The ’70s were a great time for the automotive industry – and also one of the worst. As the fuel embargo caused gas prices to skyrocket, many consumers were forced to switch their tastes to lightweight and compact vehicles. Automakers also had to adjust the way cars were designed and powered. No longer were the large V8 engines of the past the way of the future. Instead, the automakers had to configure new designs and technology that would make 1970s cars compatible with the new smog regulations. Taking a look back at these cars is an example of what made the automotive industry great back then.
But some vehicles seemingly flopped in the face of harsh critics and consumers such as the Ford Pinto. These cars were designed to be the future and more energy-efficient, but that didn’t happen. Many of the new smog technology made cars less efficient and less reliable. We looked back at some 1970s vehicles that were unpopular back then but aren’t bad cars now that time passed. In fact, quite a few of these 1970s cars have become instant classics and are worth more than ever before.
25: AMC Gremlin
The Gremlin was a car with an awful-looking design and not much fanfare behind it. When new, it was the product of a car company that didn’t have much money to afford research and development. As such, the car was relegated to many borrowed technologies from the AMC corporate parts bin. The performance of the Gremlin wasn’t admirable. Then again, most hatchbacks from this period weren’t exactly performance powerhouses (via Motor Trend).
As with most car designs from AMC in the 1970s, the exterior appearance was radical. Even though the Gremlin was a hatchback, the model was spacious inside. Even still, consumers were concerned about the questionable reliability and build quality. AMC was a company on the fritz and the Gremlin was a prime example of this questionable period in the company’s timeline. Nowadays, the Gremlin has become a sort of collector’s item and commands a high price tag.