Can You Name These Unpopular Cars From the '70s?

By: Bambi Turner
Image: Pixabay by LloydTheVoid

About This Quiz

Can you tell the difference between a Mustang II and a Chevy Chevette? Could you distinguish between a Pacer and a Gremlin, or a Yugo and a Hornet? Take our quiz to see how many of these unpopular '70s rides you can name!

Let's face it ... car makers didn't exactly have it easy during the '70s. In fact, the decade may be one of the worst ever for auto companies, both in the U.S. and around the globe. 

But what made it so tough for car companies to succeed in the era of disco, Nixon, and the Sexual Revolution? First, there was the effect of tightening safety and emissions standards designed to help save lives and protect the environment. Then there was the recession that began in the early part of the decade, which effectively ended the feel-good economic boom that had endured since WWII.

And then, of course, there was oil. Oil embargoes meant high gas prices and long lines at the pumps, leaving buyers desperate for cars that would burn fuel more efficiently. 

All of these changes left auto manufacturers scrambling to create cars to meet changing demands. While many classic cars were produced during the decade, the '70s is also known for some less than classic models, including some that routinely rank among the worst cars ever made.

Think you can name the least popular cars of the '70s? Prove it with this quiz!

Produced between 1975 and 1980, the Bobcat was the Mercury-badged version of the Ford Pinto. Available in both hatchback and wagon models, it had more appearance options than the Pinto, but suffered from many of the same mechanical issues.

The AMC Pacer had a jellybean style, with lots of glass that gave it a futuristic flair. Sometimes mocked as a fishbowl on wheels, the car suffered from handling issues and poor fuel efficiency, prompting AMC to discontinue production by the end of the '70s.

Produced between 1975 and 1983, the Chrysler Cordoba was a luxury ride that suffered from some major issues. In addition to problems with braking and suspension, the over-sized ride got poor gas mileage and only came with seating for four.

Ford only produced the Pinto between 1971 and 1980, but the car managed to develop quite a reputation in such a short period. Early models were recalled due to sticking accelerators, while later versions were known for a fuel tank flaw that resulted in some nasty fires.

Lincoln introduced the mid-sized luxury Versailles in 1977 to try and compete with the success of the Cadillac Seville. The model never took off, selling less than 50,000 units before being discontinued at the end of the decade.

Ford produced the compact Fairlane between 1978 and 1983. Despite appearing in "E.T." - driven by the bad guys -- the car was replaced by the Tempo after just a few short years of production.

Yes, Harry Nilsson actually put out a song called "Me and My Arrow." It referred to the Plymouth Arrow, a two-door compact with an optional tent package for outdoor fans.

Chevy brought out the Monza in 1975 to try to compete with the Ford Mustang II. This subcompact had emissions issues and surprisingly poor fuel economy, resulting in the model being discontinued in 1981.

The mighty Mustang took a controversial turn in 1974 when Ford introduced the Mustang II. Built on a Pinto frame, it sold well in the first year of release, but sales slowed the next year until the car was discontinued in 1978.

It's easy to understand why the Volkswagen Thing never became a mainstream bestseller. This military-style convertible was sold in the U.S. for only a few short years in the early '70s, and eventually pulled from the market as VW struggled to meet changing American auto safety standards.

Chevy produced the rear-wheel drive subcompact Chevette between 1976 and 1987. Though the company sold 12 million Chevettes in 12 years, many now criticize the car's design as unappealing or uninspired.

Fiat introduced the Fiat Strada to North America in 1979. While initial sales were solid, some models came with reliability issues that doomed the Strada in the American market.

Austin produced the Allegro between 1973 and 1988. Despite good reviews at first, problems with everything from gears to steering earned the car the nickname "All Aggro."

Carroll Shelby has long been renowned for the upgraded rides he put together for Ford and other car companies, but the Ford Mustang Cobra II was a bit of a bust. Released in 1976, it's remembered for having plenty of classic Mustang style without the same level of power associated with earlier Mustang models.

Renault brought the Le Car to the U.S. in 1976 in a partnership with AMC. Though a big hit in France, it never took off in the States and was taken out of the market in the early '80s.

The AMC Gremlin's lack of popularity comes down to a couple of factors. First, with its short backend and long front, it just looked odd compared to most cars. On top of the strange profile, the Gremlin was plagued with issues related to suspension and handling.

Oldsmobile produced the Vista Cruiser wagon for three generations between 1964 and 1977. Long and heavy, yet surprisingly small inside, the car never really found its niche.

The Ford Maverick was a rear-wheel drive sedan produced between 1969 and 1977. Designed to compete with Japanese and European imports, slow sales prompted Ford to drop the model in favor of the Fairmont line.

The Chevy Vega was plagued with problems starting soon after its introduction in 1969. Chevy recalled half a million units in 1972 due to safety issues, and later models were known for issues with rust, engine and reliability problems.

There's a really good reason most cars come with four wheels -- it's just more stable than using fewer wheels in most cases. British automaker Reliant tried something new with the three-wheeled Reliant in the '70s, and countless drivers found themselves tipped over when taking a turn too fast.

The Triumph Stag was a two-door convertible sports car produced between 1970 and 1978. It gained a reputation for issues with its 3.0 L. V8, leading some to label it as unreliable.

The Aston Martin Lagonda was a full-sized luxury sedan manufactured between 1974 and 1990. The first generation was based on the classic Aston Martin V8, but a major redesign in 1976 gave the car a very unconventional wedge design.

The Austin or Morris Marina was a four-door sedan produced between 1971 and 1980. It is now linked to problems with steering, suspension and handling.

AMC brought out the compact Hornet to compete with imports from Japan and Europe in 1970. As buyers started to prefer bigger cars in the late '70s, this small sedan was discontinued.

The Rolls Royce Camargue was one of the highest-priced vehicles on the market when it came out in 1975. After selling only around 500 units, the model was discontinued in 1986.

Developed in 1977 and brought to the U.S. market starting in 1980, the Yugo was a supermini with a mountain of problems. The car was derided not only for its looks, but for issues with everything from the timing belt to the engine.

Taking note of the success of the VW Beetle, Plymouth used a cartoon cricket to advertise its Cricket model. After just two years on the North American market, the Cricket was pulled in 1973.

In 1974, Jaguar discontinued the classic coupe styling on the XK-E and redesigned the car into a stretched-out convertible. Buyers weren't exactly enthralled with the design, and some reviews mentioned engine tuning and handling issues.

Produced between 1978 and 1994, the Brat -- Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter -- was a two-door coupe utility. Its unconventional design and strange choice of model name didn't help sales.

Dodge produced the subcompact Omni between 1977 and 1990. It was Chrysler's first front-wheel drive car, and despite initial positive reviews was never a huge hit with buyers.

The 262C was Volvo's first luxury coupe when it came out in 1977 to take on the Cadillac Eldorado and Mercedes 280 class. Relatively poor sales meant the car was discontinued at the start of the '80s.

Part of the Mazda 3 series, the Mazda Rotary Pickup was sold in the U.S. between 1974 and 1977. After selling around 15,000 units, Mazda canned this military-inspired ride.

Datsun introduced the 280ZX in 1979. Despite earning the title of Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1979, a lack of performance and lackluster fuel economy doomed the model in just a few short years.

Ford brought out the Gran Torino Elite in 1974. The two-door coupe was designed to attract buyers looking for an economical alternative to the Thunderbird, but the model was ultimately discontinued in 1976.

Plymouth introduced the Sapporo to the U.S. market in 1978, hoping to attract luxury car buyers. Despite good reviews, the car never took off and was pulled from the U.S. market in 1984.

Produced until 1975, the Chrysler Imperial LeBaron had an incredibly long profile, with very prominent fenders. The model was canceled during the mid-'70s recession, and brought back with a new design later in the decade.

Introduced to the U.S. market in 1975, the Triumph TR7 saw high demand at first. Quality and labor production issues doomed the car, which was pulled from the American market at the start of the '80s.

The Bricklin SV1 -- that's Safety Vehicle 1 -- was produced between 1974 and 1975. Despite a cool design and impressive gull-wing doors, quality and supplier issues spelled a quick end to this model.

The AMC Matador Coupe was produced between 1971 and 1973. A second generation redesign in 1974 transformed the vehicle into a sedan, and was fairly unpopular with buyers.

The Dodge Challenger is one of the most successful pony cars ever built, but the second generation redesign wasn't such a huge hit in 1978. A rebadged Mitsubishi Lambada, this version of the Challenger lacked the performance and style of its predecessor.

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