Johnny Lightning Remembers the 1970's
by Doug Breithaupt

When I first heard that Johnny Lightning was planning a series of cars from the 1970's I hoped this might set a trend. For the past ten years, JL and other manufacturers have had a primary focus on the 1950's and 1960's, especially muscle cars. Sure, they have also done more modern cars but even these have often been an extension of the muscle car theme (Camaro, Mustang, Mopar classics). Racing Champions and Mattel have followed JL's lead to the point where every muscle car of even limited interest has been done by someone.

Automotive history is rich with much more than muscle cars and it's time for a change. Let's hope this starts a trend that others follow as well. The first six models from the 1970's include four new castings and two old favorites. Here they are:
The 1971 Buick Riviera has been done but never so well. This is an American classic and it's great to see a stock version. Finally, this is perhaps the best looking Pontiac Grand Prix and yet it was ignored up to now. My favorite from this series, it's a winner.
The 1971 Chevy Monte Carlo offers the second year of production. Revell's 1970 model gives us two great 1st generation castings. The 1977 Olds Cutlass might seem a curious choice but it was the most popular 2-door American car of it's day. The red-walls are odd for 1977.
This 1973 Ford Torino first appeared as JL's Starsky and Hutch TV car. It looks great in green but white-walls would look better. The 1973 Dodge Charger has been seen before but it's a classic '70's cruiser. These big Mopar machines were popular in their day.

JL deserves credit for being ready to offer models like these. Along with their recent Thunderbird and Boogie Van series, we are getting some excellent variety. Now, if JL would just do a few 1970's European and Japanese models that are missing.