Route 66 News

He’s a Pinto man

The Springfield (Ill.) Journal-Register, previewing the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival this weekend, published a great story about car exhibitor Tony Peterson of nearby Staunton, who collects Ford Pintos.

Yes, Pintos. That car that safety advocates said was a fire trap. A model that contains as much infamy as the Edsel.

Peterson has nine Pintos. Peterson says with a straight face: “They’re probably one of the best-looking cars ever made. They’re a lot more stylish than a Mustang ever was.”

Then there’s this gem:

Peterson, however, disputes an assertion in Mother Jones magazine that as many as 900 people died because of faulty fuel tanks. The federal government, he said, documented only 27 cases of people burning to death in Pintos.

Well, that’s a relief. ;)

You can also read about Peterson driving a mint Pinto across the country only at night, because it tended to overheat.