But to be fair, Detroit got some cars very right in the '70s. Ford's Mustang caught General Motors by surprise and it took them a couple of years to get their competitor cars to market, By the 1969 model year Ford was already moving the Mustang away from its sporty roots and toward something more like a mini-Thunderbird (and the portly 1971 Mustang was considered a design failure), so when it was time to develop the second generation F-body, GM wanted to assert itself with a more dramatic design.
|1970 Chevrloet Camaro|
(*While referred to as 1970 models, the cars did not go on sale until late February due to some engineering issues; by today's convention, with a release at that point in the calendar year they would have simply been designated 1971s.)
The designs fared well until GM was forced to accommodate the federal government's bumper standards for the 1974 model year (I don't know how they got away with not adding them to the front for 1973, as was required on other cars), at which point they were given slanted noses and bulkier, less elegant tails, along with a significant weight gain. (It's easy to identify a '74 Camaro or Firebird because it has the chunky bumpers but not the wraparound rear window, which didn't appear until '75.) From there the front and rear designs got tweaked every couple of years, getting slightly less attractive each time, until 1981, the final year of the second generation.
|1971 Pontiac Firebird Formula|
However, I never liked those "honeycomb" wheels, so I'll take mine with a set of good old Rally II wheels, like on the red Fiebird in this brochure image: