The Pinto was a great learning tool for me. We got it from Grandpa when I was 16, still had my beginners license. The car was super reliable, but still needed to be worked on. It was the only vehicle I ever regularly drove that had a carb on it, learned it's quirks and how to keep it going strong. Ended up putting a manual choke on it when the auto choke kept wearing itself into problems. Replaced the water pump on the side of the road one summer. Then put a cylinder head on it that winter when I pulled the engine in shop class to replace all the leaky gaskets.
I loved that car. Would not be opposed to buying one that's been kept nice, but I'd want to put up a garage before I got anything like that.