Ford's first belt-driven single overhead camshaft engine made its debut in 1970 and was still being used at the turn of the 21st century.
Officially codenamed T88, it is known in Europe as the Pinto, after a car which was never sold on that side of the Atlantic. Americans know it as the Lima, after the Ford engine production plant in Lima, Ohio.
Whatever people call it, the four-cylinder engine was used in a very wide variety of Ford vehicles for three decades, and in many competition cars and home-built specials. Here are some of the highlights:
The Ford Pinto subcompact went on sale in the US September 1970, advertised as an alternative to the Volkswagen Beetle. The engine choice included the 1.6-liter Kent and the 2.8-liter Cologne V6.
The engine known as Pinto was also available, first in 1993cc form and later enlarged to 2301cc. Production continued until 1980, by which time the car had developed a reputation for bursting into flames during rear impacts, though that didn’t stop nearly 3.2 million examples from being sold.
Ford Taunus TC
In the same month that the Ford Pinto was launched, Ford of Germany introduced the latest version of its Taunus model, a very close relative of the Britain's third-generation Ford Cortina.
Less powerful variants of the previous Taunus had used V4 engines. The new car was fitted with 1294cc and 1593cc versions of the more modern inline four, both of them smaller than the ones used in the American Pinto.
Ford Cortina Mk3
The third-generation Cortina was available with both the Pinto engine (appearing for the first time in a car sold in the UK) and the older overhead-valve Kent. Strangely, there were 1.6-liter versions of both. In this application, the 1593cc Pinto had a 20bhp advantage over the 1599cc Kent, and was accordingly fitted to the sporty 1600GT.
The even more potent 2000GT used the 1993cc Pinto engine. This was the most powerful motor fitted to a Cortina of this generation in Europe, though larger units including the 3.0-liter Essex V6 were used in other markets.
Ford Capri Mk1
The Capri was introduced in 1969, a year before the arrival of the Pinto engine. Most of the cars in the first generation were therefore powered either by the Kent or the V4 and V6 motors.
However, the Pinto was occasionally used in some markets, even - from 1972 - in its smallest 1294cc form.
Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000
Ford launched the first-generation European Escort even earlier than the Capri, in 1968, and did not fit the Pinto engine to it until very late in the production run.
The RS2000 of 1973 was the only Escort of this era fitted with a Pinto. The 1993cc unit produced 101 hp, and was therefore less powerful than the 1968 Twin Cam and the Cosworth BDA-powered 1970 RS1600, both of which used very highly developed versions of the Kent engine. Still, the RS2000 was quick for its day, and less highly strung than the earlier performance versions.
Ford Capri Mk2
The Pinto was more prominent in the second-generation Capri than it had been in the first.
As with the Mk3 Cortina, the 1593cc version was available as a more powerful alternative to the 1599cc Kent, while the 1993cc unit replaced the much older 1996cc V4.
Ford Granada Mk1
The original Granada arrived in 1972, in plenty of time for the 2.0-liter version to be fitted with the 1993cc Pinto. In fact, Ford used the 1996cc V4 instead for more than two years, replacing it with the Pinto only in late 1974.
Despite the similar capacities, the Pinto was significantly more powerful than the V4, with an output of nearly 100 hp. Even for the 1970s, though, this wasn't a high figure for a car of the Granada's size and weight. The 3.0-liter Essex V6 was stronger, and sounded better.
Many American Fords were slightly altered and rebadged under the Mercury brand name, which was created in 1938. The Ford Pinto received this treatment in 1974, when it began to be sold as the Mercury Bobcat.
The Mercury brand's first subcompact was sold with either the 2301cc version of the Pinto/Lima engine or a 2.8-liter V6. Its late arrival and relatively tiny production figures mean that the Bobcat is a much rarer model than its Ford equivalent.
Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000
As had been the case with the Mk1 model, the 1993cc Pinto engine was used only for the RS2000 version of the second-generation Escort. It was the second most powerful car in the line-up, beaten only by the Cosworth-engined RS1800, which was sold to the public simply so that it could compete in international rallying.
Apart from its engine, the RS2000 was also unique among Mk2 Escorts in having a 'droopsnoot' front end with quad headlights, a feature which was considered very stylish when the car was introduced in 1976.
Ford Escort Mk2 Mexico
The other Pinto-powered Mk2 Escort was the Mexico. Ford first used this name for a Mk1 created to celebrate its victory in the 1970 London to Mexico long-distance rally.
The later version, launched in 1976, was fitted with the 1593cc Pinto engine. With a maximum output of 96 hp, it fell 16 hp short of the RS2000 and was considerably less popular. Ford abandoned production in 1978.
Ford Cortina Mk4/5
The last two Ford Cortina models were essentially the same car restyled halfway through its life cycle in 1979.
The Pinto engine was now well established in the middle of the Cortina range. It was available in both 1593cc and 1993cc forms, and survived until the Cortina was replaced by the Sierra in 1982.
Ford Granada Mk2
Having made a late arrival to the first-generation European Granada range, the 1993cc Pinto was available in the Mk2 from that model's launch in 1977.
In the UK, this was the base-level engine in the second Granada. Elsewhere in Europe, the 1.7-liter version of the by now venerable V4, which dated back to 1962, was used briefly before being replaced by the 1593cc Pinto, the smallest unit ever fitted to any Granada.
At its launch in 1965, the Transit had a very short engine compartment which could accommodate compact V4 engines. An extended nose, nicknamed the 'pig snout', had to be introduced so that V6s and an inline-four diesel could be fitted.
Revisions for 1977 included extending the front of the van, with a corresponding increase in space for the engine. The Pinto was now a viable option, and sure enough it became the dominant four-cylinder gasoline engine in the range, completely replacing the old V4. Both the 1593cc and 1993cc versions were used.
Ford Courier Mk2
Ford's first compact pickup was a restyled and rebadged version of the Mazda B-Series. In its first generation, it was powered only by Mazda engines, but the 2301cc Pinto/Lima became an option during the second generation, which began in 1977.
In the 1983 model year, the Courier was replaced in North America by the Ranger, but it remained on sale in other markets for a further two years.
Ford Capri Mk3
The Capri went into its third and final generation in 1978. The 1593cc and 1993cc Pinto were there right to the end as the dominant four-cylinder engines in the range, though the less powerful 1.3-liter Kent was still available.
More dramatic versions of the Capri used V6 engines of various sizes, but the Pinto provided a cheaper and more economical alternative.
Forced induction was applied to the Pinto engine for the first time in the late 1970s. The third-generation Ford Mustang and its counterpart, the second-generation Mercury Capri (pictured) were both available with a turbocharged version of the 2301cc Pinto/Lima unit.
At its launch in the 1979 model year, the turbo engine was rated at 140 hp. Six years later, with the help of an intercooler, it was producing 200 hp in the Mustang SVO.
The 2301cc Pinto/Lima was the engine most commonly used in the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyrcompact sedans from 1977 to 1983.
In 1980, the turbocharged version recently introduced to the Mustang range became available for these less sporting cars. With an output of 120 hp in this application, it was significantly stronger than the 3.3-liter straight-six Thriftpower unit, and even outpowered the 4.2-liter version of the Windsor V8.
TVR Tasmin 200
Most examples of the TVR Tasmin were fitted with Ford's 2.8-liter Cologne V6 engine. In an attempt to attract less wealthy customers, TVR also offered the Tasmin 200, which was powered by the 1993cc Pinto.
The lesson learned from this was that TVR fans didn't mind paying money as long as they received decent performance in return. With only 101 hp available, the Tasmin 200 sold in tiny numbers compared with the V6.
The Pinto was the dominant four-cylinder engine in the Sierra range when it was launched in 1982, though more modern units would be introduced during the model's lifetime.
