Having gotten my drivers license in 74 with my dad in the car business I soon would be too, this was a depressing time for the car enthusiast. Between the plastic bumpers and smog and giant bumpers made out of what looked like rail road track and shocks on them from a earth mover, it looked like the end of cars as we knew them (and basically it was). It was a time of despair, what we had grown up to love was over, it would have been like Major League Baseball to have turned into "RollerBall, Professional Wrestling" sort of event.
When I first saw the 78 Mustang with the plastic bumper/grille thing on the front I knew it was over, what crap. We honestly thought that the V8 was GONE for ever, it was a very bad time for us car nuts.
That Cosworth was a shining moment, one tiny moment mind you. I road miles on my bike to the Chevy dealer to look at that car in the show room, it was what would be a "hot rod" in the future, that was it, there was hope.
The rest of the seventies produced CRAP (well at least after 72) and there was NOTHING we wanted from the offerings.
Now, heck yeah times have changed and those cars aren't "so bad" or so a lot of us think. I will find myself going over to look at a restored Pinto at a show. But it is a long time coming and most still think they are hideous junk and it will be many years before the general thought of those cars changes.