The '70s were a weird decade and you don't need to have been alive during that time to know it.
Remember watching John Travolta dance to the beats of disco music in bell bottoms? (Just YouTube it if you don't). The entire decade was marked by uproars and eccentric trends. And the cars of that decade were no different with their bold designs and conceptual breakthroughs. Especially those built exclusively for the elite.
After all, luxury cars have always had the luxury of large R&D allocations, which enabled their designers and engineers to come up with technological advances that later aimed to justify their outrageous on-road prices.
So if you are into vintage rides, here are the top 20 popular, classic cars from the '70s- and their worth today.
While some of the cars on this list still command multiples of their original price on the auction stands today, others are now, sadly, worth only the value of their spare parts. Want to know which is which?
There's only one way to find out.
20 1973 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham: A Massive Back Seat
For the uninitiated, broughams were large, hulking cars with spacious interiors and massive seats produced by pretty much every American luxury car company back in the day.
They were the replacement for horse-drawn carriages with their living-room furnishings and comfortable leg space, and so were coveted by every man with enough dough to his name.
And while the Brougham model of the famous Chrysler New Yorker with its angular chrome front bumper, protruding headlights, and vinyl roof was produced only later in the 1970s, this car, priced then at $3,230 and higher, quickly toppled the base model of the New Yorker and became the car sought out by the upper-middle class elite.
The 1973 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham can be bought at auctions these days for $13,995 or higher.
19 1976 Pontiac Firebird: The Bandit Car
When Pontiac launched its Firebird, they marketed it as a trend-setting car that was the "beginning of tomorrow." And although most car manufacturers tend to proclaim such things at launches, no one could have guessed then that the Firebird would become so popular. In fact, it would continue to be built up until 2002!
But we are not surprised. After all, this car has a firebird tattooed on its black hood, which made it super popular as a "bandit car" for bad boys.
Priced then between $3,900 to $4,985, the Pontiac Firebird currently has an asking price of $10,729 and sometimes higher at auctions.
18 1977 Fiat X1/9: Luxury Car For The Average Man
If you belonged to an average-income family back in the '70s, you would have whooped with joy when the Fiat X1/9 was launched. Not because it was over-the-top and beautiful, however.
This Fiat marked the first time an "average" family could own a sports car without burning through their kid's college fund.
Priced at $3,917 and upwards at that time, the X1/9 was mostly made up of parts taken from other Fiat family cars. That's why it performed like any other sedan or coupe even though it looked like a cool cat.
The X1/9 usually auctions off for $5,500 or lower these days.
17 1974 Ford Mustang II: Muscle Car For The Muscly Man
The Ford Mustang was a classic muscle car for muscly men. And nine years after its launch, the company decided to capitalize on the hallowed name of the Mustang by introducing the Mustang II.
Unfortunately, the $3,555 to $4,200-priced car did not live up to its name and almost lost the Mustang all the respect it had garnered previously. This was because of an inefficient V-8 engine that could only hit 140hp and was neither very fast nor maneuverable.
But that did not affect the sales of the Mustang II, which remained one of the highest-selling luxury cars of that decade.
Wondering what its value is today? The lowest auction sale of the Mustang II in 2018 was $2,600 and the highest was $38,500. So it really depends on the car's condition and the enthusiasm of the buyer.
16 Oldsmobile Toronado: Poor Man's Eldorado
Priced at $5,023 then, the Oldsmobile Toronado was $2,000 less than the Cadillac Eldorado at the time. To an average-income family, that was a big margin.
A margin that allowed them to own a sports car that was beautiful, sleek, and technologically advanced.
The latter was the Toronado's USP because it was the first car to have a front-wheel drive since the 1939 Cord. And this gave the car superior handling, torque, and speed for its size.
The curved-glass rear window and the concealed headlamps were extra features that made this beautiful car stand out even more. And the interiors matched the quality of the exteriors.
The Oldsmobile Toronado can be bought at auctions today for an average of $15,800 or more.
15 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo: A Box Car
The BMW 2002 Turbo was Europe's first turbocharged car. And it couldn't have been launched at a worse time.
Why? Because the worldwide oil crisis had just hit everyone a year back, which led to quadrupled oil prices and strict government regulations on speed limits and electricity usage at home. And to own a high-speed turbocharged car with its gas-guzzling technology during those years was considered extremely irresponsible.
