Have you noticed that the term “economy car” seems to have fallen out of common use in recent years? We think there’s good reason for that. With the average transaction price of a new vehicle hovering around $36,000, and the even the least-expensive new rides going for $18,000 or better, there isn’t much out there that feels economical.
We can place at least part of the blame for this on a convenience-demanding public. Not only does every new car come standard with half-a-dozen federally mandated airbags, all sorts of impact protection features, and a back-up camera or two, almost every new vehicle comes loaded up with standard equipment most Americans now won’t live without.
Check out the Cutlass Supreme ad seen below. Can you imagine a new midsize car being delivered with a column-shift manual transmission, and without air conditioning, radio, or power windows? It’s frankly inconceivable.
So, here we look back on an era when driving affordably meant giving up a few indulgences. If you remember spending time in a car with little to offer save for reliable transportation, please tell us about it. The place to leave comments is below the last ad.
1970 AMC Gremlin
1972 Ford Maverick
1973 Toyota Pickup
1975 Chevrolet Nova
1975 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
1975 Volkswagen Rabbit
1979 Ford Pinto
1980 Dodge Aspen Ad
1981 Ford Escort Ad