Volume VII, Number 3

Toy Supercars of the 1970's
by Doug Breithaupt

It has been put forward that in the 1970's, few cars worth having were produced. A quick look at the models shown below will how how silly and wrong that statement might be. In this our fourth review of of the world's most desired cars, we continue to look at the cars everybody wanted. Of all the supercars to be reviewed in this series, the models of the 1970's are the least expensive now with the majority selling for less that $20,000 US today. In the stories on the 1950's , 1960's and post 2000 models, a definition of 'supercar' was offered.

"In the 1950's, they had to be able to exceed 125 mph. In the 1960's, 140 became the benchmark with a bump to 150 for the gas-starved 1970's. For the 1980's, top speed of 170 was required, moving to 180 for the 1990's and 190 mph or more for the supercars of today. While these numbers narrow the field, they are not the final determining factor. A true supercar is more than the sum of it's parts."

It appears that the list of supercars of the 1960's was well accepted as no complaints were heard. That may change with the 1970's. With a top speed benchmark of 150 mph and the advent of severe clean air regulations, many sports cars of the 1970's actually saw a decline in power and speed in order to meet fuel economy goals. After 1972, Chevrolet's Corvette cannot be considered a supercar. The Japanese built several great sport/GT cars in this period but none can claim supercar status. Ironically, some of the best toy supercars of the 1070's come from Japanese toy car maker, Tomica. Matchbox and Majorette also make good contributions to the toy supercars. Many cars are included in the list even though their top speed is slightly less than 150 mph. Let me know if you disagree with my choices.

The 'missing' list below the images is much shorter for the '70's supercars and all are Italian. One painful inclusion on this list is the Ferrari Dino 308 GT/4, for strictly personal reasons. Most of the toy cars shown here were actually produced in the 1970's and it is clear that manufacturers had realized that toy supercars sell.

Aston Martin DBV8 - Johnny Lightning
0-60 8.1 sec., top speed 141 mph

BMW 3.0 CSi - Majorette
0-60 8.0 sec., top speed 141 mph

BMW 635 CSi - Siku
0-60 7.8 sec., top speed 142 mph

BMW M1 - Matchbox
0-60 6.0 sec., top speed 164 mph

Chevrolet Corvette - Road Champs
0-60 7.2 sec., top speed 143 mph

Citroen-Maserati SM - Tomica
0-60 8.2 sec., top speed 147 mph

De Tomaso Pantera - Tomica
0-60 6.7 sec., top speed 155 mph

Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer - Tomica
0-60 5.5 sec., top speed 177 mph

Ferrari 308 GTB - Matchbox
0-60 6.5 sec., top speed 159 mph

Jaguar 'E' type S3 V12 - Majorette
0-60 6.6 sec., top speed 149 mph

Jaguar XJ-S - Tomica
0-60 8.4 sec., top speed 148 mph

Lamborghini Countach - Tomica
0-60 6.8 sec., top speed 192 mph

Lamborghini 3000 Silhouette - Playart
0-60 5.6 sec., top speed 155 mph

Lancia Stratos - Playart
0-60 6.8 sec., top speed 147 mph

Maserati Bora - Buby
0-60 6.4 sec., top speed 168 mph

Maserati Merak SS - Tomica
0-60 8.9 sec., top speed 147 mph

Mercedes-Benz 450 5.0 SLC - Kingstar
0-60 8.2 sec., top speed 145 mph

Monteverdi Hai - Matchbox
0-60 4.9 sec., top speed 183 mph

Porsche Carrera RS 2.7 - Hot Wheels
0-60 5.7 sec., top speed 149 mph

Porsche 930 Turbo - Majorette
0-60 5.2 sec., top speed 155 mph

Porsche 928 S - Matchbox
0-60 6.8 sec., top speed 156 mph
  Missing in 1:64 scale
Lamborghini Urraco
Ferrari 365 GTC/4
Ferrari 400
Maserati Khamsin
Ferrari Dino 308 GT/4
  Source for 0-60 and top speed stats: World Sports Cars, Frank Oleski, Hartmut Lehbrink and Nigel Roebuck, Motor Classic Verlag 1987