Nevertheless, the $6,600 priced 2002 Turbo with its boxy body and fun paint around the bumper and doors was vied by everyone who saw it whooshing down the road. And the craze to own one still remains amongst car fanatics, who are willing to shell out $99,444 and higher for a refurbished model on auction today.
14 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron: The Competition
With a body manufactured by LeBaron and a chassis produced by Chrysler, the Chrysler Imperial LeBaron was a classic luxury car of the early 20th century, launched to compete against Packard and Lincoln.
And its run from 1957 to 1975 was so great that Chrysler relaunched the Imperial LeBaron in 1977 due to public demand.
Unfortunately, the second run achieved less than stellar sales figures.
Priced at $7,190 and higher at that time, the Imperial LeBaron was a beautiful convertible with an iconically-colored body and an air of luxury about it.
No wonder refurbished Imperial LeBarons still fetch $12,000 and higher at auctions today.
13 Cadillac Eldorado: Head-To-Toe American
If there ever was a car in the '70s that reflected the spirit of the people of the United States of America, it was the Cadillac Eldorado.
It was boxy like all other muscle cars, featured an angular chrome front bumper similar to the one on the Chrysler New Yorker Brougham. It also had a convertible roof, which secured it a regular "car for the protagonist" spot in many movies of that era.
The Eldorado was originally priced at $7,751 and higher. Today you can own one thanks to auctions that offer pristine cars in the range of $16,000 to $70,000.
12 Bricklin SV-1: Serious Trouble
The Bricklin SV-1 was designed by the famous designer of the Subaru and Yugo with one primary goal– safety first. Unfortunately, the $7,900 to $9,995 two-seater sports car with its fiberglass body, Ford or AMC V8 engine (depending on the year of purchase), and self-lifting gullwing doors was only safe in theory.
Sure, it looked cool, but the Bricklin SV-1 wouldn't hold up to safety standards then or now.
In reality, the fiberglass was prone to fracture and the engines often overheated, leading to dangerous mishaps on the road. No wonder it was discontinued later in 1975, just a year after its launch.
The Bricklin SV-1 can be bought today for just $3,495.
11 Lincoln Continental: Hard Angles Were The Norm
Boxy cars with hard 90-degree angles may not be the most aerodynamically competent models on the road, but they are everything a man would like parked in his garage. Especially if he is a man who likes the sound of an engine's growl and the bulge of his biceps after he has spent hours refurbishing his dad's old car in the garage.
And the Lincoln Continental was just that and then some. A man's car through and through, with chrome and vinyl everywhere and its luxurious sofa-like seats. No wonder it still has a loyal following among car aficionados.
The $9,198 and higher Continental can now be bought at auctions anywhere between $4000 to $15,000. It all depends on the buyer and the car for sale.
10 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Talisman: A Pleasure Barge
The Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham was already a special car with a loyal fan following and skyrocketing sales when the Talisman edition of the car was launched.
With four armchair-sized seats, identical center consoles in the front and back, and a flip-up lighted writing pad, the Fleetwood Brougham Talisman was not your average luxury car.
It was a pleasure barge on wheels for those who could afford its whopping $10,427 and higher price tag.
In fact, if you wanted your Talisman upholstered in leather, you had to cough up an additional $2,450, which is why leathered Talismans are a rare find these days.
These cars would fetch their owners a sweet $14,000 t0 $18,000 if they decided to sell them today. And the leather interior ones even more!
9 Buick Riviera: People's Favorite
The Buick Riviera was a crowd favorite when it was launched in 1978. But by 1979 it had shed almost half a ton of weight, which made it faster on road. No wonder Riviera sales kept shooting through the roof every single year.
And while the price tag on a Riviera could set you back anywhere between $2,580 to $15,965 at the time, depending on your custom preferences, it was well worth the price people paid for it because of its 185hp V6 engine.
But the value didn't necessarily last- the Riviera can be bought today at auctions for $7,975 or lower.
8 Lamborghini Miura: Unofficial Car Of The Rat Pack
If you were alive during the 1970s, you would know how hallowed the Lamborghini Miura was among fans. And a lot of factors contributed to its meteoric rise in the eyes of elite car lovers and thrillseekers alike. One of which was the powerful opening scene of The Italian Job where you can watch the Miura cruise down a winding highway like a hot knife cuts through butter.
Priced $20,000 and higher in the 70's, the Miura was not just expensive- it was extravagant.
And those who could afford it then didn't let the car waste away in their cavernous garages. After all, the Miura was built for chewing up the road in seconds and therefore, demanded adequate road time.
