Small cars were the predominant trend for the 1970s, and visitors to the Chicago Auto Show were introduced to two new models by Ford: the Mustang Grabber and Maverick Grabber. Chevrolet, Pontiac and Oldsmobile also chose Chicago to present new models. Chevy debuted the second-generation Camaro and the latest Corvette. Pontiac showed the redesigned Pontiac Firebird, and Oldsmobile had its Rallye 350. On the import side, GM’s Opel displayed a stylish little sport coupe, dubbed the Opel GT, with design cues similar to the sensuous Chevrolet Corvette. Pictured on the right are two show models in contemporary mini-length dresses and white "go-go" boots. The lovely ladies pose in front of a Dodge D300 pickup truck at the Dodge Truck display space. A sign atop the pickup reads: "Dodge Trucks, New Dude."
Wide shot from across the street of the International Amphitheatre shows the long single file lines of people waiting to enter the front entrance on Halsted at 42nd Street. A Chicago policeman is in the center of Halsted, ready to direct traffic. The car heading south on Halsted (toward the camera) is a 1969 Dodge Charger. The car heading north is a Chevrolet Chevy II.
Looking north on Halsted at 42nd Street, on the southside of Chicago and in front of the International Amphitheatre. People are seen coming and going from the 62nd edition of the Chicago Auto Show, held in the two-level exposition center.
Wide shot from across the street toward the International Amphitheatre shows the long single file lines of people waiting to enter the front entrance on Halsted at 42nd Street. Notice the evidence of mild weather for that year's Feb.21-March 1,1970 event.
The show symbol, a 19-foot diameter "Geo-Sphere" fills the center of the main exhibition hall in the International Amphitheatre. A front view of a Pontiac Le Mans two-door hardtop can be glimpsed on the left side of the sphere.
Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley is shown strolling beyond the inside entrance turnstiles and past Andy Frain ushers. One of Daley's son can be seen on the left directly behind the mayor.
In a high-angle view of the stylish Chevrolet exhibit, captured a side view of a 1970 Monte Carlo coupe on a revolving platform. A soft curved "basket-handle" design flowed overhead the vehicle. A Caprice station wagon can be glimpsed on the far right. Other vehicles in the photo are mostly blocked by the large crowd milling through the show floor. This was the first year for Chevrolet's Monte Carlo hardtop, which offered a choice of five V-8 engines.
In this view taken from inside the Pontiac exhibit, a unique upside-down triangular structure dominates scene. In the right side foreground, sits a Grand Prix hardtop coupe. A Bonneville Brougham's frontend can be seen on the left.
On a raised platform at the Plymouth exhibit space is the rare Superbird coupe (only 1,920 were built). It was billed as the ultimate Road Runner by Plymouth. Notice the huge, hard-to-miss stabilizer air foil on the rear, with the Road Runner cartoon decal.
A close-up view of a young woman sitting behind the steering wheel of a specially-equipped Dodge Challenger. Notice the furry floor carpet, unique fabric design on the door panels and the matching outfit on the female model.
Dodge spokesman "Sheriff" Joe Higgins posed at his special booth within the Dodge exhibit on the show floor. An admiring crowd, mainly young people, gathered around him for an autographed photo.
A rare color image from the 1970 Chicago Auto Show features Dodge spokesman "Sheriff" Joe Higgins on the show floor of McCormick Place East exposition center. Sheriff Higgins was a hit with admiring fans, enjoying his southern accent and humor when he'd talk with the crowds on his safe driving tips.
In the right foreground of this scene at the Ford exhibit space is the front view of a Maverick Grabber. Another Grabber (side view) is on the left, posed on a raised platform, directly under a large sign that reads: "Thrifty Swifty New Maverick Grabber."
On a raised platform in the foreground of this scene at the Ford exhibit is the Motor Trend Car of the Year, a 1970 Ford Torino. The model on display is a GT with the "lazer" striping. The car sits under a large model of the Motor Trend Car of the Year calipers. To the left of the Torino is a Ford LTD Brougham four-door hardtop.
Long high-angle view of the arena area of the show features the Ford exhibit space. On the raised platform in the left foreground is the Motor Trend Car of the Year, a 1970 Ford Torino. The model on display is a GT. The car sits under a large model of the Motor Trend Car of the Year calipers. On the right is the Ford Berline concept car. A large crowd fills the area. Volkswagen's exhibit area is to the left.
In the foreground of this scene at the Lincoln-Mercury exhibit space is a Mercury Cougar convertible, sitting in front of a large illuminated sign. A modest crowd mills around the exhibit.
American Motors featured the #6 SCCA Sunoco Javelin race car at the 1970 Chicago Auto Show. On the left, is a stock Javelin SST two-door hardtop.
A high-angle photo of the Volkswagen exhibit was shot during the 1970 Chicago Auto Show. In the foreground is a 3/4-front view of a specially-built VW Beetle with filigree wrought iron body.
