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The 1970s saw a dramatic shift in car styling away from the flowing curves of the 1960s. Now stark, sharp-edged lines were epitomized by the dramatic wedge profiles that swept the car-show circuit. As television boosted the influence of motor racing, supercars were created by manufacturers who had never made them before, to homologate cars that would grab race-winning headlines.

Monteverdi 375C, 1967


Engine7,206 cc, V8
Top speed155 mph (249 km/h)

Switzerland’s only car maker commissioned Fissore to style his cars and Frua to build them, with Chrysler “hemi” engines. Only a handful were custom-built annually until 1973.

De Tomaso Pantera, 1969


Engine5,763 cc, V8
Top speed160 mph (257 km/h)

This big-block Ford V8 in an Italian suit was styled by Ghia and built by De Tomaso in Italy, initially in partnership with Ford USA. It was so stunning, it was built into the 1990s.

Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona, 1968


Engine4,390 cc, V12
Top speed174 mph (280 km/h)

The last and fastest of Ferrari’s front-engine, rear-drive two-seaters had its heyday in the early 1970s: The 365GTB/4 is simple, brutal, and stunningly effective.

Citroën SM, 1970


Engine2,670 cc, V6
Top speed142 mph (229 km/h)

When Citroën bought Maserati, this was the result: an aerodynamic and hydropneumatic French supercar with a powerful Italian V6 engine.

Ferrari 400GT, 1976


Engine4,823 cc, V12
Top speed156 mph (251 km/h)

This executive four-seater is a civilized car with an automatic transmission, capable of speeds over 150 mph (241 km/h). A fine Ferrari, if not as exotic as most.

Ferrari 308 GTS, 1978


Engine2,926 cc, V8
Top speed155 mph (249 km/h)

Ferrari dropped the Dino name for its 1970s small sports car and gave it a new four-cam V8, mid-mounted as in the 246GT, with a Pininfarina-styled hardtop or targa body.

Lancia Stratos, 1973


Engine2,418 cc, V6
Top speed143 mph (230 km/h)

Lancia’s first pure sports car, built to homologate the model for rallying, this Bertone-styled supercar with Dino Ferrari power unit was a winner from the start.

BMW 3.0 CSL, 1972


Engine3,003 cc, straight-six
Top speed133 mph (214 km/h)

One of the first “homologation specials,” built primarily to make high performance parts eligible for touring-car racing, the CSL also made a fabulous road car.

BMW M1, 1979


Engine3,453 cc, straight-six
Top speed162 mph (261 km/h)

BMW turned a race-car project into a roadgoing supercar, with mid-mounted 24-valve six in a sharp suit by Giorgetto Giugiaro, around Lamborghinidesigned chassis.

Jaguar E-type Series III, 1971


Engine5,343 cc, V12
Top speed150 mph (241 km/h)

To replace the XK engine, Jaguar needed something special, with more than six cylinders: What better than this aluminum V12 in an enlarged E-type shell?

Porsche 911 Carrera RS, 197


Engine2,687 cc, flat-six
Top speed149 mph (240 km/h)

For many, the 2.7 Carrera RS is the ultimate Porsche 911, combining the classic lightness of the original design with serious power and great handling.

Mercedes-Benz C111-II, 1970


Engine4,800cc (four-rotor Wankel)
Top speed186 mph (300 km/h)

Mercedes’ C111s were experimental cars, starting with a three-rotor Wankel-engined car in 1969. This Phase II version had 350bhp, but fuel consumption was huge

Porsche 934-5, 1976


Engine2,994 cc, flat-six
Top speed190 mph (306 km/h)

Derived from the 911 Turbo road car, the 934 was a highly successful sports racer, winning championships in Europe, the U.S., and Australia into the early 1980s.

Lamborghini Countach LP400, 1974


Engine3,929 cc, V12
Top speed170 mph (274 km/h)

When Bertone styled this ultimate wedge-shaped supercar, it could hardly have expected it to enter production and continue being made well into the 1990s.

Alfa Romeo Navajo, 1976


Engine1,995 cc, V8
Top speed155 mph (249 km/h)

Bertone used the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 racing car chassis for this dramatic wedge concept car. Its front and rear spoilers change angle as speed rises.

Vauxhall SRV concept, 1970


Engine2,279 cc, straight-four
Top speed140 mph (225 km/h)

General Motors sent Wayne Cherry to the UK to shake up Vauxhall’s styling department. This concept heralded a “droop-snoot” look across the production range.

Aston Martin V8, 1972


Engine5,340 cc, V8
Top speed162 mph (261 km/h)

The big, macho Aston Martin V8 with 282-438 bhp was sharply styled by William Towns and proved a huge success, continuing in production for two decades.

Lotus Esprit Turbo, 1980


Engine2,174 cc, straight-four
Top speed148 mph (238 km/h)

Lotus road cars reached supercar status when the exotic Giugiaro-styled Esprit, introduced in 1976, gained a turbocharger, making this light car fly.


It is a quote. The Definitive Visual History Of The Automobile 2011

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