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1975 cutlass supreme ad

Many members of the Consumer Guide Automotive staff also work on Collectible Automobile magazine. A few days ago, a small collection of vintage automobile advertisements and dealer brochures landed on CA Editor-in-Chief John Biel’s desk, courtesy of a reader in Wisconsin. Most of the ads were from non-automotive magazines, so they weren’t the typical pieces for muscle cars and such that were placed in the “buff books.”


1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass

In 1991, Oldsmobile sold a lot of Cutlasses. That simple fact probably doesn’t surprise anyone, at least not until you realize that of the seven car models Olds offered in ’91, three were dubbed Cutlass.

1971 Plymouth Duster 340

Do we have your attention yet? This 1971 Plymouth Duster 340 is finished in Curious Yellow paint that seemed to glow on the show floor. High Impact indeed!

For the past nine years, the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals has taken over the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, on the weekend before Thanksgiving. For American performance-car fanatics, this unparalleled show has become an unmissable season tradition every bit as important as grandma’s turkey and stuffing.

1981 Ford LTD, Classic Ads From 1981

1981 Ford LTD

As far as recessions go, the economic dip of the early Eighties wasn’t much of a downturn. Apparently the Fed overdid it a bit, and tightened the money supply a bit more than banks and lenders liked.

1986 Cutlass Supreme, Worst Gas Guzzlers

The Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme is 7th on our list of 1986 gas guzzlers.

By 1986, most parts of the country were enjoying a reprieve from rising gas prices. For the first time in a number of years, petrol was again retailing for less than $1.00 per gallon, with $.99 becoming a popular price point for regular unleaded.

1995 Oldsmobile Aurora

1995 Oldsmobile Aurora

Whether or not the Cutlass Supreme was “Your Father’s Oldsmobile,” new-car shoppers were passing on Olds products with increasing regularity by the early Nineties. