As I recall these didn't have a back seat, carpet or any interior panels in the rear, but this picture shows it riding pretty low in the back. What gives?

The hatch is open. Changes the center of gravity. :)

No backseat, no AC and lots of pep. Yes pep. 1.4 engine. The five speed standard would surprise people at a light. I still have the 76 I bought new in the garage.I don't know about ill equipped, as it got me to work every day for 30 years. Even after a flood washed it 300 feet under water. Of course the transmission froze solid the next winter, but a heat lamp got it thawed and moving. Two timing belts, three starters and almost everything else replaced each decade.
Where is the car you bought in '76?

In 1976, I was 3 years old and yes, I still have the wooden truck I got at about that time and today, my own kids play with it. :P