Built for a crisis

Savoy Automobile Museum, Cartersville (Georgia), USA

January 10th – April 30th 2023

The exhibition “Built for the Crisis” at the Savoy Automobile Museum presents some American cars representative of the post-oil crisis of 1973, which caused the sudden explosion of gasoline prices just 50 years ago. In the 1950s and 1960s, it seemed like America couldn’t build its cars big enough. Even traditional models were usually tall and thirsty. Many drivers were getting tired of these huge land yachts, opening the door to foreign builders, especially Japanese ones who offered smaller, more economical cars.

Domestic manufacturers were slow to react, but launched new models to compete with imported small cars in the 1970s, a trend reinforced in 1973, when oil suppliers turned off the tap. If AMC (American Motors Corporation) offered rather original body lines, the Ford and Chevrolet were more classic.

The exhibition will feature six iconic cars from the 1970s models, with the 1974 AMC Gremlin and 1975 AMC Packer, the 1972 Ford Pinto and the 1971 Chevrolet Vega and 1976 Chevrolet Chevette. The Chevrolet come on loan from the General Motors Heritage Collection: the Vega is the first Vega to leave the GM Assembly Plant in Lordstown on June 26, 1970, at 3:05 p.m., while the Chevette was never sold and still has its original sales sticker on the window and about 64 miles on the clock.

A 1975 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega from the Savoy Collection completes the exhibition. It is a rather rare sports version, produced in only 3500 units, and equipped with an engine developed by the English specialist Cosworth.

The photos on this page belong to the Savoy Automobile Museum, no right of reproduction without the express permission of the museum.