With the help from car lovers around the world, combined with our own personal preferences, we have compiled the ultimate list of great cars from the seventies. Each of the eleven cars we came up with deserved a song to be named after them. Read more about the cars and their songs below.
1970 Dodge Challenger
Many of the greatest American muscle cars were manufactured in the sixties, but lost some of their appeal in the seventies, like the Mustang. However, a 1970 Dodge Challenger is still a really hip car, it was immortalized in the movies Gone in 60 Seconds (1970) and Vanishing Point (1971). With its distinctive design, cool interior and 330 hp, we welcome Challenger to our track list! Runners up: Pontiac Firebird and GTO, Chevy Camaro.
The song “Groove Challenger” has a distinctive bass line, and the cool, relaxed groove fits the car well. Imagine late night cruising through a rainy San Francisco.
Maserati Bora and Merak
If you drove a Maserati in the seventies, you were seriously cool. If you drive a seventies Maserati today, you are still seriously cool. Bora was the big brother with a 4.9-liter Italian V8 and 315 hp, and Merak the younger brother with a 3.0-liter V6 and 217 hp. But since they will probably break down in protest as soon as you try to utilize them to their full potential, you’re better off just cruising.
With a mysterious intro leading into a groovy Latin section, “Maserating” sets the perfect mood for some first-class Italian cruising down a coastal Mediterranean road.
Japanese cars were generally not very exciting in the seventies, but there were exceptions. The Datsun 240Z was an affordable sports car built by Nissan. If there should be one Japanese car on this list (and there should), it has to be the 240Z! Runners up: Mazda RX7 and Honda Civic.
“240ZET” is a straightforward funky tune, switching between 7/4 and 4/4. Much like the car, the song feels faster than it actually is. Both the song and the car are best enjoyed on a Tōge, the Japanese word for a narrow, winding mountain road.
“People seem to want small cars nowadays. So let us build a small car. But let us make it wide and put a V8 in the front (just make sure it is thirsty, big and not very powerful); and make sure it looks like no other car.” These could have been the words spoken by AMC Product Group VP Gerald C. Meyers, leader of the Pacer development prior to building the car. Designed from the inside out, it sure looks strange, but we love this little thing!
“Pacer Blues” is a groovy tune with a twist of circus music. Use your imagination, and the muted wah-wah trombone will sound like it is placed inside a two-tone brown Pacer.
Lamborghini came up with several great car designs in the seventies, like the Jarama, the Silhouette and the Urraco, but their true game-changer and head-turner was the Countach. It looked like no other car, and its design DNA has been carried on to every Lamborghini since. With tons of power, handling that calls for both guts and muscles, no comfort, no rear vision and a general lack of reliability, the Countach was probably better on a boy’s bedroom poster than on the road…
After a slow start (you have to ungracefully climb into the car first), “Mambo Lambo” folds out as a fast Latin tune. Find a straight road, drive the Countach at the song’s pace and you won’t be needing any rear visibility…
911T Cruise Blues
Porsche 911 Turbo
This was an easy decision. We had to have a Porsche onboard, and the logical choice was the 911 Turbo, launched in 1975. It was nick-named “the Widow Maker,” but they could also have called it the Ketchup Bottle, due to its power delivery. Why drive around a tree when you can crash into it? Predictable handling was not its prime feature. A wonderfully irresponsible car, with power, looks and acceleration to go with it.
Find a twisty forest road, keep the car in the turbo zone, and make a bet with your friends that you will actually survive. “911T Cruise Blues” will guide you.
The Esprit is synonymous with extreme wedge-shaped cars, and it is a great example of seventies straightline car design. It’s light, reasonably fast and übercool. The front is designed to prevent broken legs when hitting pedestrians; it chops their feet off instead. Show me a modern car that can wear 14” wheels with the same level of elegance.
The ambient ballad “L’Esprit” is the perfect sound coulisse for a Bond-ish underwater trip in your custom-built submarine Lotus. Please mind the coral reef on your left.
To me, the 308 is one of the most recognizable and iconic Ferrari designs. It’s not as pretty as the Daytona and not as fast as the 512BB, but the 308 has a great blend of features, and with only two seats, there will be no terrified kids in the back, slightly puking and sobbing while trying to get you to pull over.
Turn on the tight and funky song “Three-o-eight”, find a forgiving race track and let the screaming engine drown the music. You probably won´t go as fast as it feels and sounds like, but that is not the point.
Saab 99 Turbo
This was the car that made Saab cool. Like the Porsche 911 Turbo, the 99 Turbo had quite a lot of turbo lag. But unlike the Porsche, the Saab’s moderate power meant that you could enjoy the sensation of power instead of getting killed by it. 145 hp in a lightweight, small family car was pretty impressive in 1978, and since I am the proud owner of a Swedish passport, I had to feature a Swedish car on the album!
The song “aab turbo” is the only real jazz tune on the album. It sets up trench coat-colored scenery, perfect for a private detective driving around in a mid-sized Swedish town covered by gray clouds (the town, not the detective).
Alfa Romeo Montreal
Alfa has a roller coaster approach to building cars – they make a great car design and follow it up with a surprisingly ugly model (GTV vs. Alfetta). They also master the art of combining the joy of driving a well-engineered car with the frustration of everything breaking down that can break down. The word for these sensations is Alfabivalence; the urge to compensate for greatness with poorness.
The song “Alfabivalence” is a tribute to the amazing-looking Alfa Romeo Montreal. It is a soft soul-jazz tune, made for stylish downtown Monaco cruising in one of the prettiest Alfas ever made.
Chevrolet Corvette (C3)
An elegant cruiser in the fifties, a lean hipster in the sixties and a sturdy sports car in the seventies, the Corvette C3 was as powerful as the design indicated, delivering around 400 hp in the wildest versions. Being last on the Elektrojazz track list has nothing to do with this great machine’s qualities; it is purely based on musical preferences.
Our tune “Stingray” begins softly with airy chords and a secretive melody (this is where you drive your precious Corvette out of the parking garage), and gradually ends with a furious and intense groove (where you do power slides at an abandoned industrial site).
Elektrojazz “Cars” – the perfect album for the perfect road trip.
All music appearing in this work is fictitious. Any resemblance to real music is purely coincidental.