Most people consider the 1960’s to be the landmark decade in all aspects. The 60’s were important, not only in the automotive world but in global politics, art, culture and fashion. For the car industry, the 60’s were a turning point, introducing trends which have lasted up to this day. In fact, many car classes from that decade are still popular today. Nothing in the car world would ever be the same after that time.
The decade that followed was also an interesting and important one. The 70’s car world started with a big promise of brave new designs and high-powered engines. It seemed like things were only going to get better, with cars becoming faster and designs becoming sleeker. Soon, a reality check hit the automotive industry, which changed the rules of the game forever.
During the 70’s there was an economic recession, bringing fuel shortages and tough emission and safety standards. This wounded the car industry, especially American manufacturers. Almost overnight, the mighty muscle cars lost their power and became obsolete. Big, elegant sedans gained ugly safety bumpers and low compression engines. The market started offering small, modest economy cars and people forgot about performance as a concept.
After a promising start, the 70’s threatened to transform cars into being boring and slow. In most cases they were, but some cars still delivered enough driving thrills and performance to show drivers not all had been lost. Here is a list of the quickest cars manufacturers produced from 1970 to 1979 that demonstrate the 70’s indeed had a performance portfolio.
In fact, there were cars that could strain a driver’s neck with their acceleration times. Some of these cars are red-blooded muscle cars and some are European exotics. However, they all have two things in common: 0 to 60 mph times of approximately six seconds and they emerged during the 70’s. Keep reading to go way back and see which cars were hot in that groovy decade.
1971 Plymouth GTX 440
Plymouth based this model on the same platform as the Coronet or the Roadrunner, but it was much more luxurious and had 375 HP as standard. They wanted the GTX to compete with luxury cars of the period, so they installed almost all possible creature comforts. They also included a special trim on the outside to distinguish the GTX from the rest of their model lineup.
The GTX was a gentleman’s hot rod with all the options. It had an updated interior and exterior details, but only one optional engine choice – the mighty 426 Hemi. The 440 Magnum was a standard engine, but if you wanted the ultimate Plymouth muscle luxury, you had to go for the Hemi. Because it was significantly more expensive than the rest of the Mopar muscle car lineup, the GTX wasn’t popular, so it is rare today.
When the early 70’s came and all those muscle cars started to lose power and torque figures, Plymouth discontinued the GTX. The stopped production in 1971, keeping it from being a disgrace to its fire-breathing predecessors. The 1971 model went out with a bang. When equipped with standard 440 V8 engine, it could do 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which was a respectable figure for the time.