American Cars, 1973–1980

Every Model, Year by Year

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About the Book

The 1973 oil crisis forced the American automotive industry into a period of dramatic change, marked by stiff foreign competition, tougher product regulations and suddenly altered consumer demand. With gas prices soaring and the economy in a veritable tailspin, muscle cars and the massive “need-for-speed” engines of the late ’60s were out, and fuel efficient compacts were in. By 1980, American manufacturers were churning out some of the most feature laden, yet smallest and most fuel efficient cars they had ever built. This exhaustive reference work details every model from each of the major American manufacturers from model years 1973 through 1980, including various “captive imports” (e.g. Dodge’s Colt, built by Mitsubishi.) Within each model year, it reports on each manufacturer’s significant news and details every model offered: its specifications, powertrain offerings, prices, standard features, major options, and production figures, among other facts. The work is heavily illustrated with approximately 1,300 photographs.

About the Author(s)

J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr., is a claim analyst and longtime car enthusiast. He lives in Lenexa, Kansas.

Bibliographic Details

J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr.
Format: hardcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 959
Bibliographic Info: 1,381 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4352-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5636-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Abbreviations and Terminology  ix
Preface  1
Introduction  6
1973 21
1974 121
1975 219
1976 325
1977 433
1978 545
1979 661
1980 772
Appendices:
I. Minor Makes and Replicars  883
II. History of Captive Imports, 1973–1980  890
III. Pace Cars and Motor Trend “Car of the Year” Winners  893
IV. Option Groups and Packages  896
V. General Motors Engine RPO and VIN Codes  928
VI. Tire Sizes, Identification and Recalls  929
VII. Aftermarket Convertible Conversions  931
VIII. Concept Cars  935
IX. Model and Body Style Codes  939
X. Manufacturer Logos, 1973–1980  942
Bibliography  946
Index  947

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Recommended”—Booklist
  • “this exhaustive reference work details every model from each of the major American manufacturers”—Antique Automobile
  • “it is amazing what harnessed passion can produce. Car lovers will be thrilled with this one-stop shop for specs on each automobile…an exhaustive store of information not easily located on the web”—Library Journal
  • “recommended”—Choice
  • “no library covering American-made automobiles is complete, much less comprehensive, without the three volumes of Kelly Flory’s American Cars…indispensable…a fascinating study”—SAH Journal
  • “when the editorial staff at Hemmings needs to verify something hard and fast, where do we go? Plenty of times, to the exhaustively researched, year-by-year reference books of Kelly Flory. It’s enormous, in fact…Flory’s works are our go-to books. They are incredibly good”—Hemmings Motor News
  • “focuses on the fuel efficient automobiles made from 1973 to 1980”—ARBA
  • “a trove of wonderful information”—izoom.com
  • “if you own (or wish you owned) an American car from this period, you’ll want this book”—Wheelspin