All Pintos blow up. That’s a generalization that’s pretty common. It’s also one that’s pretty much wrong. Sure, there were issues with the early model Pinto hatches and be-trunked models where design flaws created a greater than average likelihood of fire after being rear ended, but that was fixed half-way through the little Ford’s model run, and wagons never were at risk at all.
That’s just one of many automotive industry legends that it turns out are mostly bunk. Another is that all Corvairs are unsafe at any speed. At any speed. The less knowledgable typically equate all models of the quirky Chevrolet with Ralph Nader’s dark safety-minded taint, but the fact is, the second generation cars, with their coil-sprung fully independent rear suspension, larger, more secure brakes, and stronger motors, were among the best handling cars of the sixties.
Those are just a couple of unfortunate legends that have grown feral from the tame auspices of reality. But what of others? That Edsel nearly killed Ford? That Detroit has kept the 100-mpg carburetor under wrap for decades? That Henry Ford wanted to quell worker acrimony with marijuana. . . ? Well, that last one is apparently true, but still, the indignation! What other false automotive legend most burns your biscuits?