Yes, in the 70s car buyers often had to make car choices that were akin to choosing between eating a dirty ashtray full of silverfish or jumping into the Blue Pond at the Porta-Potty cleaning facility. Case in point: would you prefer the '70 Pinto Squire... or the Vega? Meanwhile, the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere was knocking together B210s and Corollas that would last 300,000 miles.
I'd go for the Vega if it was post '74 when (I believe) they put in cylinder liners. Or better yet, a Cosworth. The station wagon body didn't even rust in the first 15 minutes it was exposed to moisture like the kammback did.
However I have a Ford friend that now has a racing Pinto that may eventually change my mind.
I used to know a guy that had a 305 in a Vega "Nomad" panel wagon. That was kind of weird.