Last month, my good friend, Chris, hooked me up with a purchase of 10 nice, blackwall-era Hot Wheels that he had seen listed on the St. Louis area Facebook Marketplace. The oldest of the 10 is this Poison Pinto from 1977.
The real-life Ford Pinto was among the first generation of subcompact cars – including the Chevrolet Vega and the AMC Gremlin – introduced by American automakers in 1970 to compete against popular Japanese imports. The Pinto was introduced in September of 1970, first as a 2-door fastback sedan. The 3-door hatchback followed in February of 1971 and, a year later, the 2-door station wagon made its debut. The Pinto was rear-wheel drive, with engines ranging from the 1.6L Kent inline 4-cylinder to a later 2.8L Cologne V6, and either a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.
The Hot Wheels Poison Pinto – based on the station wagon model – was first cast in 1976 with the same paint and tampo as this one, but wearing redline wheels. It was also included in both 1976 and 1977 in the Super Chromes 6-Pack, wearing redlines the first year and blackwalls in ’77.
There are about 10 variations of the Poison Pinto up until 1985, and about 4 more after it was retooled for the Hot Wheels Collectors club in 2003. In 1979, the casting was used for The Thing from the Heroes series, the only other version I have in my collection.
As a bonus, the Poison Pinto comes complete with a set of tools molded into the rear of the chrome plastic interior.