Best-Selling Car When You Graduated: 1957 to 1977

1964 Ford Mustang
1964 Ford Mustang. Photo Credit: Streetside Classics

Last week I gave you the top-selling cars if you graduated in the past 40 years, but apparently that left out many of our readers. So, this week we back it up 20 years to include those who graduated from 1957 to 1977.

You can see last week’s list here, covering 1978 to 2019.

Here are the top-selling vehicles in America from 1957 through the end of 1977:

  • 1957: Ford Skyline
  • 1958: Ford Thunderbird
  • 1959: Cadillac Coupe de Ville
  • 1960: Rambler Ambassador
  • 1961: Jaguar E-Type
  • 1962: Lincoln Continental
  • 1963: Buick Riviera
  • 1964: Ford Mustang
  • 1965: Chevy Impala
  • 1966: VW Camper Bus
  • 1967: Chevy Camaro
  • 1968: Chevy El Camino
  • 1969: Plymouth Roadrunner
  • 1970: Dodge Challenger
  • 1971: Chrysler New Yorker
  • 1972: VW Beetle
  • 1973: Chevy Monte Carlo
  • 1974: Chevy Impala
  • 1975: Cadillac Coupe de Ville
  • 1976: Oldsmobile Cutlass
  • 1977: Oldsmobile Cutlass
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Robert O'Brien
What were your sources for this table, Jerry. I, too, find it implausible that the XKE was the top-selling car in America in 1961 -- especially since it was only introduced in March of 1961, and total Series 1 (3.8 liter) production from 1961-1968 was only 15,498 units (

I also have to question most of the others. The only ones that seem plausible to me are the Ford Mustang in 1964, the Chevy B-body in 1965 and '74, and the Olds Cutlass in '76 and '77. The 1957 Ford Skyliner was the convertible model with the retractable hardtop. I'm pretty sure that Ford outsold Chevrolet that year in full-sized cars. The only other models that Ford had that year were the Thunderbird and the Ranchero, which was actually a truck, and Chevy's only models were its full-sized cars and the Corvette.

My subscription to Automotive News is up for renewal -- maybe I'll pop for the data base for an additional charge.


Robert O'Brien
The Car Pro
Not nearly as many cars were sold in the 60's so something new often took the top spot. We verified the list with two sources, one of them was Reader's Digest. I believe it to be accurate. Anyway, it was a fun list.

Thanks for reaching out!

Jerry Reynolds
Is it possible that the best selling car in 1961 was the Jaguar-e-type , and not a ford or chevy ? Hard to believe .
The Car Pro
We verified with two sources. Not a lot of cars were sold 60 years ago, unlike today. I believe it to be true.

Jerry Reynolds
Bravo Bill
1966: VW Camper Bus? I don't remember even one (1).
The Car Pro
Not nearly as many cars were sold in the 60’s so something new often took the top spot. We verified the list with two sources, I believe it to be accurate and in Texas, I do remember a ton of them on the road, they were very popular on the West Coast as well.

Jerry Reynolds