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September 11, 1970 – The Ford Pinto goes on sale
This Day

September 11, 1970 – The Ford Pinto goes on sale

The public met the Ford Pinto on this day in 1970, exactly one year to the day Ford fired former president Bunkie Knudsen. Ford developed the subcompact to compete with the influx of small cars of the era, particularly imports, but also domestics such like the Chevy Vega, introduced one day prior. Between 1971 and 1980, more than 3 million Pintos would roll out off assembly lines. However, it wasn’t the fact that the Pinto was the first mass produced car to feature rack-and-pinion steering that put it in the headlines. The explosive news coverage the car received throughout the 1970s can be attributed to an ill placed gas tank on pre-1977 models. Above: Ford Pinto - By Joost J. Bakker CC BY 2.0 The vehicle earned a reputation for bursting into flames in rear end accidents at speeds ...

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