Back when Countdown was on TV and AC/DC rocked the airwaves, the Holden and Ford rivalry was spilling over from the 60’s and Japanese imports were becoming an increasingly popular choice. The 1970’s produced some of our most loved vehicles and here we will take a look at how the automotive landscape existed in this groovy era.
Holden was the powerhouse against Ford and accounted for 1/3 of all car sales; even though this had slightly decreased since the 60’s, Ford’s accounted for almost a quarter of sales with Chrysler being the third most popular brand. Four door passenger vehicles were common place, but with the introduction of two door coupes, the sportier man’s option soon became the Monaro, Falcon or Charger. Later on in the decade Ford was closing the gap against Holden with notable models such as the Cortina, Capri and Escort, but it wasn’t until 1977 that Ford took the title from Holden as the country’s most popular automotive brand with just over 54,000 Falcons sold. Although Ford had taken the sales lead by the late 70’s Holden hit back with one of its most memorable and potentially most important cars in our motoring history, the humble Commodore.
Even though Holden’s and Ford’s were selling big, up and coming Japanese brands Datsun and Toyota were facing off and slowly gaining a foothold in the Australian market. Toyota was the most popular Japanese brand with their sporty Celica and reliable Corolla until 1973 when Datsun’s 1200, 1600 and 180B models outsold Toyota’s. Although the Japanese brands sales figures didn’t come close to that of Holden or Ford’s, the early 1970’s proved that they were growing in popularity with 1 in 5 cars sold coming from the land of the rising sun.
With such a vast automotive landscape, Australia in the 1970’s was a time of innovation and design and although both Holden and Ford are discontinuing production of their famed offerings, we at Rare Spares are proud to be able to support these models, new and old, for many years to come.
What is your most memorable moment from the 70’s? Sitting in the back of your parent’s classic or purchasing your first car for a bargain price? Head over to the comments section on the Rare Spares Facebook page and let us know!