Top 5 70s Classics that Defined the Decade

Innovation and exploration defined the 1970s here are our top 70s classics that defined the decade

Innovation and exploration defined the 1970s; and whilst there are some style choices many would rather forget; flares, platforms, and anything spandex, it was an exciting time for the motoring industry. The 70’s gave us powerful design and sleek finishes, it was the decade of high profile cars like the BMW M1 and Lamborghini Countach, famous for their angular lines and infamous ‘wedge’.  Mark Wilkinson from Heritage Classic Car Insurance, gives his run down for the top five 70s classics that defined the decade and are guaranteed to appreciate.

The 70’s gave us powerful design and sleek finishes

Jensen Interceptor- One of the classics that defined the decade

70s classics that defined the decade

© Copyright of pyntofmyld

Jensen Motors Ltd were a midlands based car manufacturer ran by two brothers from 1934 until it went bankrupt in 1976. The Jensen Interceptor, nicknamed the, ‘Italian Car’, was first introduced in 1966. The car was largely made by an outside firm based in Italy, rather than by in-house staff at the West Bromwich factory. Vignale, based in Turin worked with mainly Italian clients including; Fiat, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, but were also tasked with designing the early bodies of the Jensen Interceptor, which was an all-steel-2-door body design, with a curved hatchback-style rear. Despite the weight and size of the motor, the American Chrysler V8 engine gave the Interceptor remarkable performance.

Throughout the 1970s the vehicle saw a number of improvements and changes to the styling of both the interior and exterior, as well as increasing the performance of the car with a larger capacity engine in 1971. Production of the car ceased five years later in 1976 and while other versions of the car were made in subsequent years, the early Jensen Interceptor, with its iconic large rear window, is still the most sought after of the series and a great investment for avid car collectors.

Specifications:

  • Years Produced – 1966-1976
  • Performance – 0-60 mph 3 sec / Top Speed 133 mph
  • Power & Torque – 325 bhp / 425 lb ft
  • Engine – Naturally aspirated 6286cc V8 16 valves
  • Drive-train – Front engine RWD
  • Structure – Monocoque
  • Transmission – Three speed auto
  • Weight – 1768 kg

Price Guide:

  • Launch Price – £2394
  • Excellent – £60,000
  • Good – £30,000
  • Average – £20,000
  • Project – £10,000

Insurance: 

  • Annual premium – £86.48 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

Quotations are based on fully comprehensive cover of a 45 year old driver, garaged vehicle, accident, claim and conviction free, mileage limited to 1,500 per annum, with access to a second car.

Jaguar XJ6 Mk2 – Classics that defined the decade

70s classics that defined the decade

Jaguar XJ6 Mk2

 

Debuted in 1968, the XJ6 was introduced as a single model range to replace a long line of successful predecessors, including the Mk10 and Mk2. Sir William Lyons himself was so confident about the new vehicle, that he featured on the adverts himself, professing that the XJ was the finest saloon car Jaguar had ever made. However, this was not an entirely new concept, as it was powered by the same XK twin cam engine that was first introduced back in 1948, and its styling was reminiscent of the manufacture’s previous models. However, it wasn’t long before the XJ6 was receiving acclaimed reviews for both its beautifully spacious interiors, offering top quality comfort, as well as its impressive performance. The motor was originally available in 2.8l and 4.2l versions, with all 4.2l models (and the deluxe 2.8l) coming complete with power assisted steering and leather seats. There is no doubt this car was amongst the most upmarket, luxury cars of its day. Whilst the XJ6 was introduced as a single model series, the car evolved so much over the decade that six subsequent models were developed in the XJ saloon series. To this day more than half of all Jaguars built are XJ models, and the sleek look and expensive finish stays true to Jaguar’s traditions, remaining a jewel in any classic car collector’s crown.

Specifications:

  • Years Produced – 1973 – 1986
  • Performance – 0-60 mph 8.8 sec / Top Speed 124 mph
  • Power & Torque – 167 bhp / 230 lb ft
  • Engine – Naturally Aspirated 4235cc straight six 12 valves
  • Drive-train – Front engine RWD
  • Structure – Monocoque
  • Transmission – Four speed manual / three speed auto
  • Weight – 1680 kg

Price Guide:

  • Launch Price – £2,253
  • Excellent – £11,000
  • Good – £8,000
  • Average – £5,000
  • Project – £1,000

 Insurance:

  • Annual premium – £96.36 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

Quotations are based on fully comprehensive cover of a 45 year old driver, garaged vehicle, accident, claim and conviction free, mileage limited to 1,500 per annum, with access to a second car.

Datsun 240Z – Classics that defined the decade

70s classics that defined the decade

Datsun-240Z

The Datsun 240Z makes the top five, as it was the first generation of Z GT two seat coupes produced by Nissan. Before now Japanese cars had often been labelled as unadventurous and unremarkable; however the Tokyo Motor show in 1969 changed all that, when it introduced a vehicle that would change the face of the Japanese car Industry. Sold in Japan as the ‘Fairlady’, the Datsun 240Z benefited from sharp, rakish design and a 2.4 litre, six cylinder engine able to reach 0-60mph in just 8 seconds. The car was a huge hit in the USA and Europe, largely due to the affordable price of just $3,500. The cars popularity was also helped by its powerful styling which took inspiration from the Ferrari GTO and Jaguar E-type, which turned out to be a winning combination; so much so that Nissan changed nothing about the vehicle until 1974. Today, the Datsun 240Z remains a desirable vehicle and is one of the few Japanese sports cars widely recognised by collectors.

