Cars that turn 40 years old in 2017. A selection.

© Alfa Romeo
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Various car models have existed in 2017 for forty years. It means that these jubilees will reach the Dutch status of old-timer. We do a selection from this category of 40 year-olds from 2017.

Peugeot 305

In 1977 the Peugeot 305 saw the light of day. The French brought with the middle class a contemporary lined car, which succeeded the 304. The 304 and 305 continued to co-exist until 1980. When the 304 left the arena as a Break, the 305 had already gained a respectable place in the automotive landscape. The first generation still had technical affinities with its predecessor, from the 1982 update (bigger lights, modified engines, modified interior) the 305 sang more of its own song. The 305 sedan was built until 1988, the Estate disappeared a year later. The 305 was for some time the most produced Peugeot. He was succeeded by the 405.

BMW 7 series

Forty years ago, BMW came up with a new asset in the Oberklasse. The E3 was succeeded by the E23, or the 7 series, with new lines and proven engine technology. From May 1977 to August 1979, the 728, 730 and 733i were available. The first two variants were equipped with a carburation engine. From September 1979, the 728 and 730 also received an injection engine, and the 7 series was also expanded with the 735i. The 732i - with digital Motronic engine electronics - replaced the 733i. In 1980 followed the 745i with an 3.210 cc Turbo engine, in 1983 followed by the 745i with 3.410 cc engine, also equipped with Turbo. In 1986 the E23 Baureihe was replaced by the E32. The first 7 series strengthened BMW's position within the Upper class.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo also introduced a high-profile car in 1977. The Giulietta was announced as the successor to the Giulia and stood out for its wedge-shaped and angular design. He shared many technical components with the Alfetta. Thanks to the transaxle drive principle, the Giulietta also had an ideal weight distribution and excellent driving characteristics. The Alfa Romeo Giulietta was initially available with 1.3 (up to 1983) and 1.6 engines. This was followed by an expansion with an 1.8 engine (1979), the 2 liter version (1980), and an 2.0 turbo diesel. Special was the Turbo Delta, which is also described in AMK 11-2016. The production of this specially designed Alfa Romeo continued until the end of 1985. He was succeeded by the 75.

Mazda 323

In January 1977 caused Mazda a stir by presenting the 323: a hatchback with modern design, conventional technology, a lot of practical ease of use and an excellent price / quality ratio. The Mazda made its European debut at the AutoRAI of 1977 and became successful from the outset. In 1980 he was succeeded by generation two.

Porsche 928

Porsche announced the 928 with drum roll the same year. A great car that should make the 911 superfluous. You now know the history. The 911 survived the 928, partly because the latter received a hefty price tag. Yet the 928 would remain in production for eighteen years. This Porsche with transaxle principle and initially available with an 4474 cc V8 engine with one overhead camshaft per cylinder row, was later in multiple variants (such as the S, S4, GTS, and Sondermodell Clubsport) to be built. In total Porsche built around 60.000 copies of the 928.

Mercedes Benz C123

The successful Baureihe W123 from Mercedes Benz was expanded in June 1977 with the successor of the W114 Coupé: the C123. Basically this beautiful Benz variant was clearly recognizable as a W123 model, but this version could not be denied its own appearance. The C123 debuted in the model variants 230 C, 230 CE, 280 C and 280 CE. The Benz coupé was not only characterized in its external sense: the C123 also made a name for itself in terms of safety features (crease zones from the sedan, rigid bodywork). Almost 1985 of these coupé versions were built until the summer of 100.000, of which 15.000 diesels for the American market. Incidentally, the public in 1977 at the IAA in Frankfurt also became acquainted with the S123 (T-model), but the production thereof only started in May 1978.

New generations of some existing models

The necessary new generations of already existing models were also introduced in 1977. We mention a few. Fiat introduced the second generation of the 127 (multiple versions, a tighter body and a choice of two engine variants). The Opel Rekord E succeeded predecessor D. Ford launched the second generation of the Ford Granada, which dealt with the round shapes of the first Granada (and Consul) series. No new generations, but variations on a theme were finally formed by the VW Derby, a Polo-based sedan and the Audi 100 Avant, the five-door version of the Audi 100 C2.


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  1. Unfortunately I miss the first "SUV" in this list, namely the Matra Simca Rancho. This beautiful and changing car was also introduced in 1977 and can be seen as the founder of what we nowadays call an SUV.

    • Dear Erik. Thanks for the reply. Keep an eye on the site, because soon an article about the Matra Simca Rancho will follow, indeed a special car.

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