The 1973 Ford Pinto was a four-cylinder, rear-wheel drive hatchback. It was the first Ford Pinto to come equipped with pneumatic struts to make opening the car's characteristic hatchback easier. The 1973 model was also the first Pinto to feature a rear seat that fully folded both forward and backward.
The 1973 Ford Pinto's four-cylinder engine had a displacement of 122 cubic inches. The engine could generate a peak power of 83 horsepower, and it could generate 97 pound-feet of torque. The standard Pinto was only available with a four-speed manual transmission. A slightly more expensive Cruise-O-Matic model featured a three-speed automatic transmission. The 1973 Pinto had unusually high fuel economy for its era, getting an average of 21.3 miles per gallon of gasoline, while the Cruise-O-Matic had slightly higher fuel consumption.
The standard Pinto and Cruise-O-Matic models each featured 38 cubic feet of cargo space thanks to their large rear compartments. Ford also manufactured two wagon variants of the 1973 Pinto for customers who required even more storage space. The 1973 Pinto Wagon featured all the same drive train components as the standard models but added an additional 22 cubic feet of cargo space. The final 1973 Pinto variant was the Pinto Squire, a version of the Pinto Wagon that featured wood panelling along its sides.