No Studebakers here. Screw 'em.
Still not sure if this is a good or bad thing
I had an alliance which I bought brand new all my friends who bought tempos and Kcars and Cavaliers ended up having to get rid of their cars long before my alliance gave up and I ended up retiring that car with almost 900,000 kilometers on it 21 years after I bought it. Best car I ever had!
I’ll defend the K-Car
22 HP engine - standard
Bench seat - standard
2 speaker radio (now in FM) - standard
Map light - standard
What? A French car made it to USA car of the year? Even in 1972 that was a bit bold.
And in Europe that year (not on the chart, I had to look it up) it was the Fiat 127. Apparently it was one of the very first superminis, innovative in design, with oodles of floor space and sold hugely. But it still looks like a wholly unexceptional little car.
Australia appears not to have a 1972 car on the chart.
The most coveted award in Australian motor industry has been withheld because, in the opinion of Wheels , no car during 1972 came up to the standard required.
Seems like some motoring journos actually might have had some integrity. Hard to believe. /s (or not)
The Wheels list makes more sense to me than MT’s, given that they’ve got the MX-5 on there three times. Sure, you couldn’t carry anything larger than a briefcase in it, but goddamn that car was fun to drive.
my grandma had a Volare wagon. not sure the year, but it sure looked mid-70s. it lasted about a decade, but it only got driven to the grocery or her sisters’ houses and then out to lunch. a few times a year it went several counties north to the cabin and back. so, not sure that makes it a great car or not. probably not, actually. ten years of the lightest-duty driving and all the servicing done promptly.
but it just had this really unique look. the side view of the sedan does it no justice. and hers was this weird green I’ve never seen again. I thought it was super ugly as a kid. I guess I still do but I “get it” now, at least. Mimi loved it to pieces, though. she always referred to it as “the Volare”, not “the car” or anything else.
I realize now Mimi’s paint job must have been sun-bleached (there was no garage) so it was an even weirder color. the paneling had lightened, too.
edit: the little chrome logo was super cool, actually
That was peak Malaise Era. Read Murilee Martin (pen name of a 24 Hours of Lemons judge) to learn all about this problem. Basically American companies refused to figure out how to make engines that met new federal emission standards. They were slapping all the new controls (air pumps, ECV valves, catalytic converters, etc) on their crappy old ‘70s engines and the result was a crippled mess. They hadn’t bothered to learn about designing for efficiency, and didn’t adapt until the Germans and Japanese came in and ate their lunch. Like always, the Big Three spent their money whining to congress about how the new rules were impossible to live by, instead of, you know, getting better at engineering like everyone else did.
Well aware of the struggles of American automakers in the 1980s trying to meet EPA standards. It’s still astounding to think of how they could make such little power out of such a big engine and how they came up with such bad solutions to reduce pollution.
Murilee Martin was one of my favorite writers for Jalopnik and the site was never the same after he left.
Hi…if anyone wants a medium size canvas painting of any of the cars in the poster, pls reach out to me
Apologies if I Malaisesplained there. I’m used to there not being a lot of car people on BoingBoing.
A friend of mine and I once decided that listening to the Boards of Canada was like driving around in a station wagon like your Grandma’s!
Pish posh. Hydropneumatic suspension is the only way to travel.
I look at that poster and the first thing i think of when I get to the 80’s is “how is the M5 not there?”
1966-70 was AWESOME! 1976-82,seriously deranged.
Because Motor Trend. As another commenter pointed out, it was/is basically a paid mouth piece for the Big Three.
Surprised to see a foreign car win as early as 1972, and a French one at that!
And the Mustang II ! Ford managed the difficult feat of sullying its iconic car even more than they already had. I’m not sure how I would have developed aesthetic taste by then but even 7 year old me hated it.
Its hard to trust the opinion of a magazine that ever awarded “Car of the Year” to a Lincoln Towncar, or Chevy Caprice.
Motor Trend is the kind of auto magazine where their writers can’t drive a standard transmission.
Oh, ouch! They’re gonna need some ointment…
Fast forward 36 years and I’m getting 450 hp from a tiny little 2.5L flat four. That gets 30 mpg highway.