The 1970s saw a rise in the number of people able to drive with more than 20 million registered as licence holders.This meant that car ownership was becoming the norm for many households and cars as image definers was very much at the forefront of buyers’ minds.
What do you think were the key cars of the 70s? What classic car from the decade do you want to own?
Technically, the Ford Capri was actually a car from the 1960s, with the first model rolling off the production in 1969.
It came from the designer of the popular Ford Mustang and it definitely had the same feel of the US muscle cars.
Buyers were tempted by the rear-wheel drive setup and Ford developed a range of Capris that proved themselves on the track – furthering the sporty image of the Capri and the idea that only the coolest of dads drove them on the school run.
When Ford ceased production of the iconic Capri in 1986, close to two million cars had been sold and it remains a regular on the UK classic car scene.
It was not just the Capri that proved a 70s hit for Ford, the car maker also produced the iconic Ford Escort. The first generation of the Escort was available until the mid-70s and was introduced to replace the popular Anglia.
The Escort had standard rear-wheel drive and buyers could choose from a four-speed manual gearbox, or three-speed automatic option. In terms of suspension, the car boasted a MacPherson strut front suspension and was the first Ford to use rack and pinion steering.
Escorts from the 1970s are certainly becoming rarer and are now attracting top prices. Recently, one online motor car auction site has listed a very special example of a 1977 MKII for a staggering £149,000.
The MkII Escort RS1800 was built by the Ford Motorsport team in 1977 and was entered in the Group 4 division the World Rally Championship. During its racing career, the car had three podium finishes before being retired from the track in 1980.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Often named as Britain’s first supercar, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage was launched in 1977 and quickly gained the attention of motoring fans. Its design included major improvements to the engine that had been fitted in the Lagonda. By making over the camshafts, inlet valves and carburettors, Aston Martin produced a car capable of 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 170 mph.
Fiat Abarth 131 Rally
Fiat produced the Fiat 131 as a family car from 1974 to 1984 and it was relatively popular. However, car fans were most impressed with the Fiat Abarth 131 Rally edition of the car, which proved a real winner – picking up three World Rally Championships.
Fans of the Abarths may even want to consider a pilgrimage to the Abarth Works Museum in Belgium – which is home to several Fiat Abarths – all in mint condition.
What do you think of the real iconic cars of the 1970s? Let us know via the comments section.
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