Question of the Week: What’s the best car from the swinging ‘70s?

Fuel prices were up and horsepower was down, and let’s not talk about disco. The horsepower wars of the 1960s dribbled over ever so slightly, but to many enthusiasts, the 1970s represent a veritable dark era. There were good cars to be had though, and we want to know your favorite.

It was a horsepower hangover as the rating system changed and the once ground-pounding big-blocks became shells of their former selves, sporting the same cubic inches but lower compression ratios and fractions of their former horsepower ratings. There was even the threat that convertibles would be no more. The 1976 Cadillac Eldorado was the “last” American convertible—until 1984 when the body style returned and buyers who hoped their purchase was an instant classic sued.

European cars of the era didn’t seem to suffer as harsh a re-adjustment during the time, and the looks of many overseas cars of the ‘70s became something to aspire to. So let’s hear it, what car, truck, or SUV from the 1970s would you grab the keys to?

Pontiac Grand Am. Great handling for a mid size, several power plant options looks unlike any other car at that time A fast and comfortable cruiser. I love mine so much, that I kept it over 14 years.


The G-Body Monte Carlo and Grand Prix (70-72, 69-72 for the Pontiac). Those cars set the styling for the remainder of the decade with the long hood and “personal luxury” styling.


It was love at first sight when I saw a sales brochure for the newly restyled 1978 El Camino/Caballero.I bought my Caballero on July 31,'78 and still have it in original unrestored condition.I still enjoy it.


Citroen SM, with its unmatched ride, great handling and power sufficient especially in higher gears on the ride. It also is a masterpiece design and technologically decades ahead of its time.


the early 70’s
with out question, the DeTomaso Pantera.
A little work to the Cleveland to put in back to pre emmisions with heads, cam and carb and the ultimate super car of the era


1970-71 Buick Riviera . Still 425 cubic inches and 360 Hp.


The Pontiac Trans Am would have to be one of my favorites. I had a '75 and a '76. one was an automatic and the other was a 4spd. Great cars. I remember flying down the hiway racing a 69 Camaro, and my speedometer had passed it’s limit of 120mph and was halfway to the 0 peg. Trans Am won of course.

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1970 Camaro Z28 with RS package (split bumper). I mean, just LOOK at it!


+1 for the Trans Am - especially the earlier 1970-71


The aforementioned '76 Eldo ragtop has always been a favorite.

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The 71 Buick Riviera with 455 hp under the hood and styling to match. Nothing like the fastback roof line and massive rear window made it a must have for 70s car drivers.


The topic is flawed. The early '70s were some of the best of the muscle cars years. If you want to answer the question right, you’ve got to make it relevant to the malaise era, redesigned new cars from '74-'84.


Not the answer you are looking for. But, for me, the best thing about the 70’s was getting married to a wonderful woman (for nearly 50 years now) and our two terrific daughters who have loved and grown with my passion for restoring and collecting classics. As for cars, music and clothes of the 70’s, they have been erased from memory. Sorry


Gen 2 F-Bodies, especially the 1970-73 Trans Am! A classic body design that still looks great to this day!


I know - not this either, but I really enjoyed mine, considering the era it was created! 1974.


Yep, that blue-white beauty of a T/A is a best of the swinging '70s alright, no doubt about it! People who waited until the '74s came out could cry, cry, cry unless they bought one of these babies used from panic stricken owners and garaged it until the fuel crisis was over and rode their Honda scooter to work!


I bought a 1970 Grabber blue Boss 429 Mustang 4 speed from the Ford Motor Credit repo auction for $2500, $400 more than I thought it was worth. Black interior, functional hood scoop and factory slats on back window.

Looks like they are going through the auctions at about 200 times what I paid for it.


Yep, I kinda have to agree with @joneal - After having owned a 1971 Plymouth Road Runner for over 29 years (I only sold it because relocating to Louisiana with 4 project vehicles, 2 daily drivers, and a utility trailer and a car trailer was a pretty daunting task) I have NO problem with the early 70’s cars. After 1974 they pretty much all were not worth a second look.
If I have to vote for one, I’ll say that it would be the 1979 Chrysler 300. We owned 2 of them at different points in our automotive careers, and liked both of them. My wife used one of them as a daily driver for a couple of years, and when we’d vacation or go to see the parents 400 miles away over the weekend, it cruised the interstates quite well. (They used the E58 (police version) of the 360-4bbl, 727 trans, front and rear sway bars, AND… “rich Corinthian leather”!!!)

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