Sunday, February 19, 2017

Here Are Ten Quirky Cars That Could Have Only Been Made in the 1970s

Disjointed lines and bad proportions don't stop us from loving these rough-on-the-eyes cars.

1. VOLKSWAGEN THING


Okay, so The Thing had another name, too: the Volkswagen Type 181. (Not as fun as calling it The Thing, though.) It was a four-door soft-top that looked like a VW Beetle that had been designed using only a ruler. It went on sale in the U.S. in 1972 and stayed on the market until 1975, though it was sold in global markets from 1968 until 1983. Can you say you're surprised?


2. CHRYSLER CORDOBA


Chrysler took the meaning of "personal luxury car" pretty literally when it designed the Cordoba. Hemmings described the absurdly long 215.3-inch body as "barge-like." To put that in perspective, that's longer than the current GMC Yukon SUV. However, as large as the Cordoba was, it still only sat four passengers.


3. AMC PACER


The Pacer was full of odd quirks, like a pudgy stance and a passenger door that was hilariously larger than the driver's door. It was the goober of 1970s hatchbacks, and that's exactly why it's cool.


4. PINTO CRUISING WAGON


Oh, man. Imagine rolling up to pick up your prom date in a Pinto CW. It had the bubble rear windows and the bold paint schemes of 70s van-madness, making this more like a small conversion van, not a shooting brake. Most CWs came with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engines, though some had the 2.8-liter V6.


5. AMC MATADOR


To start, the AMC Matador didn't hit it off too well in Spanish-speaking markets: the word "Matador" was taken to mean "killer"—a rather aggressive name. The block-like styling didn't impress customers, either. NASCAR drivers of the day said it drove like a brick.


6. OLDSMOBILE VISTA CRUISER 455


Don't let the wagon looks of the Vista Cruiser fool you: this sleeper packed a serious punch. In in archived review from 1970, Car and Driver reported the Vista Cruiser 455 oversteered. "You got that?" readers were asked. ". . .we were distinctly 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 rear out.


7. BOND BUG


The Bond Bug looked similar to the Reliant Robin, and it was no coincidence: the Bug was actually created from a partnership between Reliant and a Czech designer named Tom Karen. When it came out, the Bond Bug was more expensive than a Mini, but it could hold a crowd of spectators better than any Mini ever could have.


8. BRICKLIN SV-1


The Bricklin has been criticized for its badly-made interior: a low roof, poorly placed gas pedal, lumpy seats, and bad visibility. The gull-wing doors were cool, but that wasn't enough to make up for the cheap-feeling body, either.


9. VOLVO 262C


An unlikely Volvo-Bertone partnership spawned the Volvo 262C. It had a vinyl roof and a tank-ish body. It was meant for the American market, so certain luxuries were in place, like cushy leather seats, electric windows, and AC. It had pretty distinctive looks, to put it politely.


10. SUBARU GL WAGON


Unmistakably 1970s Japanese, the Subaru GL Wagon didn't quite pull off the panache that other Japanese greats of the 1970s did, like the Toyota Corolla. But we also praise it for its utilitarian nature and smallish stance, something you don't see on many cars today.

(This original article was published on MSN Auto)

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