Remember the 1970s? It was a time of great change in America, both in terms of technology and the economy. The auto industry was in a time of transition. A major part of that transition was forced on the industry. Rising gas prices at the start of the decade caused automakers to think fast and change the way that cars were designed from the inside out. Gone were the high-powered V8 engines of the past. New emissions components and lightweight designs became the norm. But that didn’t stop automakers from coming up with some cool ideas.
The ’70s are often an era that gets overlooked because car designs were hampered by the fuel crisis. But a few of these cars were some of the most innovative designs in automotive history. So we looked back at the coolest and craziest cars from the decade. These cars changed the way that fans looked at the modern automobile. The 1970s were an era that should not be overlooked when it comes to the automotive industry because many of these cars were excellent. Find out which ones we’re talking about right here.
Chevrolet Vega – GM’s First Attempt at a Compact Car
If the Vega looks familiar, that’s because it is. GM needed a compact car in the 1970s, and fast. The design of the Vega was heavily influenced by the second-generation Camaro model. Despite t a few differences, the Vega was every bit a baby Camaro save for its performance. The car had a lethargic inline-four under the hood, not to mention that the engine was one of the first four-cylinder power plants to feature an aluminum block (via Motor Trend).
All of this was put into place to make the Vega an appealing compact car entry. The design was built to be as lightweight as possible, therefore providing high fuel economy numbers. The problem with the car was its shoddy build quality, which was much lower than its Japanese competitors. The result was a car that has a significant place in automotive history and is still one of the least-liked cars on the road.