Specifications:

  • Years Produced – 1969 – 1974
  • Performance – 0-60 mph 8.3 sec / Top Speed 125 mph
  • Power & Torque – 161 bhp / 198 lb ft
  • Engine – Naturally Aspirated 2393cc six cylinder 12 valves
  • Drive-train – Front engine RWD
  • Structure – Monocoque
  • Transmission – Five speed manual
  • Weight – 1025 kg

Price Guide:

  • Launch Price – £2288
  • Excellent – £30,000
  • Good – £15,000
  • Average – £8,000
  • Project – £3,500

Insurance:

  • Annual premium – £81.18 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

Quotations are based on fully comprehensive cover of a 45 year old driver, garaged vehicle, accident, claim and conviction free, mileage limited to 1,500 per annum, with access to a second car.

Triumph Dolomite Sprint – Classics that defined the decade

70s classics that defined the decade

Triumph Dolomite Sprint

The second Triumph in the list is the Dolomite Sprint. An evolution of the 1971 Dolomite, the Sprint was the final addition to Triumph’s small car range which started in 1965 with the Triumph 1300. The 1973 Dolomite Sprint, was developed to increase Triumph’s market share, as at the time they were losing out to competitors because of the vehicle’s poor performance capabilities. Despite its small price tag of just £1,740 the Sprint soon became comparable to much more expensive German cars, including the infamous BMW 2002.  The 2 litre, 16 valve motor was different to previous upmarket British vehicles, and people were recognising that it had something for everyone. On the one hand the Sprint was a top grade family saloon; yet it also captivated young, ambitious drivers with its surprisingly rapid performance and distinctive ‘mimosa yellow’ colouring. Motor Magazine commended the car in 1973 by saying; “It is well appointed, compact, yet deceptively roomy. Performance is there in plenty, yet economy is good and the model’s manners quite impeccable … Most important of all, it is a tremendously satisfying car to drive”. More than four decades on, this description still stands true, with the Triumph Dolomite Sprint being a great asset for any classic car collector.

Specifications:

  • Years Produced – 1973 – 1980
  • Performance – 0-60 mph 8.7 sec / Top Speed 115 mph
  • Power & Torque – 127 bhp / 124 lb ft
  • Engine – Naturally Aspirated 1998cc four cylinder 16 valves
  • Drive-train – Front engine RWD
  • Structure – Monocoque
  • Transmission – Four speed manual with overdrive
  • Weight – 1004 kg

Price Guide:

  • Launch Price – £1740
  • Excellent – £7,000
  • Good – £4,000
  • Average – £2,000
  • Project – £1,000

Insurance:

  • Annual premium – £79.06 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

Quotations are based on fully comprehensive cover of a 45 year old driver, garaged vehicle, accident, claim and conviction free, mileage limited to 1,500 per annum, with access to a second car.

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow – Classics that defined the decade

70s classics that defined the decade

Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

Back in 1904 the Honourable Charles Rolls and Sir Harry Royce set out to create “the best motor car in the world, regardless of cost”. Since then, Rolls Royce has been one of the most recognised brands in the world with a long line of successful vehicles to its name. However in 1965 John Polwhele Blatchley was met with the task of designing something new and different that would appeal to their celebrity clientele; and so Rolls Royce saw their biggest development in design in nearly six decades. The car was originally planned to be called Silver Mist, named after its predecessor, the Silver Cloud, until it was realised that ‘mist’ was in fact the German word for manure which was certainly not an image Rolls Royce wanted to be associated with. The new design, now named Silver Shadow was modern in appearance, being the first car to feature a single bow, as opposed to the more traditional two wheel arch design. It was also modern in function, with numerous innovations, from the monocoque construction used in aircraft design, new breaks, a new type of suspension and high pressure hydraulics. Furthermore the Silver Shadow had more space for passengers and their luggage than ever before. The car was revolutionary for its day, and thirty years on it is the most successful model the company has ever produced. Rolls Royce was once described as being the ‘pride of Britain, envy of the world,’ a statement that has never been truer than with the Silver Shadow.

Specifications:

  • Years Produced – 1965 – 1980
  • Performance – 0-60 mph 10.9 sec / Top Speed 118 mph
  • Power & Torque – 247 bhp / 398 lb ft
  • Engine – Naturally Aspirated 6230cc V8 16 valves
  • Drive-train – Front engine RWD
  • Structure – Monocoque
  • Transmission – Three speed auto
  • Weight – 2114 kg

Price Guide:

  • Launch Price – £6670
  • Excellent – £25,000
  • Good – £18,000
  • Average – £10,000
  • Project – £4,000

Insurance:

  • Annual premium – £102.30 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

Quotations are based on fully comprehensive cover of a 45 year old driver, garaged vehicle, accident, claim and conviction free, mileage limited to 1,500 per annum, with access to a second car.

 

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