the exception of a totally restyled Mustang, 1974 Fords were basically 1973
models with refinements and slight trim updating. Emphasis continued to be
placed on a luxury look and the addition of safety equipment. More Federally
mandated safety requirements were initiated, primarily in the form of massive
rear 'safety' bumpers designed to withstand direct impact, at five miles per
hour, without damage. When combined with the front safety bumpers adopted in
1973, the weight of a typical car was up nearly 350 pounds! Pollution standards
were also further tightened, which, combined with the weight increases, made
1974 models generally more sluggish than any available in the recent past.
Pintos and Mavericks saw little technical innovation and all other lines were
now limited to just V8s under the hood. Torinos could be had with a 302, 351,
400 and 460 engines. The bigger cars came with a base 351 cubic inch V8 or one
of three options. They were a higher output 351, the 400 or the 460. The latter
engine was the only one offered in Thunderbirds, as the powerful 429 was gone
for all time.
This was the year that energy absorbing
bumpers were added to the Pinto, too. This brought an obvious change to the
front of the car, as the air slot opening in the gravel pan could no longer be
seen. Also eliminated was the center mounted license plate holder. It didn't
look right with the massive new bumper, but then, hardly anything else did
either. The bumper was plain on the base trim models, but came with rubber
faced, vertical guards and a black vinyl impact strip on models with the DeLuxe
Decor package. Pinto wagons could be had with optional trim packages that
included simulated wood grain exterior paneling and rooftop luggage
General Motors offers the first air bags in its 1974-1976
model year Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs.
Traffic deaths are reduced by the new 55 m.p.h. speed limit in the United
Emission controls lower fuel economy.
Peugeot takes over control of CitroŽn's management.
Hyundai introduces their Pony subcompact car model, Korea's first
independently designed and manufactured model, at the 55th Torino International
Kia introduces their compact passenger car, the first of its type in Korea.