20Ford Pinto

via Paul Rioux

The Pinto came to us at a time when fuel was scarce. The NHRA, wanting to allow the smaller-wheelbase to compete, allowed cars with less than a 100-inch wheelbase to run at 2,000lbs (rather than the 2,400lb minimum for longer-wheelbase cars).

This meant that provided competitors maintained a cubic-inch-displacement of under

366cid, they could run their cheap little Pintos, Vegas, and Gremlins much lighter; but they had to make them faster, also! As much as can’t stop laughing at it, there’s a ’79 Pinto with a twin-turbo LS that does 7.998-second quarter-miles at 172.43. We’re still laughing, but just a little bit more respectable this time.

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