What’s the Worst Car From the 1970s?

The 1970s might have given us Ziggy Stardust and Rumours, but it also served up a load of crap cars.

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A photo of a red AMC Pacer wagon being loaded by a family.
Is the AMC Pacer the worst car from the 70s?
Photo: AMC

The 1970s sounded like a hoot. There was disco, the leisure suit was in, and you had movies like Jaws, A Clockwork Orange and Get Carter to enjoy. But it wasn’t all good vibes and great movies, the Vietnam War raged and countries like the U.S. were hit by an oil embargo from Saudi Arabia, which was particularly bad for anyone driving one of the inefficient land yachts that are also synonymous with the era.

And it’s those behemoths and the other questionable cars from the 70s that we want to hear about today. We’re asking you for your picks for the worst cars to come out of the 1970s, a decade that gave us Ziggy Stardust and Rumours but also the Robin Reliant and the AMC Gremlin. I guess you can’t win them all.


This shouldn’t be a hard question to tackle, as the 70s produced a boatload of awful cars.

Here in the U.S., there were misses like the Chevrolet Vega and AMC Pacer. It was also during the 70s that Ford was churning out its subcompact Pinto. Between 1971 and 1980, the Blue Oval made a whopping three million Pintos. But, the car was marred by a design flaw that meant it might burst into flames if you got rear-ended. Not good.


Other car-building nations had their fair share of drama this decade as well. Just glance over to Europe and you’ll see a raft of failing Morris Marinas, Lancia Betas and Austin Allegros all clogging those 1970s streets.

But what other 1970s monstrosities would you like us to add to this list? Head to the comments section below and let us know your picks for the worst cars from the 70s. We’ll round up some of the top offenders in a slideshow tomorrow afternoon.