The Pinto with glass rear hatch was known as the Pinto Runabout in 1977, while Mercury called this car the "Bobcat 3-door with Glass Third Door."
When a car sits for years or decades in High Plains Colorado, rodents tend to nest in it. This Bobcat's air cleaner made a cozy home for our Hantavirus-carrying friends.
The 1970s were the last gasp for eye-searingly green vinyl car interiors. Since the Bobcat was a luxed-up Pinto, the door panels have shinier trim than what you'd have had in a proletariat-grade Pinto.
Pinto/Bobcat transmission choices boiled down to two: a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic. Unusually for a Malaise Era Mercury, this one has the manual.
Most Pintos and Bobcats came with four-cylinder engines, ranging from the 1.6-liter pushrod Kent to the 2.3-liter engine that lived on for many post-Pinto years in Ford Rangers. This car has the 2.3, rated at 89 horsepower, but the same 2.8-liter Cologne V6 that powered the Capri was available as an option in the Bobcat. That engine made a mighty 93 horsepower.
These cars were not too miserable to drive by econobox standards of their time, at least when they had three pedals. You'd blow the doors off a '77 Corolla with a 4-speed Bobcat in a drag race, though the Corolla got better fuel economy.
Gives you hundreds of pounds more car than most small imports and includes standard self-adjusting rear brakes!