Yesteryears Automobiles: 1972


A Look Back at the History of the American Automobile

By Michael Schlee



With the American Auto Industry in a crisis like it has never faced before, I thought we could take a look back at the past 100 years of American Vehicles to see the highlights (and lowlights) of an industry on the edge of collapse.

1972 Ford Torino

1972 Ford Torino

This is a new feature that will become a regular segment for this blog.


Key Developments 1972:
· Horsepower is now rated in “SAE Net” instead of “Gross”. Numbers appear much lower as this is a more accurate rating system.
· Sunroofs become very fashionable as safety regulations make convertibles less and less popular
· Chrysler has a new 400cid (6.6L) V8 in its line-up. It replaces the old 383cid (6.3L) V8.
· The fabled 426cid Hemi V8 stops being made. Another victim of tighter emissions controls.
· GM tests both Rotary engines and OBD systems. Although the rotary never makes it the Corvette or Vega as promised, OBD systems become standard in all cars in the future.
· Prestolite batteries become available. They are maintenance free and do not need water to be introduced.
· The Pontiac GTO goes from full-on model to trim package.


Top 4 New Models:
· Ford Toirno
· Mercury Montego
· Ford Thunderbird – The Ford Thunderbird can be had with 4 wheel disc brakes, and ABS.
· Lincoln Continental Mark IV – 460 cid V8 212HP


Top 5 ‘Hottest’ Models:
· Chevrolet Corvette: 455cid V8 – 365HP
· Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO: 0-60MPH in 5.4 seconds. 455cid V8 – 300HP
· Buick Grand Sport Stage 1: 455cid V8 – 270HP
· Plymouth Road Runner: 440cid V8 – 280HP
· Ford Mustang Mach 1: 351cid V8

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2 Responses to Yesteryears Automobiles: 1972

  1. Tavis says:

    I have a 1972 Mercury Montego GT Fastback complete restoration with a built 351 Cleveland. Anybody know what this is worth?

  2. Ian Glyn-Jones says:

    Travis, is your Montego GT been entered in the registry? If not contact me at;
    I’m looking after the Montego GT registry now.

    BTW great looking GTS !!

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