The Miura auctions for $765,000 and higher these days.
7 Ferrari/Dino 308 GT4: An Enigma
The Ferrari/Dino 308 GT4 was a real enigma. For one, it did not look like most Ferraris. And for another, it was named Dino, to commemorate Ferrari's deceased son who loved cars just like his father. In fact, Enzo Ferrari played a major role in the designing of this car.
Like all Ferraris, the Dino 308 was a powerful car and beautiful to boot. And it was also the first series of Ferraris to house a V8 engine as opposed to the V12. That's why it had a more modest price of $23,885, compared to other Ferrari models.
The Dino did not sport the Ferrari prancing-horse emblem until May 1976. And that was done mainly because the Dino badge was confusing prospective buyers.
The Dino 308 GT4 auctions for $38,000 on an average these days.
6 1977 Aston Martin V8 Vantage: The 007 Car
When the Aston Martin V8 was unveiled in 1977, it was hailed as "Britain's first supercar" because of its 170mph top speed that was the highest of any British car. The Vantage was a separate model of this car, with superior design and a closed-off hood bulge, unlike the open grill of the basic V8.
The car was priced at $33,950 and higher at that time, but its popularity has risen astronomically ever since James Bond drove one around in The Living Daylights.
The current auction price of a Vantage is listed as "price on request" so you can imagine the number of zeroes behind the curtain.
5 Ferrari 512 BB: The Classic Racecar
The Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer, a.k.a the Ferrari 512 BB, was a classic racecar of its generation with a V12 engine that was the first 12-cylinder road car produced by the company.
Priced at $38,000 then, the 512 BB was never officially imported to the United States because of the government-imposed 55mph speed limit that was introduced due to the oil crisis of the '70s. Ferrari knew that its V8-engined cars would suffice in the American market as it could handle satisfactorily well within the speed restrictions.
The 512 BB can be bought today at auctions for an average of $190,277.
4 Maserati Bora: The Cool Car Of The '70s
The Maserati Bora was a cool two-seater car of the '70s, known for its powerful V8 engine that could crank out a top speed of 171mph.
The best part about the Bora launch was that it really pulled the Maserati out of its reputation for producing outdated cars.
Plus, it was a more civilized two-seater sports car with better foot space and a trunk in the front for luggage. And the steering wheel could be telescoped in and out and shifted to the side to make it easier for the driver to get in and out of the car.
Priced then at $38,970, the Maserati Bora can be bought today for an average of $126,500.
3 Lamborghini Countach: An Icon Was Born
The Lamborghini Countach was first unveiled to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971, where it instantly became a crowd favorite with its futuristic sleek-in-the-front wedge-style design and scissor doors that lifted skywards.
And though the actual model released to the public in 1973 lacked many cooling ducts and had a reduced fuel-tank capacity, it still sold like hotcakes at $52,000. After all, it was a radically beautiful sports car with a top speed of 200mph and better on-road wheel grip during turns.
And the craze for owning a Countach hasn't gone down over the decades as evidenced by the fact that it auctions for $1 million to $1.2 million these days. Talk about notoriously expensive!
2 Stutz Blackhawk: A Premium Car For Celebrities
If there was ever a car that embraced the '70s wholeheartedly, it was definitely the Stutz Blackhawk with its grand design and powerful growl under the hood. And it wasn't just the muscly nature of the car that made it stand out.
With shag carpeting that was the biggest trend in the 1970s, along with gold-plated trimmings, the Blackhawk was so popular back then that its launch price of $22,500 quickly rose to $75,000.
And we aren't surprised at the Blackhawk's popularity, considering the fact that Elvis owned one too!
Unfortunately, the car has fallen in popularity through the decades and can be scooped up for less than $14,800 these days at auctions.
1 1974 Lancia Stratos: Started As A Car Exclusively For Rallies
At a time when car companies usually would put a sports-car spin on popular road models, the Lancia Stratos stood out for the fact that it was built exclusively to win the World Rally Championship. And win it did for three consecutive years between 1974-76, which is the reason why this extremely rare car (only 492 were ever made!) was so popular and outrageously expensive!
Priced at ₤2,250,000 then, the Lancia was known for its powerful 2.6 L Ferrari V-6 engine and its UFO-ish design. And it became even more famous after its production was discontinued.
Vintage Lancia Stratos can be bought at auctions these days for €761,600, which is equivalent to $880,000.