Sep
21
1970 Plymouth Barracuda, green

1970 Plymouth Barracuda

In a recent blog post titled The Luxury Standards of 1970, we discussed the now-arcane language once used to parse the new-vehicle market. You can see all the segments into which Consumer Guide slotted the 1970 class of vehicles here.

One of segments identified by Consumer Guide back in ’70 was “Sporty Compacts,” a classification that included every vehicle most folks would describe as pony cars.

Today, Consumer Guide would classify the Sporty Compacts as Sporty/Performance cars, a segment that still includes the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, but also a number of front-wheel-drive “hot-hatch” vehicles such as the Volkswagen GTI… and less overtly muscle-bound vehicles such as the Toyota 86.

The lack of any foreign vehicles on this list is worth noting. At the time, most Americans expected their sporty rides to feature available V8 power and rear-wheel drive.

Thus, the likes of the MG Midget or Volkswagen Karmann Ghia were not included in this category, or anywhere else in Consumer Guide: Auto ’70 buying guide. Of course, when measured by sales volume, foreign sporty rides were just a blip on the 1970 radar compared to the number of Camaros and Mustangs sold that year.

Presented here are all eight Sporty Compacts reviewed by Consumer Guide for 1970. If you’ve spent time with any of these vehicles, please tell us about your experience.

The Luxury Standards of 1970

 

AMC AMX

1970 AMC AMX

1970 AMC AMX

Base Price: $3395

Base Engine: 290-horsepower 360-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 325-horsepower 390-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $380 option

 

AMC Javelin

1970 AMC Javelin

1970 AMC Javelin

Base Price: $2720

Base Engine: 145-horsepower 232-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 245-horsepower 360-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 290-horsepower 360-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 325-horsepower 390-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $380 option

 

Chevrolet Camaro

1970 Chevrolet Camaro

1970 Chevrolet Camaro

Base Price: $2749

Base Engine: 140-horsepower 230-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 155-horsepower 250-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 200-horsepower 307-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 300-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 360-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 350-horsepower 402-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 375-horsepower 402-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $408 option

 

Dodge Challenger

1970 Dodge Challenger

1970 Dodge Challenger

Base Price: $2851

Base Engine: 145-horsepower 225-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 230-horsepower 318-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 275-horsepower 340-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 275-horsepower 383-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 425-horsepower 426-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 385-horsepower 440-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $358 option

 

Ford Mustang

1970 Ford Mustang

1970 Ford Mustang

Base Price: $2721

Base Engine: 120-horsepower 200-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 155-horsepower 250-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 200-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 290-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 250-horsepower 351-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 300-horsepower 351-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 335-horsepower 428-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 375-horsepower 429-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $380 option

The 5 Most-Expensive American Wagons of 1969

 

Mercury Cougar

1970 Mercury Cougar
1970 Mercury Cougar

Base Price: $3114

Base Engine: 250-horsepower 351-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 290-horsepower 302-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 290-horsepower 351-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 320-horsepower 390-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 335-horsepower 428-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $376 option

 

Plymouth Barracuda

1970 Plymouth Barracuda
1970 Plymouth Barracuda

Base Price: $2851

Base Engine: 145-horsepower 225-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 230-horsepower 318-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 275-horsepower 340-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 275-horsepower 383-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 425-horsepower 426-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 385-horsepower 440-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $358 option

 

Pontiac Firebird

1970 Pontiac Firebird
1970 Pontiac Firebird

Base Price: $2875

Base Engine: 155-horsepower 250-cubic-inch six

Available Engine: 255-horsepower 350-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 265-horsepower 400-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 330-horsepower 400-cubic-inch V8

Available Engine: 345-horsepower 400-cubic-inch V8

Air Conditioning: $408 option

The Mercurys of 1977

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