The 1970 Simca 1204 had 1204cc engine that produced just 59PS and got up to 39MPG. In the US, it had an MSRP of $1,875. Simca was Chrysler’s Europe division. As Motor Trend stated at the time, “The Simca 1204 is really what the Maverick should have been. an inexpensive, quality-built, soundly-engineered, fun-to-drive machine that is relevant to an ever growing metropolitan America”.
The 1981 Opel Manta 3-door hatchback was referred to as the Combi Coupe. (image source: John Lloyd)
The 1975 Renault 5 was an exciting new development in car design. It is only 11 feet, six inches long. Light to handle, with a turning circle of just 32.5 inches. It was very roomy and was fully equipped with most of the goodies of the time. Roomy, comfortable and safe with exceptional stability. The bodywork was all-steel construction which, combined with a rigid floor, gave it an extremely resistant body structure. It was available in two versions, the 5L with an 845cc engine and the 5TL with 956cc.
The 1982 Austin Ambassador model range included the 1.7L/HL with a 1.7 liter 1700cc inline 4 cylinder producing 83 HP, the 2.0HL with a 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder producing 92 HP and the 2.0HLS/VP with a 2.0 liter inline 4 cylinder producing 100 HP. They were all front wheel drive and a four-speed manual transmission was standard. It had front and rear independent Hydragas suspension system, rack and pinion steering, front disc brakes with rear drum brakes, and a 37.8 turning radius. The top speed for the the 1.7L/HL was 98 MPH with a 0-60 time of 14.8 seconds, while the top speed for the 2.0HL was 101 MPH and 102 MPH for the 2.0HLS/VP with a 0-60 time of 11.5 seconds.
The 1972 Vauxhall Viva HC had two engine options, a 1256cc and a 1600cc. It got 35.2 MPG with a top speed of 85 MPH. It offered five feet of luggage space with the back seats down. Deep-sprung body-contoured seats, through-flow heating and ventilation, face-level adjustable fresh-air vents and a two speed heater and demister. Its body was 28% thicker than its major rivals and had a heat sealed acrylic paint finish. Safety came from its tandem master cylinder braking system, safety steering column and included front seat belts. The price included factory-applied underbody seal and multi-stage phosphate rust-proofing treatment. The Viva 1256cc had an MSRP of £996 and the Viva 1600cc of £1.071.
The 1986 Suzuki Swift 1.3 GTI was the world’s first 16 valve, 1.3 Twin Cam, EPI production car and was described by AutoCar as “one of the most sophisticated small cars on the market… a twin cam tearaway… performing as no 1300cc car should”. 0-62 in 8.6b seconds with a top speed of 112 MPH. Its unique 16 valve, 1.3 twin cam, electronic petrol injection engine delivered 101 PS. It also looked great with its flush-fitting fog lamps and color matched electric door mirrors. With coil sprung three-link torsion bean rear suspension, front ventilated discs, and alloy wheels. All for just £6,750.
1986 Suzuki Swift 1.3 GTI
The limited edition 1980 Vauxhall Chevette Sun-Hatch had a detachable sunroof not to mention a shower of other extras. It had tinted glass all around, sport wheels and special color metallic paint with finishing touches like amber side flashers and side moldings. Some interior features included front head restraints, a clock and a push button radio.
1980 Vauxhall Chevette Sun-Hatch
A glass sunroof, bronze tinted windows and a 4-speaker electronic radio-cassette were just some of the standard “luxuries” on the 1988 MG Metro 1300. The MG 1300 engine with electronic ignition produced 73PS. It had all-round independent suspension plus an anti-roll bar and ventilated disc brakes up front. The sporty interior had a 60/40 split rear seats, included a push button radio, digital clock, special upholstery co-ordinated with the fashionable exterior graphics.
In 1980, the Pontiac Phoenix was downsized and moved to front wheel drive, and was available as 2-door coupe or this 5-door hatchback which in 1983 recieved a minor exterior refresh.
Available engines were a 2.5 L 4 cylinder and a 2.8 L V6, mated to a 3 speed automatic or 4 speed manual transmission. This second generation was built from 1980 to 1985 and then replaced with the Grand Am.
The 1985 Toyota Corolla Trueno GTV Twin Cam 16 (AE86) had the “Lasre Pegasus” suspension, LSD differential and interior trim design as the two door (known as the GT). It was introduced by Toyota in 1983 as part of the fifth generation Toyota Corolla lineup. It had front vented disc brakes and rear solid disc brakes as standard equipment and didn’t change much during its almost 5-year run except for minor exterior trim pieces. The earlier versions are called “Zenki” (the first), and the later versions are referred to as “Kouki” (last). It was equipped with a DOHC 16-valve Inline-4 which produced 112 HP.
1985 Toyota Corolla Trueno GTV
In 1973, Buick entered the compact field with the Apollo. a 3-door hatchback “coupe”. The rear deck and the rear window was a one-piece tailgate that lifts to an inside cargo carrying space of more than 27 cubic feet. However, with its rear seat in its regular position there’s comfortable seating for three people and no evidence of a tailgate. This newest vehicle of the Buick line offered many of the brand’s regular features, including an optional combination of the 350 cubic inch V8 engine and three speed Turbo-Hydra-matic transmission used in Buick’s intermediate and full-sized cars. Styling was also in keeping with the 1973 Buick line, even including the smart ventiports.
For 1982, Ford added this new 4-door Escort hatchback. Comparable front and rear-seat head and leg room, superior fuel economy 0f 47 MPG highway and 31 city and a substantially lower price tag made it more than competitive with larger sub-compacts and compacts from other American automakers. This year offered several improvements, like larger standard tires, more front seat leg-room and a new optional close-ratio manual transaxle for livelier through-the-gears performance.
The 1980 front wheel drive Subaru Hatchback was a true economy car that retailed for $3,999 and achieved 41 MPG highway and 32 city. It had standard features like power assist front disc brakes, fold down rear seat, electronic ignition and side window defrosters. Pretty simple little 3-ddor hatch.
The 1969 front-wheel drive Renault 16TA 5-door hatchback was sold as a sedan-wagon. It had a pressure cast aluminum engine block, 5 main bearings, a sealed liquid cooling system that virtually eliminated the need to add anti-freeze and achieved 28 miles per gallon, all for $2,445.
1969 Renault 16TA configurations
The rear window of the 1969 Triumph GT6+ was heated electronically. Big news then. A heating grid, fused on the inner surface, freed the glass of fog, ice and snow. All with a flip of a switch. Naturally, it was not as important as the new wishbone rear suspension, or that all four wheels had independent suspension. You also got comfort with increased headroom, contour seats with integral head restraints and the new flow-through ventilation and heating system with face and floor-directed vents. It even had a self-sealing magnetic gas cap along with the mag-style wheel covers and white wall tires. All standard. It had a six cylinder high torque engine with a four speed manual, all-synchomesh gearbox, disc brakes up front and rack-and-pinion steering.