1970s Classic Cars

The early 1970s oil crisis saw sales of muscle cars and other gas-guzzlers wane while smaller, compact cars gained popularity. Learn more about 1970s cars in this section.


Pontiac stylists had the ability to periodically impart a refreshing new look to the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and Formula without serious modifications to the actual sheetmetal. Learn more about these Pontiacs in this article.

The 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and 10th Anniversary Trans Am debuted a new look for Firebirds. Learn more the 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and the 10th Anniversary Trans Am in this article.

Bill Mitchell, GM's design chief, had complained that the first Firebird "had no real identity." This was not the case with the 1970 1/2 Pontiac Firebird. Learn more about this muscle car here.

Because both the 350-and 400-cid V-8 engines were available this year, the 1971 Pontiac Firebird Formula model lost its "400" suffix. Learn more about the 1971 Pontiac Firebird Formula in this article.

Trans Am already was in the process of developing a legion of aficionados, but you wouldn't know it from the year-end figures from 1972. Learn more about rare 1972 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

A bold new eggcrate grille decorated the front end of the base Firebird, Esprit, and the 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula; but something far bolder could be tucked beneath the Formula's hood. Learn more about the details surrounding the 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula.

A sloping Endura front end, highlighted by a slim bumper line and modification of Pontiac's traditional divided grille, led off the 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am facelift. Learn more about the 1074 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in this article.

By the time the 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hit the market, Trans Ams had found their niche. Despite ever-higher prices, output rose again as Pontiac sold one Trans Am for every three Firebirds. Learn more about the 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

The 1976 Pontiac Formula Firebird had a new appearance package that featured bold FORMULA graphics along door bottoms and rocker panels. Learn more about the 1976 Pontiac Formula Firebird in this article.

The 1971-1973 Buick Riviera was a combination of luxury, performance, and elegant styling. But this was something not everyone agreed on. The Rivera was a car most people either loved or hated. Find out why.

The 1966-1977 Ford Bronco offered the best of both freeway and off-road driving. Ford developed the Bronco as an answer to the growing popularity of off-road vehicles. Learn more about the 1966-1977 Ford Bronco.

The 1973-1977 Pontiac Grand Prix had little performance gains due to strict emissions standards. As a result, GM turned to luxury as a selling point for the Grand Prix. Learn more about the 1973-1977 Pontiac Grand Prix.

The 1976-1979 Cadillac Seville started an automotive revolution of downsizing due to high gas prices and smog regulations. The Seville became the smallest and most fuel-efficient sedan in Cadillac's lineup. Read more about this classic American luxury car.

The 1970 Cadillac NART Zagato was built by GM and Luigi Chinetti to compete with Ferrari's legendary gran turismo cars. GM later dropped out due to numerous delays and the economic difficulties. So what became of the Cadillac NART Zagato? Read on to find out.

The 1967-1977 NSU Ro80's twin-chamber rotary engine gave it a poor reputation. But that was only half of the problems that plagued the front-wheel drive NSU Ro80. Read more about this glorious failure of the late 60s.

The 1970 Ford Torino GT Convertible was flashy and fast and could reach 60 mph in 8 seconds thanks to its 429-cubic inch Cobra Jet engine. NASCAR tapped it to be the official pace car of the stock-car racing circuit. Read more about this powerful classic.

The 1968-1974 AMC Javelin was a competitive response to the successful Ford Mustang. The Javelin's performance rated high, with excellent handling and speeds that could match the likes of Mustangs and Camaros. Learn more about the AMC Javelin.

The 1974-1978 AMC Matador coupe was created to make AMC competitive in the mid-size auto market. Learn what made this popular Matador a success.

After dealing in hardware, motor scooters, and the tiny Subaru 360, Malcolm Bricklin decided to build his own car, the 1974-1975 Bricklin SV-1. Read about the rocky road that the 1974-1975 Bricklin SV-1 traveled from idea to its limited market.

The Chevelle SS earned a place among the top muscle cars of the era. It came in a number of trims and colors while the 350 engine was rated at 145 net horsepower. See pictures and learn why this classic car was one of the era's finest.

When you talk about the 1975 Leata, or any unusual car, people say, "It was ahead of its time!" You hear the cry anywhere you find an unconventional automobile. Learn how the 1975 Leata fit that description with its atypical styling and build.

The 1970-1974 Dodge Challenger is one of today's hottest newer collectibles, but it was too late to be much of a challenger in its day. Read the story of the car that seemed like a good idea in 1966, only to arrive just as a unique era was at an end.

American Motors was determined to be the first U.S. manufacturer to bring the subcompact car to the market -- and it did with the 1970 AMC Gremlin. See pictures and learn more about the 1970-1978 AMC Gremlin.

The XSR was a 1977 Toronado sent to American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) for a T-top conversion. This was no typical conversion, but a power T-top with glass panels that slid under a wide center bar. Check out the 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado XSR Coupe.

The 1973-1977 Chevrolet Chevelle provided full-size amenities in a mid-size car, at a mid-size price. Like many new Chevrolet models of the era, these Chevelles were also exceptional drivers' cars. Learn more about the 1973-1977 Chevelle.