1978 JCPenney Pinto – No Keys


The JCPenney Pinto was a moped sold by JCPenney in the 70’s.  Austrian manufacturer Kromag, built the pinto and used a Puch E50 engine. Pinto mopeds were available in 1, 1.5, and 2hp ratings.

Carl purchased the moped stock and in wonderful condition for its age. He acquired it from a friend who couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working.  With no prior moped knowledge and a bit of research, Carl diagnosed the problem.  After the diagnoses, Carl made a stop at MOPED in Chicago.  Twenty dollars and twenty minutes later the moped ran again.
 JCPenney Pinto


Similar to a lot of other riders, Carl drew inspiration from Café-style motorcycles. The first iteration of the pinto included seventeen inch Bernardi Grimeca 3 Star MAG wheels instead of the original spoke wheels.  Next, “M” handlebars replace the factory handlebars. Then a longer seat replaces the solo saddle seat.  New chrome shocks in addition to black paint on the rear rack complete the look.
When you live in Chicago and can’t ride your beloved mopeds what is there to do? You take it apart and build it again. The satisfaction of the first version of the JCPenney Pinto and cold winter led Carl to go a step further with his moped.
The current version of the JCPenney receives a new flaked gold/champagne paint job.  EBR Black Maxi Forks upgrade the Pinto’s front end. Treats Chrome Clip-Ons mount to the forks instead of the “M” handlebars.  A fairing covers the headlight in addition. Finally, a TrailTech temperature gauge complete the changes to the front.  Then the rear fender and rack are eliminated.  The saddle seat makes a return and finally new Sava MC11 17 x 2.25 tires.
 JCPenney Pinto


“Most people new to the culture tend to fall down a rabbit hole after their first success in rebuilding or riding. I was no different.” – Carl
A few details needed modification due to the removal of the rear fender. A bracket off of the swing arm holds the license plate. A Vertical Fixation red L.E.D. taillight replaced the stock light. The factory taillight mounted to the rear fender originally. The stock puffy seat had the underside ripped out to make it sit low.
 JCPenney Pinto Tank


Carl spent the past four years constantly upgrading the JCPenney Pinto engine while swapping out cosmetic parts. Living and working in the city of Chicago, the “city speed limit” is somewhere around 35 mph. He wanted a decent amount of low end opposed to top speed. He wanted to make sure the Pinto could get up to speed quick enough so that traffic never got too upset.
To achieve his performance goals he started with a K-Star 70cc high compression head coupled with a DMP 70cc cylinder. Next, a Rito race crank paired with new seals and bearings.  An MLM 19mm intake matched with a 19mm Dellorto PHBG carburetor deliver premix fuel to the top end.  Then a Treatmetric Jammer Clutch to apply the power to the gears. Finally a Proma Circut – Tecno Estroil exhaust completes the engine build.
 Puch E50 engine

Engine Specs

Head – K-Star 70cc
Kit – DMP 70cc
Crank – Rito Race Crank
Exhaust – PromaCurcuit – Tecno Estoril
Intake – MLM Clamp-Style 19mm
Carb – 21mm Dellorto Race Carb, Switched out to 19mm Dellorto PHBG
Air filter – Metal, Chrome Top Air Filter
Spark plug – NGK B7HS
Ignition – Points
Spark plug boot – NGK
Clutch – Treatmetric Jammer Clutch – Standard Springs


JCPenney Pinto




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