A Magusta two-door, two-seat sport coupe is roped-off within the DeTomaso exhibit at the 1970 Chicago Auto Show. Note the opened gullwing panels. Built in Modena, Italy, Mangustas used a Ford V-8 engine, rated at 230 horsepower, and sold for $11,500. Sports Car Graphic magazine called the car's profile "about the most beautiful production automobile anywhere.... more a work of art than an automobile."
A view taken from outside the Buick Opel exhibit. In the center foreground, is a rear view of a GT two-seat coupe. On the far left is a partial 3/4-front view of a Super Deluxe Sport Coupe, and on the far right, an Opel Kadett station wagon. Note the Opel GT concept car on the raised platform in the background. Built in Germany, Opels were sold at Buick dealerships.
One man sits behind the wheel of a Porsche 914/6 at the Porsche/Audi exhibit space, while another man touches its plastic front turn-signal lens. Replacing the short-lived 912, the 914 was new for 1970, packing either a Volkswagen four-cylinder engine or a Porsche flat six. It was produced in West Germany as a joint venture between Porsche and Volkswagen.
Nothing else on the American highway looked like a Subaru 360, which was the featured vehicle at the Japanese automaker's display during the 1970 Chicago Auto Show. It featured a two-cylinder engine, and was the first automobile mass produced by Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru division. At the far right is a Subaru Star four-door sedan, with front-wheel drive.
In the right foreground of this scene at the Ford Truck exhibit space is a Ranchero Squire pickup with wood-toned side panels. Sitting on a raised, revolving platform in the center is a concept Club Wagon with leopard-spotted side trim, and a gull-wing type panel on the driver's side.
In this photo taken from behind the crowd at the Vita-Mix Juicer booth, Roland H. Prince Sr. is demonstrating how the juicer makes liquid drinks (advertised as a vitamin cocktail). These beverages were blended from fruits and vegetables in the Vita-Mix appliance. A large crowd has gathered, seemingly mesmerized by the demonstration.
At the STP display booth, a lone male representative stands amid signs for the STP engine oil treatment, STP decals, an STP racing jacket, and new car insurance. A half-size version of Andy Granatelli's S.T.P. turbine race car is on display, with a sign that refers to race drivers Mike and Lou Sipolt, aged 8 and 9 years.
Inside the Chrysler exhibit space, a large crowd surrounds the raised revolving platform with the Chrysler Cordoba de Oro as center of attention. A female model is speaking to the crowd, with the driver's door opened. A design exercise by Elwood Engel, Chrysler's styling chief, the Cordoba de Oro has a strong wedge profile. Its cantilever roof had no A-pillars and the rear spoiler raised automatically.
Posed on a raised platform within the Dodge Truck exhibit, is a specially-outfitted Dodge pickup truck. Unique styling elements include the flat black raised hood scoops, tie-down hood pins, unique wheel hub design and ultra-thin whitewall tires. To demonstrate that Dodge was promoting their next-year van models at the 1970 Chicago Auto Show, is the full-size 1971 Dodge Sportsman wagon/van on the right side of the scene. Hidden is a 1970 Tradesman van. Listed on one sign are the “31 Strong Reasons for choosing Dodge!”
Ford created the Econoline Kilimanjaro as the next-generation in safari vans. It was a rugged and spacious 4-wheel drive show vehicle designed to maneuver through swampy jungles or desert sands carrying hunters, rifles, ammunition and a 2-way radio. The exterior was finished in 'Bush Jacket Beige,' and the front, rear and sides of the van were accented in a wide band of simulated leopard skin. The articulated side windows could open and fold back for an unobstructed view, and on the driver's side, there were foot holes to climb-up to the roof. Firestone provided custom F60-15-inch tires with radial ribs running from the edge of the tread. Four of the ribs had the name in small raised white letters. A spare tire was fitted on the rooftop, and a 2nd spare was mounted in the rear.
The Mark III Dual Cowl Phaeton show car on display at the 1970 Chicago Auto Show, paid homage to the 1931 Lincoln KB, especially the additional twin windshields for the rear passengers. Front fenders were extended four inches from the production Continental model. Powering the topless Dual Cowl Phaeton was the standard Continental 460 cubic inch V-8. Interior featured red leather and corduroy, which complimented the silver flake exterior. Custom Mark III grille extended under the car.
A modified 1970 Cutlass Supreme coupe was unique enough to be highlighted on a rotating exhibit inside the Oldsmobile exhibit. The Olds Cutlass lineup was restyled for 1970, so GM designers had some fun and create a one-off Cutlass with special trim to help draw the crowds into the Olds area. Based on the mid-size Cutlass two-door hardtop, this eye-catching custom wears a fully padded white roof that replaces the side quarter windows, and the wire wheels and pencil-thin white wall tires are elegant, but also non-stock.
Buick dealers handled General Motors imported German-built Opel line of automobiles during the 1960s-1970s in the United States. Appearing in the Opel exhibit for 1970 was the Aero GT, an experimental model featuring a removable top, front spoiler and retractable rear window. The Chicago Auto Show was the U.S. introduction of the Opel Aero GT, which exhibited advances on Buick's Opel GT mini two-door coupe introduced one early earlier.