Over the last few weeks we have visited Panama, Colombia, China and Indonesia. But really, I know the post you liked most was when I went back in time to explore America in 1986. Come on, you know it’s true.
Which is why I have more time travel for you this week: let’s go back to 1975, a time when the average house cost $39,000, the average new car $4,250, both inflation and unemployment rates hit 9.2% and a gallon of gas cost an outrageous 44 cents…but most importantly it was the year Jaws was released.
If the idea of going back to these depressing times is not what you need today, that’s ok. I have prepared 160 countries for you to visit in my blog, and I can tell you it is worth the browse, so click away!
“It’s a good feeling to have an Olds around you” the ad said, and a lot of Americans agreed…
The 1975 US ranking I have for you this week is the best-selling American Passenger Cars, so before you ask, no there are no imports – Toyota led the way then apparently but I don’t have any official figures – and there are no trucks – the Ford F-Series only took the lead in 1977 so the best-selling truck would probably have been a Chevrolet then.
America’s favorite car in 1975 was the Oldsmobile Cutlass. Yes, it’s hard to believe that a brand that doesn’t exist anymore today could produce the best-selling model in the entire country then…but it was 36 years ago after all.
The Cutlass is up 8 spots and 20% on 1974 to grab the pole position with 324,610 sales. The Cutlass would be a regular fixture atop the US ranking up until the early eighties.
In second place we find the Ford Granada, a huge success for its first full year of sales in the country at 291,140 units.
The Chevrolet Chevelle is 3rd with 276,206 sales, it has been on the podium for a few years…
…ahead of the Ford Pinto at 271,880 units. This is much lower than the last couple of years, possibly showing that America’s oil crisis-forced love story with the small car is about to end…
The Chevrolet Monte Carlo is 5th with 267,803 sales…
…followed by the Chevrolet Nova is #6 with 256,438 sales…
…and the Plymouth Valiant dropping from 2nd place in 1974 to 7th in 1975.
The other 2 American cars to sell over 200,000 units in 1975 are the Chevrolet Vega and Ford LT D.
Further down the ranking, notice the Dodge Dart in 13th position…
…the Chevrolet Monza up 64 spots to #19
and the Ford Elite up 33 spots to #21.
And now for the golden nugget: the best-selling newcomer in 1975 is the very original/controversial AMC Pacer landing directly in 28th position with 88,641 units sold for its very first year…
Top 30 best-selling American Passenger Cars in 1975
|5||Chevrolet Monte Carlo||267,803|
|9||Ford LT D||201,180|
|10||Ford Mustang II||193,273|
|23||Pontiac Grand Prix||94,363|
|25||Buick Electra 225||92,427|
|27||Pontiac Le Mans||90,418|
If you want more, the 1975 Top 80 best-selling American Passenger Cars Ranking is here.
If you are interested in monthly updates about the best-selling models in the USA see here.
Source of the 1975 average costs is www.thepeoplehistory.com
Source of the 1975 sales figures is German Auto Katalog
Matt Gasnier, based in Sydney, Australia, runs a blog named Best Selling Cars, dedicated to counting cars all over the world.