Although the automobile industry was perfected by the Germans and French in the late 1800s, American’s proved to be revolutionaries in the first part of the 20th century. With Henry Ford innovating the way cars were mass produced, the “Big Three” car companies, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, were formed in the 20s. During the Second World War, auto manufacturers started funneling all their resources to the military.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the auto industry changed, and the road cruiser evolved into the stylish powerhouses that many folks have become fascinated by—be they collect real cars, or they just fancy the diecast models.
In this list, we are going to highlight 11 of the most popular cars from the 60s and 70s. See if you agree with the cars on our list. Some of the entries may surprise you!
1. Austin Mini Cooper
Registered Cars – 5,387,862
The Mini Cooper defined the 1960s and 70s as much as any car on this list. They are tiny and economical, but more fun than you could realistically fit into the back of one. The Mini is probably the only car that could’ve possibly stolen the spotlight from the Miura’s classic opening scene in the Italian Job.
2. Ford Cortina
Registered Cars – 1,412,102
The Cortina was a huge gamble for the Ford company. They were compact cars with their upper models situated in the 1 ½ liter class. However, Ford decided to increase their top models to 2-litres, which swallowed up the Corsair range. The result? The best-selling car for the first part of the 70s.
3. Aston Martin DB5
Registered Cars – 1,023
Forever known as the James Bond car, the Aston Martin DB5 is the perfect car to go on a trip from London to the sandy beaches of Monaco. The car was created in a fashionable convertible style, but it’s really the hardtop with two doors that makes these cars the most recognizable car from the era.
4. Ford Escort
Registered Cars – 1,119,004
The Escort was originally designed to be the new Anglia, but it the Escort name was chosen because it was part of an initiative to make Ford more Euro-friendly in Europe. The Focus was less distinct than its predecessor, but it was still an appealing car for new and young car owners.
5. Lamborghini Miura
Registered Cars – 763
Dubbed as one of the first modern supercars, thanks to the mid-rear mounted V12. The car has been owned by some incredible celebrities like the Rat Pack all the way to Rod Stewart. The chassis for the car was designed by Gian Paolo Dollara, the guy who went on to build his race car engineering company that still creates Indycars that are used today.
6. Morris Marina
Registered Cars – 703,686
British Leyland needed to introduce a car that would beat the Ford Cortina, and they needed to do it fast. The Morris Marina was basically a car built from the scrap bin. After years of creating front-wheel drive Issigonis-designed cars, the rear-end drive Marinaseemed to have been a step backward, but it proved to be exactly what the market wanted.
7. Vauxhall Viva
Registered Cars – 547,717
Few would have believed that the Viva HC would be the last of its line when it arrived back in 1970. However, the integration of GM’s German and British plants would gain traction during the 70s, nothing could save the Viva. Throughout the 70s, there were several body styles to entice different buyers. These include the Firenza and the Magnum.
8. Austin Allegro
Registered Cars – 385,584
The Allegro may have been the butt of lots of jokes and the scapegoat for the reason why British Leyland failed, however, it was still a popular car at the time. There are many people who still search for the Allegro because it has mass cult appeal, mostly because it had a low price tag and its simplistic design.
9. Ford Capri
Registered Cars – 378,310
Ford’s mid-sized four-seater cope was created for the European market for a “pony” car, and its competitors were left grasping for something new and innovative. Ford had a recipe for success though when they combined the straightforward mechanics with excellent marketing. It’s the legend that started with Ford’s advertising, which labeled the Capri as the “Car you always prmised yourself.”
10. Austin 1100/1300
Registered Cars – 303,064
The Austin 1100 and 1300 series came close to how much fun the Mini Cooper brings its owners. The Austin was more clever than the Ford, Vauxhall, and Rootes cars and it remained at the top of the United Kingdom’s best selling cars until 1974 when the Allegro began being produced (although it couldn’t reach the same success as the 1100/1300’s success).
11. Ford Granada
Registered Cars – 237,937
The Granada arrived on buyers radars in 1972 to eliminate the MK4 Zephyr and the Zodiac. It showed European Ford that the Granada could be just as wanted in London as it was in Berlin, and it did that beautifully. The executive car was well-proportioned, smart, and it proved England that it hadn’t lost its sense of style, despite what some critics may have said about the Z-cars.