Yes, there was a time when Apple’s co-founder drove a Pinto.
At least that’s how it’s portrayed in the film Jobs, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week. It is one of several films that attempt to channel the me-generation of the 1970s. The movie profiles the late Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Wozniak.
For director Joshua Michael Stern, getting Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs was hard, but finding the right car was even harder.
“It was really hard to find the right old Pinto,” Stern tells USA TODAY. “These cars from the 1970s are difficult, and it was a challenge to find this. But it was really key to set the tableau with the cars, and this car in particular.”
The Ford subcompact was popular, though not particularly great even as an early attempt at a modern small car. It was heavy, cutting into its fuel economy, and became embroiled in controversy over its penchant for bursting into flames when struck from the rear in a crash. If you want to instantly transport moviegoers back to the 1970s, a Pinto is a worthy way to do it.
“There are a lot of people who love their cars, and this just created the environment,” Stern says. “We found this really great old Brown Pinto. And everyone who saw it, it just took them back. It’s the kind of small thing that instantly puts you there.”
The filmmakers also had the luxury of shooting in the original Palo Alto, Calif., garage where Apple started for scenes showing the early days, so clearly, they were going for on-screen realism as much as possible.