Let’s move on to the 1970s, when bell bottoms were the height of fashion and punk rock arrived, and take a look five iconic road cars from this decade.
The Escort was actually first introduced by Ford Europe back in 1968 as a replacement for its longstanding Anglia model, but it went on to become a massive bestseller in the Seventies and beyond, remaining in production for over three decades in six successive generations. Success on motorsport circuits and in rallying linked the car to the well-known phrase “race on Sunday, sell on Monday!”
In contrast to the Escort small family car, the uniquely designed Bond Bug was an unusual three-wheeler which captured the imagination of younger drivers and turned heads wherever it went. It never sold in great numbers though and the last one was made in 1974.
If ever a car deserves to be described as iconic, surely it must be the Volkswagen Golf. It was launched in May 1974, representing a new direction for VW at the time, but it quickly became a real success and has remained so ever since as the car has been continually evolved and improved. The sporty GTI version, which first appeared in June 1976, became the standard for all subsequent hot hatches to be compared with and if possible beat.
The stylish Lotus Esprit was initially available with a four cylinder normally aspirated engine and James Bond helped assure it iconic status in the 1977 film “The Spy Who Loved Me”. However, the later turbocharged version put the Esprit into the supercar league, albeit at a far lower cost than rivals such as the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari 512 BB.
Completing our ‘70s quintet, let’s turn to the mighty Range Rover, a large luxurious and expensive SUV introduced in 1970. It quickly became a status symbol for quality British engineering and soon proved popular with royalty in the UK and abroad. The vehicle is still very much available in 2017 and overall sales were supplemented by the launches of the smaller Range Rover Sport and Evoque models in 2005 and 2011 respectively.