A 1977 Ford Pinto Station Wagon
The Owners: Chris and Lisa Freitas
The Car: A 1977 Ford Pinto station wagon
What Sparked the Interest: Chris Loves Pintos! Actually, he loves his wife and she loves Pintos.
Lisa's first car, while in high school, was a Pinto. She loved it all the way to the junkyard.
Chris searched for a Pinto for 2 years before finally finding one on the Internet. It was in Utah. They could have it for a mere $1,350. The family packed for the pilgrimage and made a family vacation of it. Lisa said that even though Chris got the car for her, she's driven it only twice.
While Chris has received kudos for restoring it, he said that she's the only wife around who would let a $700 paint job pass her without flinching. Chris went through the engine and replaced hoses, belts and filters and brought it up to California smog code.
He completely redid the interior, replaced the carpet and installed seat covers. It needed new rubber, custom wheels and a paint job – complete with flames.
Now they have a completely restored car with plenty of room for their two sons and it cost, probably, a total of $5,000.
The family memories though? Priceless!
A Favorite Memory: "Are you kidding, the ride to go get it was an adventure," he said. Their sons thought it was a cool adventure and friends thought they might be just a little bit crazy driving all that way - "for a Pinto?"
But the end result was worth it.
~~Kathi Pethoud, Bee staff writer