We saw the 'I like it going up and down' Mini run away with the vote in the Top Ten Car Ads Of The 60s poll yesterday, and today we continue the Fourth Of July Celebration Of Vehicular Consumption Series with- you guessed it- the 1970s. The decade of Watergate, the Fall of Saigon, oil embargoes, 5 MPH crash bumpers... but don't forget custom vans, Acapulco Gold, and Foghat, not to mention the Bicentennial Fourth of July celebration! Make the jump to check out the ads and cast your vote.
10: 1976 Triumphs
Caught in the act by your special lady's husband, you have no choice but to leap out the window- wearing only a towel- and run straight to the nearest British Leyland dealership, where a vast assortment of Triumph machines provides a dubious escape hatch. Fortunately for you, the enraged cuckold makes his pursuit in possibly the most unreliable British car ever made: a Triumph Stag!
9: 1971 Plymouth Duster We tend to think that a woman who knows all the specs on a '71 Duster with a 225 Slant Six engine would be absolutely irresistible, but Ethel's mom is worried about her ability to land a man. Check out Ethel's off-road driving prowess!
8: Dodge Valiant Charger You read that right- in Australia, Chrysler sold an A-body Dodge called the Valiant Charger, thus scrambling the brains of every Mopar fan in America with that jarring branding mashup. It made passersby shout "Hey Charger!" which sounds a lot better than "Hey Valiant!"
7: 1978 Ford Granada Ford once ruled the automotive world and apologized to no one, but the Malaise Era led to the spectacle of a fake Benz built in Dearborn and explicitly compared to the costly German machine. While the Granada didn't hold together quite as well as the Mercedes-Benz, we do see them on the street every so often.
6: 1973 Pontiac Grand Am Go ahead- drive your Grand Am straight into a wall! It'll bounce right off! Admire its poise as it scrapes the door handles on the pavement in the slalom, then check out that fine Naugahyde-and-styrene interior. Oh, and don't worry about the Arab oil embargo- get the 400 engine!
5: 1978 Fiat Ritmo North Americans knew the Fiat Ritmo as the Strada, but the key to its marketing on both sides of the Atlantic was the attempt to create the perception that no Italians were involved in the manufacturing process. All robots! Happy, reliable robots, building Fiats that don't fall apart- we swear!
4: 1972 Mercedes-Benz W114 Not only do you get a totally funky soundtrack in this German-market ad for the Mercedes-Benz 280, you get to see the big ol' luxury machines getting completely perpendicular to gravity at high speed on a banked track. Not only that, it parallel parks with ease and will fit all members of a large family of cocaine dealers inside!
3: 1979 Datsun 200SX Anyone who was around in the late 1970s will recognize the voice of the Datsun Announcer Guy right away, and this ad really showcases his awesome, driven skills. The '79 200SX came with such amazing features as a digital clock, four-speaker stereo, and sky roof!
2: 1975 Mercury Cougar XR-7 Just about every red-blooded American male was warm for Farrah's form in 1975, and thus Ms. Fawcett was the logical choice to sell the 20,000-pound, 19-horsepower (sadly, we're not exaggerating those numbers very much) Cougar XR-7. Watch as she drives to a mountain lion-infested beach and shucks her evening gown for a little swim.
1: 1975 Chrysler Cordoba Here it is, the legendary ad that defined the image of an entire decade of overstuffed, overwrought, over-thirsty Detroit vehicles: Ricardo Montalban and the soft Corinthian leather of the Chrysler Cordoba! In Cordoba, you have what you need.