Although the year wasn’t exactly regarded as the company’s best, there’s still quite a few 1970 Chrysler models revered by collectors and car lovers alike.
In today’s market, Chrysler is one of the brands under Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (formerly FCA, now Stellantis), and includes subsidiary companies such as Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Fiat. To the modern car lover, Chrysler is best known for its well-rounded, luxurious 300 sedan series. However, many people tend to forget just how far back the Chrysler brand goes, and the role that it played in forming the American automotive industry.
The original Chrysler Corporation was founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler, from the remains of what was the Maxwell Motor Company. After Chrysler’s interception, Mr Chrysler then went on to deploy the same brand diversification and hierarchy strategy used by General Motors, which he had become familiar with during a tenure at Buick. While the brand enjoyed the highs and lows that many other manufacturers experienced over the course of the 20th century, the seventies were not a great time to be making cars.
How Chrysler Survived The 1970 Clean Air Act
One of the defining events of the seventies was the economic recession that derived from the 1973 oil crisis. Led by Saudi Arabia, members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo, with the countries most affected being Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the price of oil had risen nearly 300% from USD $3 per barrel to almost USD $12 globally.
On top of the oil embargo, manufacturers also had to contend with a raft of new policies and laws in the United States linked to the 1970 Clean Air Act. With insurance rates also skyrocketing, the production of muscle cars by the nation’s automotive production giants either significantly declined, or were discontinued altogether.
While new technology such as electronic fuel injection systems, turbochargers and advanced engine management controls helped to alleviate the economic pressures faced by many automotive manufacturers, cars released at this time certainly received mixed results – even with the right conglomerate badge attached. Still, 1970 Chrysler models were not as polarising as others, with the following even considered to be collectors items even today.
1970 Chrysler 160 – Chrysler Europe introduced the Chrysler 160, Chrysler 160GT and Chrysler 180 at the “Salon International d’Automobile” in October 1970, and each were promoted with the slogan “An American from Paris”. This new car was the result of a joint development between the Rootes Group of the United Kingdom and France based Simca, with another variant even receiving the nod for production in Australia just five short years later.
1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst – The 1970 Chrysler 300 Hurst was marketed as an ultra exclusive, high-performance variant of the earlier and more luxurious 300 series, but built with the input of aftermarket parts manufacturer Hurst Performance. At the time, Hurst was synonymous with high performance vehicles, which made them a logical choice in a production partner. With only 501 models ever made, it’s now considered to be one of the rarest muscle cars in the world.
1970 Chrysler Imperial – Although the Imperial name had been used by Chrysler to market their luxury vehicles since 1926, it received an overhaul in 1955 to compete with rivals Lincoln and Cadillac. Spanning across almost thirty years of production, the fourth generation released each year between 1969 and 1973 saw these models become longer and wider than ever before. Relatively rare, only 11,822 of the 1970 Chrysler Imperials were ever produced.
1970 Chrysler Valiant VG – Produced right here in Australia, the 1970 Chrysler Valiant VG was the eighth model to be manufactured on home soil. As an “upgraded version” of the Valiant VF with new horizontal tail lights, rear end styling and the signature two door hardtop, the VG range also featured the newly introduced Australian built “Hemi” six cylinder engine, which was claimed by Chrysler to be the most advanced engine of its kind in the world at the time.
Despite 1970 being marked in history as a terrible year to be in the business of making cars, Chrysler still managed to dig deep and release vehicles that are by no means considered as duds in today’s market. Although the decade was certainly not Chrysler’s best in terms of gross sales, the fact that they managed to survive this era and continue to manufacture memorable cars says it all.
Your Guide To Everything Classic Cars
Finding a fellow vintage auto enthusiast can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but rest assured that Wayne’s Garage understands the thrill more than most. Having spent forty years collecting anything and everything from matchbox cars to hub caps, he’s successfully followed his passion to source, collect and stock beautiful and low mileage classic automobiles from around the world. With extensive experience in the automotive industry, it was only a matter of time before Wayne expanded on his love of vintage, iconic vehicles to share his knowledge and passion with the public.
Although his passion is for automobiles built before 1978, with a particular love for Buicks, Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles and even Fords, Wayne is just as passionate about the stories of the owners. Just like the cars, he has found that his fellow classic car enthusiasts all have wildly different attractions and logic behind their passion or hobby, and this often translates into how the car is presented. If it’s even remotely different, rare or just plain unusual, Wayne will overcome the relevant logistical and geographical challenges of bringing the cars to his showroom in Australia.
Wayne’s Garage is a showroom conveniently located at Seventeen Mile Rocks, that specialises in the restoration and sales of vintage automobiles. If you’re on the hunt for Brisbane classic cars – quite simply, Wayne is your man. If you would like to arrange a viewing or inspect any other of our classic vehicles, please get in touch with us today.