Monday, August 11, 2014

Blast from the Past: Ugly Cars of the 70s!

Yes, kids, it's a rerun this week. But it's from two and a half years ago, so it's time for a revisit anyway. It's personally topical, because I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the 2015 Jeep Renegade. While I think it's great looking, there is a contingent (mostly Jeep purists) who think it is ugly. Enjoy!


I don't think the new Dodge Dart will land on many
"ugly" lists. Image from MSNBC.
I got the idea for this week's Blast from the Past from the news story that Chrysler is bringing back the Dodge Dart. The new one is a much different critter from the old 60s and 70s Dart, which started kind of classic, and became desperately ugly by the mid-1970s. But so many did!

There is no doubt that Detroit made a lot of ugly iron in the 1970s. Whatever brand loyalty and reputation they may have earned in the previous 50 years was all but destroyed by those crappy cars. Some of them became classics anyway, whether ironically or not. But most of these beasties can only be loved with buckets full of nostalgia thrown on them.

1. Chrysler Cordoba - Only remembered for Ricardo Montalban's "rich Corinthian leather!"
2. Chevrolet Chevette (1976) - This ugly duckling debuted with fanfare it didn't deserve. It never, ever turned into a swan.

3. AMC Pacer - Ugly inside and out, even with a Chevy Nova inside.
4. AMC Gremlin - They took a reasonable looking Hornet, chopped off the trunk, then made it as ugly as possible.

5. Ford Pinto (1970) - Much like the Chevette, Ford tried to make this sound like something wonderful and exciting, and "care free." If you don't care about fires. . .
6. Dodge Dart Swinger - Ten kinds of ugly, swinger or not. (Cheating a little, this is a '69 commercial)

7. Plymouth Duster (1972) - This one actually looked uglier to me in its original time. Given how ugly so many other cars of the era look now, this one is growing on me.
8. Oldsmobile Omega Brougham (1976) - I picked this car because almost nobody remembers it. Unlike the others, it doesn't have a legend that goes with it. But it is a great example of how little thought went into making cars attractive in America in the 1970s. (The original ad is missing, I had to substitute an '80)

That will just about do it for me for the week. I know there are many unrepresented ugly 70s cars, so I tagged this as "Part 1."And we've got other decades to hit too! Happy Monday!

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