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What Was Santa Driving in the 1970s?

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On: Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 11:41AM | By: Gary P Garry

What Was Santa Driving in the 1970s?

Over the last 20 years or so, sport utility vehicles have taken the country by storm. You have countless different options available to you if you want to be able to grip the road during winter snowstorms, and many of these vehicles are actually quite luxurious.

During the late 1960s and the 1970s, things were entirely different. If you looked around when you were driving down American roadways, you didn't see a lot of four-wheel-drive vehicles. In fact, you never heard the term "sport utility vehicle."

Sometimes specific products define a marketplace. People don't talk about "cola soft drinks," they say that they want a Coke, but they are more than willing to take a Pepsi. Along the same lines, there was once a time when you called a sport utility vehicle a Bronco or a Blazer. These models defined the vehicle class.

There are many myths that float around regarding Santa Claus. They say that he rides around on a sleigh that is powered by eight reindeer. C'mon now, an eight reindeer-power engine (R8) is not going to get you where you need to go during the holiday season.

What did Santa Claus really drive in the 1970s? A Ford Bronco, or a Chevy Blazer?

The Bronco was introduced for the 1966 model year, and it remained in production through 1977. It was classified as an off-road vehicle, so it could get you through the ice and snow, but it could also navigate difficult off-road terrain.

The standard engine in the original 1966 Ford Bronco was a 170-cubic-inch straight-six, and it was simple but highly functional from a design standpoint. The sticker price on a basic Bronco from that first year was just under $2200, and given the size and scope of his toy making operation, you have to think that this was well within Santa's budget.

In 1969 Chevy introduced the K5 Blazer, and during that initial model year it was only available as a four-wheel-drive, though two-wheel drive options appeared the next year. (Of course, Santa would not be interested in those.)

Four different engine options were offered, with a 250-cubic-inch engine on the low end and a 350 V8 on the high side. A three-speed manual transmission was available, but you also had the choice between a three-speed or a four-speed automatic transmission.

The Blazer was around in North America through the 1994 model year.

So, back then, was Santa a Ford guy, or a Chevy guy? I guess we'll never know, but I'm pretty certain he was using good old American horsepower (but don't tell the kids).

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