In the glorious history of Ford as a prestigious carmaker, the Pinto from the 1970s was nothing short of a blot. Almost five decades later, the Ford Pinto is a name forgotten by many. However, a car modification house from the US named “Blue Collar Performance” has done something interesting with a 1970s Ford Pinto Wagon. Picking up something as cheap as an old Ford Pinto Wagon from the yesteryears, Blue Collar Performance swapped its original engine with a modern-era turbocharged LS V8 engine from General Motors.
Plonking an engine as big and powerful as GM’s turbocharged LS V8 in the small engine bay of the Ford Pinto Wagon was a task in itself. However, Blue Collar Performance ensured that it doesn’t look like a half-hearted job, as seen in a YouTube video uploaded by the modification house’s channel. The video shows the modified Ford Pinto Wagon’s condition and how it breathes on flat stretches with the V8 howling under its hood. This unassuming old Ford is sure to be a surprise attack on many modern sports cars.
Is This Old Ford Pinto Wagon A Good Fit For The Turbocharged LS V8?
The Ford Pinto Wagon picked here for the project is the infamous 1970s model, which used to come with a 2.0-liter inline-four engine. The engine bay was designed to accommodate even the range-topping 2.8-liter Cologne V6 engine. This turbocharged LS V8 from General Motors proved to be a tight fit in the engine bay of the Pinto Wagon for its sheer size. However, once the installation got completed, it became a fine cruiser with all the additional horses giving the old Pinto a fresh lease of life.
For this modified Pinto Wagon, the builder tuned the LS V8 powertrain with five pounds of boost while operating in a rich fuel mixture to limit the power. The builder explains how he can easily tune up the engine for an even higher power output by altering the turbocharger boost and engine timing. However, with all the minor alterations, this turbocharged LS V8, which runs on 91-octane gas, shows no problems moving the Pinto.
Modifications On This Old Pinto To Handle The Extra Power
The Ford Pinto was introduced as a sub-compact car to take on the rising popularity of compact European and Japanese imports. To keep the costs low, it had simple and cost-effective mechanicals. However, to handle the might of the reliable turbocharged LS V8, the mechanical setup of this particular Pinto Wagon had to undergo some more changes.
The video here also shows the undercarriage of the modified Ford Pinto Wagon when it is raised on a lift. Compared to the stock car, this old Pinto Wagon has disc brakes on all four wheels instead of just the front ones.
While it now gets a modified fuel tank, the transmission cooler has been repositioned beneath the rear seats. The builder also explains that some more adjustments need to be done in the Pinto Wagon’s setup because the rear-end housing flexes hard when the car accelerates hard. Due to this, the rear housing is hitting the floorboard.
A Beaten-Up Pinto Wagon And A V8 Engine Is An Unlikely Match
According to the car builder owning Blue Collar Performance, he is the third owner of the old Ford Pinto Wagon used for the project. In the video, he claims that the Pinto Wagon did only 26,000 miles before he took over the ownership. He also explains that the blue paint is its original shade, which has remained unchanged in all these years of its existence. However, as a repercussion of its age, one can spot reddish primer spots all over its body.
While showing off the exterior of his 1970s Ford Pinto Wagon, the builder also explains how he installed a new chrome-finished rear bumper from a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, one of the most desirable old-school cars even today. After the original rear bumper got trashed, the new owner of this car installed the Camaro’s bumper in its place using custom-made brackets. The hood of this Pinto Wagon has a J-shaped hollow in the middle to accommodate and give room to the turbocharger.
Is This Pinto Wagon Interior As Ratty-Looking As The Exterior?
Moving past the not-so-good-looking exterior of his Pinto Wagon, the builder then gives glimpses of its interior, which seems to be in much better condition compared to how the car looks on the outside. The builder claims that he has redone the interior of this old Pinto Wagon all by himself, which seems perfectly fine.
The improvements in the cabin also include a nice-looking diamond-shaped quilted upholstery for the seats, dashboard, and door panels, new door rubbers, new belt moldings, and a new headliner. Though, it is not as good as some of the rich-looking muscle car interiors that we have known.
The owner also shows the original carpets of the car and the new boot mat and painted panels in the boot compartment. However, in a surprising move, the builder utilized the spare tire area to accommodate the battery under its brown-colored cover.