It’s entirely possible that the good news about small, fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive cars hadn’t made it to your neighborhood , despite the uncounted national fuel shortages, vertically mobile fuel prices and 20% interest rates on car loans during the time. There were also plenty of places around the country where small cars just didn’t play, and import dealerships were cold and lonely places. But if you are confirmed car-crazy, you know damn well, that small cars like these four econo-sports could put a smile on your face and money in your bank account.
Which had the best combination of economy, performance, and fun-to-drive? Economy is an inventory of items like base price, loaded price, operating economies, and insurance premiums. Performance for many can be reduced to go-power and stop-power, with a little cornering and suspension thrown in for good measure, but fun to drive? How did that fit into a field of cars where the maximum available power was only 74 hp?