One of the most forgotten and overlooked decades of the automotive industry was the 1970s. With the fuel embargo and the fact that automakers had to downsize cars in size and power, the decade didn’t have very many hits overall. For the most part, it wasn’t a very exciting time in automotive design. But there were still quite a few well-known cars that came out of the decade. And some of these hidden gems have come to light recently.
Indeed, car enthusiasts are starting to experience more and more of what the decade had to offer. Cars like the AMC Gremlin that were once considered obsolete have now become classics. Even the Pinto-based Mustang has started to gain a decent following these days. It could even be said that the decade wasn’t as bad as most enthusiasts remember it being. Many of the cars had their own unique style, whether it was the velour interiors or the move toward digital dashboards there was a lot to like about the decade in general. We looked back at some 1970s cars that deserve more credit than they get.
If there’s one car that’s synonymous with cheap ’70s hatchbacks, it was no doubt the Gremlin. The car was designed and sold by cash-strapped AMC in an attempt to jump on the economy car craze of the decade. With stiff new competition from Honda and Toyota, domestic automakers had to come up with a plan. AMC recycled a lot of parts from their existing vehicle line and it showed in the quality of the car (via Motor Trend).
While the Gremlin wasn’t the most technologically advanced car, it did have a unique design. The interior of the Gremlin was a lot larger than other compact cars at the time, and that was one of the best-selling features. The Gremlin had a 304 V8 engine, which was unheard of in a compact. Its body was widely used in NASCAR and dirt track racing. There’s no denying that the Gremlin was one of the most underrated cars of the decade.