Ford made several changes to the Pinto while the Sierra was in production. A new 1796cc version was introduced, and the 1.6-liter unit was given a rework which led to a slight increase in capacity to 1598cc.
Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
In its ninth generation, the Thunderbird was offered with 3.8-liter Essex V6 and 5.0-liter Windsor V8 engines, but both were outpowered by the turbocharged 2301cc Pinto/Lima in the Turbo Coupe.
This was the sporty version of a car which, in the 1980s, was no longer anything like as sporty as its name suggested. Even more impressive performance became available in 1987, when Ford added the intercooler previously used on the now discontinued Mustang SVO.
Ford Ranger Mk1
In naturally aspirated form, the 2301cc Pinto/Lima was the entry-level engine in the Ranger, the successor to the Courier pickup in North American markets.
Ford also offered a less powerful, narrow-bore version of the same unit with a capacity of 1990cc. This is one of the rarest engines in the entire Pinto family.
The fourth-generation Ford LTD and its Mercury Marquis counterpart, both launched in 1983, were considerably more compact than previous models. Large-capacity V8 engines were still available but no longer necessary across the entire range.
The 2301cc Pinto/Lima, which would previously have been unviable on any LTD or Marquis, now made sense as the entry-level engine in both models for the first time. It was the smallest motor fitted to either by a full liter, and the only one with just four cylinders.
The Merkur was a slightly adapted version of the European Ford Sierra three-door hatchback fitted with the 2301cc turbocharged Pinto/Lima engine. From 1985 to 1989 it was sold only in North America, where the Sierra name could not be used because General Motors owned (and still owns) the rights to use it in that region.
Although it was never sold outside America, the Merkur briefly featured in European Touring Car racing there before being replaced by the technically similar Sierra RS Cosworth.
Ford Granada Mk3
1796cc and 1993cc versions of the Pinto were used in more subdued versions of the third-generation Ford Granada, known in some markets as Scorpio.
The engine's relationship with the car was coming to an end. When a new and controversially styled model (sold everywhere as a Scorpio) came along in 1994, the Pinto was nowhere to be seen.
Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
The Aerostar was a van with a 'one-box' body design produced from the 1986 to 1997 model years. Several engines were available, including the naturally-aspirated 2301cc Pinto/Lima.
Perhaps the turbocharged version might have been a better choice. With just 100 hp available, the regular engine struggled to give the van decent performance. It was discontinued after just two years.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Although it looked more or less like a fifth-generation Escort, the RS Cosworth was in fact a development of the Sierra Cosworth, with a similar platform and the same four-wheel drive transmission layout. As with the Sierra, the engine was Cosworth's Pinto-derived 16-valve turbo unit.
Competition versions were perhaps less successful in World Championship rallying than Ford had hoped, but the car did win ten rounds of the series between 1993 and 1997.
Ford Ranger Mk2
The 2301cc Pinto/Lima was the only four-cylinder engine offered for the second-generation Ranger pickup, which had a relatively short production life from 1993 to 1997.
Latterly producing 112 hp, the engine was less powerful than the two larger-capacity V6 motors also available in the Ranger, but cheaper to buy and run.
Ford Ranger Mk3
The last engine in the Pinto family to be developed, and the only one fitted to a mainstream production vehicle in the 21st century, was an expanded version of the 2.3-liter Pinto/Lima. The stroke was extended by 7mm, giving a capacity of 2501cc, the largest in Pinto history.
This engine was fitted only to the third-generation Ranger pickup, launched in 1998. Ford replaced it with a more powerful 2.3-liter 16-valve Duratec in 2001, and thereby brought the Pinto story to an end just over 30 years after it began.
What about the Ford engine plant that gave this engine its name? Well, having been established in 1957, we’re pleased to say it’s still going strong and has a workforce of 1350 people building the TiVCT Duratec V6 over three capacities and the 2.7 and 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6.