pinto would not speed up. I couldn't understand what was wrong since it was only 1 year old. I managed to get it to the dealership I bought it at and they said it had a defective timing belt. They put a new one in for $85, not a bad price, but a lot for me on my teenager job. After 1 year I had it undercoated, but some people told me that just sealed in all the rust. They must have been right because the body rusted like crazy. I gave up washing and waxing my pinto. She did get me to a lot of chess tournaments in Lansing and Ann Arbor and one in Chicago and Columbus Ohio.After about 9 years I could not close my drivers side door so I bought a used door from a junk dealer thinking this would cure my problem. Didn't work. It seems the trouble was with the latch that had a big crack in it so I got it welded for $10. Too bad I wasted $120 on that junk door. Oh well live and learn. [I never seem to tho] After 11 years I decided I needed a new car because my pinto would wiggle back n forth over bumps and I could see my front tire spinning around while I was driving. The floorboards were rotting through. So I sold my Pinto for $150 to this young guy. He gave me $50 down and promised to pay $50/month for the next 2 months. He did the 2nd payment, but it took him 3 more months to finally pay me off. I didn't mind because at this point in my life I was doing better financially and didn't need the money that desperately.The old gal brings back a lot of memories like the time I changed a flat tire on the side of I-94 Highway during a snowstorm. Lucky I didn't get killed. Also rebuilt the carburetor by reading the instructions. Never even done a rebuild before. Thats how simple parts were back then.