Randy Irwin's 1972 Pinto Bob Glidden Tribute
(from Volume 29, Issue 347)

story by owner Randy Irwin, photos by Michael B. Kelly


In 1974 I bought my first of what over the years would add up to having owned fifteen Ford Pintos at this point. It was just a stocker with ET mags, shackles and a Cherry Bomb muffler. My buddy always had the Vegas and I had the Pintos. I’ve built a few V-8 Pintos over the years but never a full tube type chassis car like this. I have always been a huge fan of Bob Glidden and with Bob passing in 2017 I thought it would be fun to pay homage to him and build a tribute car.

I found my 1972 Pinto locally. It was all stock but had been hit in the rear hard, but no explosion. I found an “NOS” right quarter panel and tail light panel to fix the body. I then had the body media blasted and painted white by David Bergman. The story is that Bob Glidden had his car painted by a friend at a Chevy dealership one night while they were closed so David painted the Pinto GM fleet white. Vince Balisteri did all the blue and red striping. The stripes were painted on over the white using masking tape just they would have done back in the day. Many of the stickers were not available per the size of the sicker, or that the company is no longer is business, so I had Gary Zuyus make them.

The body, doors and trunk lid are steel. The hood, hood scoop, front end, bumpers and dashboard are fiberglass. The dashboard was made from the same dashboard mold as the original Bob Glidden Pinto dashboard. The frame is made of 2x3 inch rectangular tubing with a 1-5/8 inch mild steel roll cage. The floor and firewall are made .030 aluminum. It has an A-arm front end suspension with coilover shocks and a 4-link rear suspension with coilover shocks. Bob’s Pinto did have a ladder bar rear suspension so I did update a few things. The motor is a 351 cubic inch Cleveland with a tunnel ram and two 700cfm Holley carburetors. It has a Ford 4-speed Toploader close ratio transmission with a Hurst shifter. The rear end is a Ford 9-inch, 35 spline, full spool with 5.86:1 gears. It has Wilwood front and rear disc brakes. The wheels are Cragar Super Tricks with Goodyear front tires and Mickey Thompson rear tires.

It was fun to build something that I kind of had a map to follow, as it is a tribute car. I hope I made Bob smile....and I know I’m smiling. CN