Pangra: The Original Hot Hatch


The year was 1972 and one California Ford dealer has a vision to make a domestic 2+2 sports coupe to rival the likes of the Datsun 240Z and Porsche 914.  The 175hp turbocharged Ford Pinto Pangra was born and around 50 were produced.


The stock Ford Pinto of the time made as low as 54hp depending on engine choice but the Pangra received a turbocharged 2.0L SOHC engine that put out almost four times the power.  The person responsible for the existence of the Pangra is Jack Stratton out of Huntington Ford in Arcadia, California. Jack came up with a modified design for the body and worked with fiberglass specialist Bob Crowe to build a completely redesigned front end.  The changes included a new fiberglass hood and bumper assembly as well as pop up headlights.


The body was only the first step as Jack worked with Koni to create a set of tuned shocks for the vehicle along with upgraded wheels and tires. The whole setup received a custom alignment and was able to pull 0.74g on the test track.  The 2.0L was upgraded in the hands of legendary racer A.K. miller and received a turbocharger along with water injection and host of other upgrades.  This put the engine at the 175hp mark an allowed it to hit 60mph in 7.5 seconds.  The last bit of upgrades went to the interior which received a custom dashboard with new gauges along with a set of Recaro seats.


Somewhere around 50 Pangras were sold during the 1972 to 1973 production run and they retailed around $4,600 which would be about $25,800 in 2015 dollars.  In comparison, a base Pinto went for around $2,200 which would be about $12,300 in 2015 dollars.  There were also some partial Pangras running around as all of the added upgrades were also sold as kits for owners of base Pintos to install.  The three kits were broken down as follows:

  1. Body Package – $595
    This included the entire new front end body assembly
  2. Suspension Package – $951
    This included the upgraded shocks, tires, and wheels
  3. Turbocharger Package – $1691
    This included the turbocharger and associated engine upgrade pieces

Most of the Pangras did not survive but there are still a few running around that were either fully built showroom vehicles or owner-assembled from the kits. One that recently popped up for sale is listed at for $14,500 and belongs to Pangra enthusiast Brad Fagan.  He is well known for his love of the Pangra and has owned and modified various models.

[Photo Credit: Flickr]

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