The Lyman Electric Pinto
Shocking innovation from the OPEC-boycott days
And just think, there was a time when 60-cent gas inspired things like this. This car, which could almost qualify for SIA Flashback status, appeared in an advertisement that ran in Issue 34 of our own Special Interest Autos magazine, the May-June 1976 issue. That makes it part of the likely flotsam of the first OPEC-led petroleum crunch that was something like three years old at the time, having already inspired some bad TV plots and neo-survivalist Howard Ruff calamitygrams by the time this electric-powered 1974 Ford Pinto Runabout showed up in SIA’s pages.
We tried hard to get the skinny on this one, without avail. The Ford Pinto Car Club of America, yes there is such an entity, could not provide any history on the Lyman conversion. The only existing firm of the same name that we can find in Connecticut today is Lyman Products of Middletown, which produces equipment for the shooting sports and told us they are not related to the onetime Pinto modifier. The address listed in this ad is now occupied by a contractor that produces custom bars, we are assuming the kind for serving drinks. Ten grand was a ton for any car in 1974, with the Lyman-buzzed Pinto just about matching the MSRP of a 1974 Lincoln Continental Mark IV, dollar for dollar. A stock 1974 Pinto Runabout, that being the hatchback model, listed for $2,631. Did any of the Lyman cars ever actually get sold? Let us know.