What Happened to All of the '73 - '77 Chevelles and '73 - '76 Torinos?

Now I understand that they did not have near the power of earlier models, and I know that they had those ugly railroad ties for bumpers, but Ford and Chevy made plenty of them.   Just about as many as the collectible models. You'd think you'd see some, but you go to a car show - Nothing.  Craigslist - Next to nothing.   The rest of the internet - Damn close to nothing.

 There's many more versions of these cars that are five to ten years older out there.  You would think that as the supply of pre-1973 cars dried up, people would have started turning to restoring and modifying these cars, but it just never happened.  Why not?  It's cheap and easy to get the horsepower of these cars to the same level as most of the cars that came before them, and the mechanical knowledge required for building either vintage is the same. Many people say that they are ugly, but if done right, I think they look OK.  They're certainly better looking than non-Chevy and non-Ford cars from the '50's.

Judging by the license plates, this car is in Europe.  Did you ever notice that Aussies and Europeans that like '60's and '70's American cars, still tend to do them up like Americans did in the '70's?  I like that.

Sometimes, it takes certain models of cars longer to become popular, but I just don't see it happening with these cars.  I just don't see enough of them out there to make that possible.  Not in people's yards, not in junk yards, not anywhere.  I think it's a shame.  A huge supply of cars with every bit of the speed potential of muscle cars, but at a lower price, was allowed to go to waste.

For all you Moper fans out there, I always thought that the Dodge Aspen/Plymouth Volare' cars from '76 - '80, had potential.

I'm not saying that these cars were better, or even just as good as true muscle cars.  I just think that they would have been logical second choices.  I think that the cars form the '70's got a bad rap.  Sure they were slow from the factory, but the owner could easily change that.  Wouldn't increasing a car's performance well beyond factory specs, give the owner a certain pride in ownership?  Wouldn't they make great "sleeper" vehicles?

I must be some kind of weird outcast, because obviously, no one agrees with me.  I like Mustang II's too.  What's wrong with me?


  1. Ever wonder what happened to Pinto's?
    They changed the sheet metal and called it a Mustang II.
    I had a couple of those anemic pieces of shit.
    I drove the V8models too.
    Ever have to change a starter in one of those?
    Ya had to pick the engine off the mounts!

    As for the mid 70's Chevies and Fords,, they were detuned and gutless and the smog equipment was a mess. I got a hold of a 77 Vette with a 350 in it once that was pathetic.

    Do you remember the Cash For Clunkers program or the Corporate Pollution Credit trade off scam they had back in the day?
    That is where a bunch of these cars went, straight to the crushers.

    1. You give me almost ANY V8 American car from the mid to late '70's, and $1000, and I can make a car that can hold it's own against almost any American car made in the late '60's or early '70's. Make that $3000, and I can beat ANY muscle car ever built. Yes, cars from this era were slow from the factory, but that is incredibly cheap and easy to rectify.
      I'll take a Mustang II King Cobra over '79 -'84 Fox Mustang, anytime. Take ANY American car, OLDER or NEWER, and I can take a '73 -'80 American V8 car, and make a FASTER car, for less money. Just add an intake, carb, headers, and if you really want to get crazy, heads, and the job is done. '73 - '80 American cars are the best bargains, with the most untapped performance potential, out there by far. Nothing even comes close. There's something very satisfying about DOUBLING a car's stock rated horsepower, by yourself, for less than $2000.

    2. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention a cam. You gotta stick one of those in there too. Once again, it's an incredibly cheap performance upgrade.

  2. If your memory is that the last really hot year for cars is '69, why would you spend time and treasure souping up a '74?
    Pintos and Vegas aren't the problem. Let's take the Firebird as an example. In 1969, the 350 V8 option delivered 320 hp. In 1974, the 350 V8 option delivered 155 hp. It doesn't matter that they can be made to go fast. It matters that we remember them as the choked down, anemic, POS that they were.

    1. The answer to your question is simple. A '69 Camaro, even one that is rusted out beyond repair, with no drive train or interior, goes for around $3500, and a nicely restored one, goes for $35000 and up. You can get a nice, roadworthy '73 - '80 car, for $3500, or less. So for a fraction of the money it costs to buy a classic muscle car, I can build a car that can absolutely DESTROY one in a race, AND have the satisfaction that it was me, that made it all possible. In addition, as more and more people turn to restoring cars from this era, public acceptance of what constitutes a cool car, broadens. It's a good thing for EVERYBODY except for the stupid rich people who thought that classic muscle cars were an wise, money making investment (they're not, but that's a discussion for another time) rather than something fun to be enjoyed by people who have the talent and desire to work on them.

    2. I didn't say people were sensible, just that emotion and memories explained why they chose the old cars they did.

      I like the look of the mid-70s Torinos, for example, and have seen some nice projects done.

      Anyway, I just found your blog and bookmarked it, so you have a new reader.

    3. Just about anyone would rather have a car from the classic muscle car era if given the choice. It's just that the pre-1973 cars have gotten so expensive to buy or restore, that few people can afford to build and drive one. Even if someone can afford one, these cars have achieved "collector status" so people that want to modify and drive one the way they were meant to be driven, are afraid to do so for fear of getting shit from the people who worship at the OEM/factory original alter. Many '73 and later cars look very similar to classic muscle cars, but they are a lot cheaper and afford you the freedom to build and drive one, the way you want to, without fear of some asshole giving you a hard time because you didn't keep it bone stock.

      Thanks for bookmarking me. I will do my best to keep on writing posts worth reading.