1973 Automotive History

1973 Ford Overview

For 1973, the full size Fords were the only models to receive significant restyling. The rest of the Ford lines received only very minor trim updating. More Federally mandated safety requirements were initiated, in the form of the massive (and incredibly ugly) 'park bench' safety bumpers. These bumper were supposed to be able to tolerate direct impact at five miles per hour, with no resultant damage. Pollution standards were tightened. The existing engines were further detuned or more emissions equipment was added, making for some of the poorest performing and least fuel efficient motors ever built. The Arab embargo, of oil products imported from the Middle East, also brought fuel economy to the spotlight and manufacturing began striving for improved mileage at the expense of performance and efficiency.

Pinto Series

The Pinto exterior remained basically the same as in the 1972 model year with the exception of front and rear bumpers. Front bumper guards were made standard equipment this year (but deleted in later years). Pinto styles included the two door Runabout, which had a large hatch with gas operated springs, plus the two door sedan and station wagon. Because of the bumper design changes, the Pinto was actually about one and a half inches longer this year although the true body length was not changed.

The first oil crisis starts.

Kia begins production of a gasoline engine for the first time in Korea.

Epochal development of racing engines with exhaust turbocharging begins at Porsche. Highlight: the 917/30 CanAm Spyder. The Porsche "Longlife Car" study causes a sensation .