The Greatest 1970s Car Graphics of ALL TIME

Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald | Jul 10, 2015

The 1970s were a time when our chest hair roamed free, our 'fros went wild and our pantlegs were wide at the end. It was also a time for car companies to jazz up their regular cars by nothing other than calling their 3M distributor and ordering up some groovy graphics. If you don't like these cool graphics packages, sit on it. AAAAAAYYYYY!!!!

(CC BY-SA 3.0, Bubba73)

1977 Pontiac Trans Am
Of course, the mother of all 1970s tape stripe kits was on the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, made famous by Burt Reynolds in the movie Smokey and the Bandit. It showed up on a show car in 1970, and GM Styling boss Bill Mitchell hated it at first. But he had an affection for the black and gold graphics on the British John Player Special. Designer John Schinella was desperate to have the gold Firebird decal, so he had a set of gold foil decals made up to be applied to the car Mitchell was driving, and parked it outside Mitchell’s office. The rest is history.

RELATED: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Smokey and the Bandit

1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
The Z28 was typically more subtle than the Trans Am over at Pontiac, but in 1974, Chevy beat Pontiac to the tape stripe punch with the 1974 Z28. It made finding your car real easy for valets: "It's the one that says Z28 on it." There was no mistaking what was coming up behind you in traffic, either.

1975 Buick Century Free Spirit
Are you an introvert? Do you not smell like Faberge Brut at every possible opportunity? Do you not possess a full, masculine, Thomas Magnum-style 1970s 'stache? Then for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT purchase a 1975 Buick Century Free Spirit, for it is a car that laughs at your less-than-manly ways.

1977 Chevrolet Chevette Sandpiper
If you don't have the manly qualities to drive the Buick Century Free Spirit, perhaps the Chevrolet Chevette Sandpiper is more your speed. According to Wikipedia, sandpipers are birds that "generally have dull plumage, with cryptic brown, grey, or streaked patterns." This car is perfect for you, and your trips to sit in the studio audence at the Phil Donahue Show, or perhaps a live taping of Maude.

1977 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon
If you're going to be engulfed in flame from a light tap on the rear bumper in traffic, why not make a statement while you're at it. The '77 Ford Pinto Crusing Wagon made up for anemic performance, a flaccid suspsension and build quality rivaled only by Eastern Europe with the boldest tape stripe package of the 1970s.

(Phoenix Graphix)

1977 GMC Beau James
The Beau James was one of the earlier attempts to make a pickup truck as fancy as a Cadillac. Nowadays, you can buy a $62,000 pickup truck with all the equipment of a Cadillac. In 1977, that equipment included wire wheel hubcaps, a hood ornament, and these fancy-pants graphics that made your ordinary schlub feel like a riverboat gambler. For the record, Beau James was the title of a Bob Hope movie about the soused mayor of New York, Jimmie Walker. We'll leave you to make up your own jokes.


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