Vehicles in the 70s

The 1970s were the first time Federal regulations began to take over the design of cars. Many manufacturers were having a hard time meeting those regulations while keeping the power under the hood. That’s where cars like the Pacer and Pinto were born.

Muscle cars in the early 70s were considered fantastic, just look at the Challenger, Corvette and ‘Cuda. But sports cars were quickly replaced by compact cars. And by 1972, compact cars were outselling most other body styles. 1972 also only saw one brand new vehicle; the Oldsmobile Omega. That was added to the 277 other vehicles available at the beginning of the decade.

Things got a little difficult for the auto industry by 1974. The Middle East oil embargo caused a spike in fuel prices and a decline in new car sales. That decline lead to a 24% decrease in U.S. auto production. Plus, all of the additional safety and air quality regulations added more equipment to the vehicles throughout the decade. All of that continued to add to the price of a new vehicle. In 1975, you could buy a new Chrysler Cordoba for $4,241.65. That’s the equivalent to about $19,205 today.

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1979 Ford Pinto
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1976 AMC Pacer
1977 Oldsmobile Omega
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1979 AMC Pacer
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1979 AMC Pacer Interior

Movies and TV in the 70s

The 1970s brought quite a few cult classics and imaginative films to the movie scene. Below are some of the big movies to come out of the decade.

Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Godfather (1972)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Rocky (1976)
Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)

TV in the 70s saw a lot of shows that pushed the envelope. Some came across as fairly offensive and caused the FCC and government to add regulations and restrictions to what was allowed. A couple of the most popular tv shows during the decade were M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and All in the Family.

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M*A*S*H (1972-1983)
All in the Family
The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Music in the 70s

There was more variety in music genres than ever before. Hop Hop was born in the 70s while disco, funk, soul, R&B, Pop and Rock all continued to gain popularity. Recording equipment also became more advanced, giving artists like David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin the opportunity to experiment more and more.

Pink Floyd in 1971
David Bowie and Cher in 1975
Led Zeppelin logo | used since 1973

Toys and Games in the 70s

Most children’s toys didn’t change much from the 60s to the 70s. By the second half of the decade, many toy manufacturers were incorporating electronic into toys: think See ‘n Say-type toys.

Video games were also first introduced in the 70s. Arcade games like Pong and Space Invader were popular and at-home console games were just starting to gain popularity.

1976 Sega Arcade Game
Star Raiders Computer Game
Asteroids Arcade Game

Sports in the 70s

Baseball in the 70s was peppered with players we still talk about today; Nolan Ryan, Pete Rose and Frank Robinson, for example. Hank Aaron also broke Babe Ruth’s lifetime homerun record during the decade. He tied the record of 714 career dingers on the first swing of his first at-bat of 1974.

In college football, Nebraska dominated the first two years of the decade. Led by Bob Devaney, the Huskers went 13-0 for the 1971 season, with Tom Osborne as the offensive coordinator. The team went on to become Orange Bowl Champions, Big Eight Champions and National Champions.

Nolan Ryan in 1972
Pete Rose
Frank Robinson

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