1970-1973 Chrysler Imperial
10 Images

Luxury cars of the 1970s

1970-1973 Chrysler Imperial
1970-1973 Chrysler Imperial

Imperial—the name alone sounds as if the car was designed to overtake all weaker forms of automotive life. Truth be told, the Imperial never sold as well as its rivals from Cadillac and Lincoln, but it did have a loyal following. The full-sized Imperial puffed its last greenhouse gas in 1975, surrendering commercial use of the name to a prize-winning rose and a tasty butter substitute.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (Chrysler)
1970-1979 Lincoln Continental
1970-1979 Lincoln Continental

Break out your T-squares, boys, we’re going to design a luxury car! Those 90-degree angles can be sexy, especially when offered in 23 possible color combinations, slathered in chrome and vinyl and stretched out over 19 feet of steel. Powered by a 460 cid V8 engine and outfitted with every imaginable luxury option of the day, Lincoln’s Continental Sedan and Coupe bucked the trend toward downsizing right up to the end of the wretched decade that helped spawn them.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (Joe Tralongo)
1971-73 Buick Riviera
1971-73 Buick Riviera

Inspired by a Bill Mitchell concept, Jerry Hirschberg’s “Boattail” Riviera design was considered by many to be outrageous, even ugly upon its debut. Hmm, critics! Thirty-seven years later, it has proven one of the most beautiful and distinctive designs of the era. Already increasing in value, a mint-condition Riviera can fetch as much as $25,000. Pre-emission models with the 455 cid engine are particularly desirable, as are the even rarer 1971 330-horsepower GS cars.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (General Motors)
1971-78 Oldsmobile Toronado
1971-78 Oldsmobile Toronado

Big, square and sometimes considered the “poor man’s Eldorado” (the two shared the same platform), the Toronado nevertheless cocooned its occupants in both comfort and style. Collectors will want to focus on the rare XS model, which features a cool bent-glass wraparound rear window and a power sunroof. The car pictured here is actually an XSR prototype model, which included power retractable T-tops. Apparently the ASC design proved too costly, leaving Oldsmobile to substitute the sunroof.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (General Motors)
1971-1978 Cadillac Eldorado
1971-1978 Cadillac Eldorado

Like many Hollywood starlets of the time, the 1971-78 Cadillac Eldorado went under the knife on numerous occasions. Unlike those same starlets, however, the Eldorado always emerged more beautiful than before. A rolling paradox, early Eldorados employed a gas-guzzling 500 cid V8 as their primary power source, yet also touted such revolutionary options as front airbags and rear anti-lock disc brakes. Although collectors have always sought out the convertible models, the coupes are finally coming into their own.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (Mike Steiners)
1972-76 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency
1972-76 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency

To commemorate its 75th anniversary, Oldsmobile created a special-edition Ninety-Eight sedan, and some big girl then christened it the Regency. Featuring unique gold paint, tufted pillow seating and a Tiffany gold face clock, the Regency proved so successful that Olds added it as a separate trim line in 1973. 1976 marked the final year for the big 455 cid V8 engine, as well as the last pillarless hardtop sedan to carry the Ninety-Eight badge.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (Tom Woodcock)
1974-76 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Talisman
1974-76 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Talisman

Cadillac’s flagship, the Fleetwood 60 Special Brougham, reached its zenith in the mid-1970s with the introduction of the Talisman package. The option created four armchair-style seats, converting the Escalade-sized sedan into a four-passenger pleasure barge. Matching front and rear consoles, complete with flip-up lighted writing pads and mirrors, separated passengers. The Talisman leather option alone cost a whopping $2,450, just a few hundred dollars less than a brand new 1974 Chevrolet Vega!

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (General Motors)
1976-78 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham
1976-78 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham

Teenagers wanted to borrow Dad’s ChryslerNew Yorker Brougham on Saturday night for only one reason: the massive back seat! Collectors, on the other hand, have fallen in love with the NYB’s unconventional design, which includes artfully sculpted bumpers, full-length wheel skirts and an interior seemingly lifted from Scarlett O’Hara’s boudoir. Powered by a 440 cid V8, the New Yorker was the last American car to feature a hardtop design and a die-cast metal grille.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (Chrysler)
1976-79 Cadillac Seville
1976-79 Cadillac Seville

The 1976 Cadillac Seville proved to the world not all American luxury cars were bombastic mastodons with an unquenchable thirst for fuel. Based on the Chevy Nova platform, the Seville so utterly revolutionized the automotive industry it set off a wave of copycats, but none as successful as Cadillac’s smallest and most expensive sedan. The sophisticated Seville’s sales grew stronger year after year, until in 1980 Cadillac’s bustle-back redesign beat the poor thing to death with an ugly stick.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (General Motors)
1977-1979 Lincoln Mark V
1977-1979 Lincoln Mark V

Paris Hilton has nothing on her ‘70s counterparts, because while she can only wear designer fashion, they could drive it! Personal editions from Cartier, Gucci, Bill Blass and Emilio Pucci helped make Lincoln’s Mark V one of America’s favorite luxury coupes. Collectors have caught onto this car, pushing prices past $20,000 for a mint-condition Diamond Jubilee or Collector’s Series. The 1979 brochure features another ‘70s icon, Tom Selleck, modeling alongside the Mark V.

More...

• When velour was king: 10 American ‘70s luxury car classics (Ford)
1/10