Some of these awful cars simply failed to sell due to their terrible design, while others were underdeveloped and spiked with serious safety issues. One vehicle would even explode upon impact! These are the worst cars from the 1960s and 1970s.
It should be pretty clear by now that the 70s clearly weren’t the best for Ford Motor Company. The debut of the Maverick back in 1970 only seemed to make matters worse.
This awkward sedan was developed as an alternative to pricey European imports. Unlike its premium competitors, the Maverick lacked any kind of quality or high performance. The flat-four powerplant fitted in the base model was average at best. Even the optional 4.9L V8 was incredibly underpowered. The model was discontinued merely 7 years after its debut.
Unlike the majority of the cars on this list, the Marina has not gone down in history as one of the worst vehicles of the 70s. Quite frankly, that’s because nobody even remembers that this awful family car was even made!
This cheap automobile was sold by British Leyland between 1971 and 1980. It is easily one of the most boring cars of that decade. Bland design and an underpowered motor weren’t the only problems of the Marina. The car was also notorious for a wide array of different mechanical issues. Its cheaply-made body was prone to rust, too.
The Pacer is perhaps one of the quirkiest American vehicles of all time. While this compact car has accumulated a bit of a cult following in recent years, it wasn’t exactly the best car of the 70s. In fact, many considered it to be one of the ugliest vehicles ever produced. Its flat-six motor was notorious for awful fuel economy, too.
The Pacer was not exactly off to a great start, though its awful reputation has changed dramatically. Pacers quickly disappeared from the streets and became a rare sight. Today, this quirky vehicle has become sought-after by collectors. Don’t expect good gas mileage, though.
The SV-1 is the 1970s sports car you have never heard of. This great-looking sports car was the brainchild of Malcolm Bricklin, a famous American entrepreneur. Despite the extravagant design language, the SV-1 never really took off. In fact, it shared a similar story with the DeLorean.
The jaw-dropping SV-1 suffered from terrible quality issues. To make matters worse, its price tag kept on going up. Production ended around a year after the car’s initial debut. Bricklin only built 3,000 units in total.
Ford Mustang II
Even the biggest die-hard fans of the Ford Mustang can agree that the second generation was a total miss. The redesigned pony car was nothing like its legendary predecessor. It was neither fast nor exceptional in terms of design.
The questionable styling and utter lack of performance were only a small part of the problem. Unlike the original pony car, the second-gen was actually based on another vehicle. In fact, it was built on the frame of the Pinto. It even shared the same powerplant.
Believe it or not, the Chevrolet Vega was actually an absolute hit at first. This subcompact went on sale back in 1971. General Motors offered the Vega in all kinds of body styles and a flat-four beneath the hood. The Chevy Vega was even named Motor Trend’s 1971 Car Of The Year. It all went downhill from there.
A few months after the debut of the vehicle, it became apparent that the Vega was nowhere near as good as everyone thought. It suffered from a whole bunch of mechanical and reliability issues and was extremely prone to rust. The model was eventually discontinued after 1977.
Clearly, the American auto industry changed quite rapidly after the ’73 fuel crisis. Buyers no longer wanted massive land yachts powered by enormous V8 engines. Instead, the demand for fuel-efficient compact vehicles kept growing. The Omni was developed by Chrysler to satisfy the needs of the post-oil crisis buyers. The vehicle went on sale back in 1977.
Sadly, the Omni wasn’t exactly ideal. The vehicle was cheaply-made, underdeveloped, and its small flat-four engine was massively underpowered. Don’t forget the awful handling, weak brakes, and lots of other flaws. Despite all of its issues, Dodge managed to sell over 3 million units of the Omni.
Following the 1973 fuel crisis, buyers across the US flocked to small fuel-efficient cars rather than enormous land yachts powered by gas-guzzling V8 motors. Most American automakers were busy developing cars to satisfy the new needs of car buyers. Chrysler clearly missed the memo. The Cordoba was released for the ’75 model year.
In reality, the Cordoba was the polar opposite of what buyers wanted at the time. The Cordoba was a massive coupe powered by a 318-cubic inch V8 motor, with the option to upgrade to a 360-cubic inch or even a 400-cubic inch powerplant. Unsurprisingly, the Cordoba wasn’t a favorite among buyers. It was replaced by a toned-down, slant-six powered second-gen Cordoba after 1979.
At first, the Beta was praised by the general public. This should come as no surprise, as the sporty luxury car seemed to tick all of the boxes. It featured a high-quality finish, exceptional design inside and out, and a relatively powerful flat-four motor under the hood. Its positive reception was short-lived, however.
A couple of months after the release of the Beta, it turned out that the automobile was extremely prone to rust. Rumors spread that the car’s body was built using Soviet steel due to a partnership between Fiat and Lada, though this was never confirmed.
General Motors unveiled this weird compact car shortly after the debut of the AMC Pacer. A quick peek at the Chevette is enough to understand that the oil crisis clearly had a negative impact on the car world.
The price tag of the Chevette was low, and that was reflected in the build quality of the car. The interior would fall apart before even leaving the assembly line. The performance of the Chevette was equally pathetic. This car needs almost 20 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour!