1970s Los Angeles was an automotive paradise. Not only did you have a diverse mix of Detroit land yachts, European compacts and heaps of Japanese runabouts, but its freeways ran long and wide. Back then, before the 405 was one giant parking lot, it was a more innocent time, too. A serial killer with a windowless van merely ran his victims off the road, instead of abducting them and doing some weird sex stuff. This was the premise for the 1979 movie Death Car on the Freeway, which took place in LA and featured a whole bunch of J-tin — including a first-gen Honda Civic and, as the hero car, a Datsun 240Z.
To give you an idea of just how innocent the era was, the faceless killer was called the Freeway Fiddler and yet, we repeat, did not do any weird sex stuff. He probably still had some issues though, because he targeted young women like some kind of MRA psycho. After dispatching several ladies with good taste in cars — including a Honda Civic (in yellow, of course), Mustang II, and a beautiful vinyl-topped 1971 Camaro — our heroine, played by Charlie’s Angel Shelley Hack, fights back with her handbrake turnin’ Datsun 240Z.
The chase scenes are all pretty cool and filmed with real vehicles, unlike today’s computer-generated fakery (and may we remind you this was a made-for-TV movie), but the most fun part is scanning for neat background cars. We spotted a B110 Datsun 1200, TE51 Corolla Liftback, S10 200SX, Celica, Corona, even a Mitsubishi Dodge Colt wagon. Such was the diversity of California highways back then. Let us know if you see any more that we missed.
Thanks to Ryu Asada for the tip!