Cars We Loved in the 1970s

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The 1970s saw some ground-breaking new metal in British showrooms: the Renault 5 established the new 'supermini' class, the Volkswagen Golf gave the average family car a hatchback and top quality, the Ford Capri made sporty cars available to everyone and, despite all of this, that old favourite the Ford Cortina continued to rule the sales charts. It was a funny old time to be a driver, and Britain started to experience a love/hate relationship with the four-wheeled machine that previously symbolised nothing but speed and freedom. The economic rollercoaster sent fuel prices soaring, while the country's roads left something to be desire, and then there was the issue of those cars themselves: it seemed British manufacturers, beset by striking workers and falling quality standards, were stalling as Japan's Datsuns and Toyotas cruised off with contented customers. Giles Chapman documents the whole turbulent decade stunningly illustrated book, from the cars that dominated our motoring lives to the much-maligned Morris Marina and Reliant Robin actually helped drivers out of a jam.