Spotlight on the ’70s: six vehicles to buy, sell, or hold


Truth be told, the Malaise Era wasn’t all bad. Cars from the 1970s are still being driven, still being treasured, and still trading hands. Based on Hagerty Price Guide values and insurance quoting activity, we came up with a list of six ’70s cars to buy, sell, or hold right now.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/06/15/spotlight-on-70s-buy-sell-hold


FINALLY! Something on the Cosworth!
10 years ahead of it’s time with EFI, 16 valve DOHC, and factory headers!
Wondering how many are left out there?


Had a friend who had one new. Trouble was, on a quiet night you could sit on his porch and hear it rusting. But that engine was killer in a dirt midget.


Once again, no love for the A-body MOPAR’s. No Dodge Dart Swinger or Plymouth Scamp?


I personally love the 1971-73 Buick “Boat Tail” Rivieras. Buick just always had a flare for making the Riv just different enough to make it desirable but they really went over the top on these three model years.

I have noticed there seem to be three different levels of desirability for these cars depending on its year.

First, at the top of the heap is the 1971. It seems to be in this spot due to its having the closely cropped bumpers front and rear AND those beautiful louvers on top of the trunk lid. I love those too and if I were in the market for a Boat Tail, I would definitely make a special effort to locate one of the '71s.

Secondly, and bucking the tradition of the last of a three-year production run being the most valued and desired, is the 1972. I believe they are next in line because they have the closely-cropped bumpers front and rear but do NOT have those gorgeous louvers of the '71s.

And then trailing in third place seems to be the '73. It seems to be well behind due to not having louvers but mostly because it has that incredibly ugly government-mandated front bumper along with the usual bumper on the rear. But it takes a lot to get over '73 front bumper and as such their desirability seems to be based accordingly.

These are merely my observations but I feel they are spot on. I’m not particularly a Buick fan. I like lots of different kinds of cars. I just appreciate beauty in a car no matter its origin. In fact, I LOVE the 1970 Rivieras because they really are a one-year model. And boy do I love those fender skirts on the '70s!


As a 1972 Buick Riviera GS owner , I am pleased to see not just the value increase but the people are now seeking these over many me too cars . I plan never to sell but to have my young children Inherit the Riv . I have never bought one to profit on , the profit is ownership. I love these Boattails and enjoy the drive . These cars were built to get out there and drive ! I believe in using them and enjoying everything that comes with it .
Keep in mind that the Buick 455 1971-1976 is getting harder to find NOS replacement parts such as the thermal vacuum switch , thermostatic coils , and so on . Don’t be detoured if you find one that has an Edelbrock intake as it’s better to have without the emissions. Water pumps , distributors and everything else is easy to get .


My personal preference is the 1972 Riviera .
This is the 2nd year for this body style and it was also the year which had the most options ! In that there were 3 top options , without , full vinyl , 3/4 sport roof . Factory sunroof option which I also have . This was also the introductory year of the factory sunroof option . Wide rocker appearance moldings , the body side sweepspear trim was introduced. The 1972 production numbers were less than both 1971 and 1973 . This was also the last year where a GS Riviera came with a 3.42 posi rear . These Rivs were some of the first Buicks to have traction control as well . Max trac is what it’s claim to fame was called . My Riviera was equipped with this option also . It was not in service for very long !


Not many Cosworths are left out of the 3508 produced. I own #0718 it is just a blast to drive! They are the best kept secret with great support of a club


Exactly! I’ve owned at least 10 - 15 of these A-Body Mopar gems over the years and liked every single one of them. Everything from the “Leaning Tower of Power” Slant-6 to the 360 powered Dart Sports were a blast to own and ever so easy to keep running (and abusing). Even when they morphed into the F-Body Volare/Aspen twins, there were still a few performance packages that made them quite fun as well. (Google Image search “Street Kit Car” if you don’t believe me!)
Back in the mid-80’s I had a '77 Volare Road Runner (don’t judge me!) that we put urethane suspension bushings in after swapping in a freshly rebuilt 1971 340/727/8-3/4 rear with 3.91’s in it, and we could corner it so hard on the local interstate cloverleaf on ramp that washer fluid used to spit out of the driver’s side nozzle the whole time that we were on the ramp! 5.0 Mustangs and IROC Camaros were no match for it and I’d clean their clocks regularly at the stop-light drag races.
Yeah, the Volare / Aspens had serious rust issues, and they weren’t the prettiest to look at, but wasn’t every car from “the malaise era” plagued with the same issues?


I really enjoyed the several A-Bodies I’ve owned and perhaps some day again. I don’t know if the F-Body will reach A-Body appreciation. This is what I’m enjoying today.


I know I’ve shown this before here, but I just love to show her.

Funny, I wanted to buy an El Camino back in 1985 but my mom said it looked like a flower car that they use at a funeral, so she wouldn’t let me get it. I was only 17 and she was helping me pay for my first car, so I ended up getting a Malibu, not this one, which I bought recently, but I loved it. I think we all have a fondness fro our first cars. My buddy had a 1975 Cutlass, which took unleaded and he was always pissed that mine took leaded (1974). He always felt the car had more horsepower because of the fuel.

On another note, my uncle owned a beer distributor in the Bronx, back in the day, and had a Rivera with the boattail. Black on Black, it was a beauty. Had it up till I stopped working there in 1989. Wonder what he did with it.


Interesting to hear that Thunderbirds aren’t doing well. I came of age in the era of the “Aero” Bird and I always had a lot of respect for the nameplate. The problem is, shopping for one now, you can get Lincoln Mark VII or VIII for just a little more money and, all things being equal, I’d rather have the Lincoln. I’m sure the same applies to the 72-76 models and the Mark IV.

Add to that, the nameplate has been dead for 14 years, making it it less relevant to people getting into cars today.


How about the Stutz Blackhawk that was a must have car in the 70s