That 70s Car: The Worst Looking Cars of the 1970s
From vinyl seats to fake wood panels attached, cars from the 1970s had some strange design choices. They were either “bad’ or just flat out bad. Station wagons were everywhere, 8-track players boomed the hits of the yesteryear, and someone got all funkadelic and decided that it was a solid idea for a three-wheeled car to reach mass production. The cars we’ve assembled for you aren’t the best-looking by any stretch of the imagination. However they have some soulful character that has kept them from fading into disco-fever dreams over the decades. Here are some of our “favorites.”
Pinto Cruising Wagon
Okay, so “The Thing” as in “the Thing from another world” as opposed to the Marvel superhero had another name: the Volkswagen Type 181. However that’s nowhere near as fun as calling it “The Thing.” Because that’s what this ugly creature is. It was a four-door soft-top that looked like a VW Beetle that had been designed using only an elementary school ruler. It somehow escaped the factory and was sold in the U.S. in 1972 and stayed on the market until 1975 when it was discontinued because it actually failed to meet new safety standards. Look at this thing, can you honestly say you’re surprised?
Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser 455
Ok let’s keep it real: despite looking like a soccer-mom ready wagon, don’t let the Vista Cruiser fool you: this packed a serious punch. Actually it packs too much. In an archived review from 1970, Car and Driver reported the Vista Cruiser 455 over-steered. “You got that?” readers were asked. “. . .BUT what we were astonished to find that it wanted to go around with its tail hung out and the steering steady on neutral.” Well, with a V8 that made 390-hp, it was probably hard not to step the big junky rear out.
Say man, those are some baaaaaaad cars. And I mean that literally. These cars are snapshots into the questionable “style” of the Disco-era and hopefully whenever 70s nostalgia hits the culture big time it won’t affect the deign of the cars. Groovy?
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Alex has worked in the automotive service industry for over 20 years. After graduating from one of the country’s top technical schools, he worked as a technician achieving a Master Technician certification. He also has experience as a service advisor and service manager. Read more about Alex.