When you think about automotive safety the occasionally explosive Ford Pinto is hardly the first vehicle that comes to mind. Having said that, a stock Pinto in decent condition would be infinitely safer than the destroyed Ford seen here.
A Minnesota State Trooper recently spotted and pulled over this vehicle while it was on U.S. Highway 52 in Koochiching County. You read that correctly, not only was someone driving this destroyed Pinto on a public road, they were operating it somewhere close to highway speed.
We've witnessed our fair share of cobbled together automotive disasters, but this wagon is likely the worst we've ever seen still being used on a public road. From the lack of any floors to the when-is-this-going-to-break-in-half stance, we can't imagine someone would risk driving this at speed.
According to a Minnesota State Patrol spokesperson it was the tire shown wedged behind the driver's seat that was actually holding it in place. The safety violations continue with the unique marine gas tank setup positioned where there was once a passenger seat—
"A hose ran from the gas can, out the passenger window, around the front and under the hood, and 'rigged up to the engine,'"
If you can put aside the obvious safety risks to the driver and anyone else on the road anywhere near this thing, there's almost something admirable about the insane commitment and stupid lengths someone went to just to keep this car going. It seems the MSP had a slightly different take on the efforts employed by the rusty Pinto owner though.
After being pulled over last Sunday, the unidentified driver of this rolling death trap was cited for several violations including unsafe equipment and not having a Minnesota Drivers License. Perhaps more importantly the Pinto was impounded by Police—finally bringing a long overdue end to the vehicle's (barely) functional life.