Last Call – The 1970s Will Never Die! Edition

1970s rollin in sight
Not shown: Hai Karate splashed liberally on chest hair, polyester jockstrap, chlamydia

If there was ever a finer time capsule that could express the 1970s in one beautiful, metaphoric illustration and encapsulate everything that the tumultuous, terrifying, triumphant decade gave us, then I’m afraid to find it.

Enlighten this young hoon: what were your best memories of the 70s?


[1973 Oldsmobile Hurst/Olds:  The Old Car Manual Project]

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  1. tonyola Avatar

    Without getting too much into specifics, the best memories I have of the '70s involved hard rock music, an apparent-consequence-free "just say yes" attitude towards soft drugs, and a pre-AIDS and pre-herpes sense of experimentation. Even though I was in no way a disco kid, there was still plenty of fun to be had during the '70s.
    As for the picture – also missing: medallions, wide collar shirts with seed burns down the front, hip-hugger bell bottoms (on both sexes!), musk perfume and aftershave, and fringed suede jackets.

  2. ptschett Avatar

    Holy awful fender sculpting, Batman!
    (That's all I've got, is snark… can't help with 70's recollections since I wasn't around till a few days into the Reagan administration.)

  3. dukeisduke Avatar

    What do I remember about the 1970s? Gutless "performance cars", Saturday Night Live when it was actually funny, disco music (Gah!), inflation, stagflation, gas prices going up, and waiting in lines to buy gas. I wasn't old enough to drive during the first gas crisis, but I do remember waiting in line during the 1979 crisis. Getting up at 7:00am to wait in line, on odd-numbered days (my plate number ended in a "1").

  4. dukeisduke Avatar

    And would I like to go back to the '70s? Hell no.

  5. CptSevere Avatar

    High School. It sucked. I drove a Pinto, was a drama geek, was in ROTC, and thought things like old Cadillacs, 4×4 International Travelalls, Dodge Dodge Power Wagons, and English bikes were cool. I couldn't wait for the Seventies to end and to grow up. The decade is long gone, but I never grew up.

  6. raphaelinberlin Avatar

    Oh man, can I not get enough of 70s Automobiledom. For one thing, DAFs, or really, all of ter land ter zee in der lucht. Every edition of Mr. Jalopy's What Does Fast Look Like features cars from the 70s with their wide, open, gaping maws. Watch Niki Lauda buzzing through the Belgian forest on a misty day at over a hundred and fifty. F1 fromt he 60s might have been more dangerous, more honorable, more death-defying and the 80s were faster, more technically interesting, and more of a turbo-rush, but the 70s? Wild, not quite fitting in, bold, saucy. It seems to me to be an oversaturated time for cars, and sometimes, nothing else will do.

  7. chrystlubitshi Avatar

    posted this on the FB v.i.s.i.t. page a little while ago.. i think this is an appropriate article for it to show up in
    i'm not good with the photo-post-fu… so there's the link… and if you haven't VISITed before… it's time to start.

  8. raphaelinberlin Avatar

    Since reading the Ate Up With Motor article on those cars, I can't get enough of those weird fins.

  9. Ambersand Avatar

    Don't stress about the photo posting, FB doesn't work as an embedded pic. You're perfectly fine.

  10. Ambersand Avatar

    I absolutely LOVE 70's stylized car art and graphics. Those freaky floating heads can go though IMHO. In the 70's I was wobbling around on little baby legs and making diaper messes – and sitting on dad's lap steering the old Cutlass wagon with the 455…dad's lucky I couldn't reach the pedals!

  11. wow cheat 1000g in 5 minutes! really works letöltés Avatar

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  12. putting up a privacy fence Avatar

    Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.

  13. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    I have been researching old photos from the 70's in my never ending quest (obsession) to transform my old RV into an extra-large 70's Street-van/party-wagon. I find the occasional photo, but it hardy ever does the time justice. And there is one paint style I've never been able to find…
    What I remember most are the vivid colors. Not just on the Hot-Rods and at the car shows, but imports and domestics had them too. There were bare feet and long hair, lot's of denim, polyester and velour. Motorcycles, trikes, shortened vehicles, hippies in VW buses, muscle cars were still-shiny used cars. And don't forget the facial hair and bra-less dames.
    5 bucks would usually fill the tank in our 57 or 58 Fords with change back. LA was a toxic soup of smog and an Indian cried along the freeway. Cereal came with the coolest toys in the box, baking soda submarines, decoder-rings and sticky octopuses that crawled down the wall. Russia was ready to bomb us, but we had bomb shelters and monthly drills at school. Pay phones cost a dime and candy bars went up to a staggering 25 cents.
    Aunts and uncles always had red wine in bota-bags at music festivals, and everything seemed right out of easy-rider. Hell, it just about WAS. Growing up in the mountains where the hippies retreated after the fall of Haight-Ashbury probably warped me a bit, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. (I am currently wearing a Tie-dye Doobie Brothers T-shirt).
    I stumbled onto my very first car show in a park in the mid 70's when I was about 8. I remember looking at the metallic paint on dune buggies and the candies on the straight axle 40s & 50's cars, diamond-tuck interiors and chrome bits on the steel T-buckets. Everything had side-pipes. There were candy techniques that were amazing, and I've discovered how most of them were done except for the ONE I was looking for.
    Most of these images are stuck in my head where they can't really be shared with someone unless they were actually there. But by co-incidence one of my Midway shipmates just posted photos today of a 1972 San Fransisco car show that pretty much sums it all up. And as luck would have it, picture #31 is almost exactly what I was looking for.
    He also posted photos from the 1972 drags at Freemont Raceway. Pure gold…
    Enjoy! And yes, the 70's will never die…