Popular cars made between 1970 and 1988 are often a poor safety risk.
The only real exceptions are marques like Saab, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and BMW (these makers were taking safety seriously, even then, although it would be naive to expect a car of this era to be as safe as its ’90s equivalent).
A few cars of this era (Ford Falcons, Chrysler Valiants, etc) may be safer in terms of weight, but they lack many of the features that are required to ensure that the occupants survive an accident.
British, European and smaller American cars of this era were being made lighter and lighter in order to improve fuel economy and performance. Japanese cars were marvels of fine engineering, but the bodies were simply not made to survive an accident, and often they didn’t.
There are winners and losers even within the 1970–88 group. For example, the Saab 900 is consistently in the ‘safer’ category, along with the Peugeot 505. On the other hand, certain models such as the Mazda 121 (1987–90) / Ford Festiva (1991–93) ,consistently turn up in the ‘below average’ safety category, despite the fact that they are a relatively modern vehicle.
In the meantime, if we don’t list a safety rating for a vehicle of this era, it is safest to assume that it is a poor risk in an accident.