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

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


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

“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”—; “if you own (or wish you owned) an American car from this period, you’ll want this book”—Wheelspin.