‘Charlie’s Angels’ 1977 Ford Pinto

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Ford celebrated the Pinto's leading role in a '70s cop-caper show

Ah, the ’70s. Disco, big moustaches, bell bottoms and funky automobiles, which after 1974 were highlighted by impact bumpers and rudimentary pollution controls. The ’70s also included such quirky cop-caper TV shows as Charlie’s Angels, featuring another icon of the decade, Farrah Fawcett.

While the Ford Pinto was never considered one of the great triumphs of motoring, what with the fiery gas-tank controversy and all, it did have a connection with Charlie’s Angels in that one of the babe trio of crime fighters (not Farrah) drove a bright-orange Pinto on the show.

Impact bumpers did no favors to this body design

In recognition of this important cultural milestone, the Pick of the Day presents an exceedingly rare survivor, a 1977 Ford Pinto Charlie’s Angels Edition described as being in “pristine unmolested condition.”

If you remember this show at all, you might also recall that Sabrina Duncan, played by Kate Jackson, drove the Pinto. The Pinto’s role on the show was the result of unmitigated product placement, in which Ford swung a deal with the show’s producer for each of the Angels to drive Ford compacts.

The other two members of the female squad did their sleuthing in Mustang II coupes, another unloved product of that moribund era, although Farrah’s car was the V8-powered Cobra II version whose small-screen time resulted in a sales boom for that model.

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The car has a large hatchback and a vinyl-trimmed roof

Ford saw fit to celebrate the TV success of its beleaguered Pinto with this Tangerine Orange commemorative model. No, I’ve never seen one before either. This car has a 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed manual as well as “every option available in 1977,” according to the Sarasota, Florida, dealer advertising the hatchback on ClassicCars.com.

For any Pinto to have survived apparently unscathed for more than four decades is remarkable in itself since nearly all of these cars were used up and thrown away. An extra-special version in low-mileage preserved condition is unusual indeed. The car is said to have its original documentation, fully serviced and ready to go.

The very-’70s interior looks to be in decent shape

The asking price of $12,900 is about twice what the Kelley Blue Book says a 1977 Pinto is valued in excellent condition. Yet this rare oddity could be worth the extra cost if you’re into this sort of thing. We’ve seen some weirder special editions than this one sold at a premium.

Any potential buyer should make sure that this car has had the recall done that fortifies the fuel system against leaks in the event of a rear-end collision. Or else be prepared to have the fix made before driving the car.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

2 COMMENTS

    • Watching an episode now and the interior is different. The show car had striking orange and yellow seats. I had an identical pinto to this one with the more muted beige color interior. It was a great car threw a rod but only paid $215 for the car and drove it a year so was a great deal.

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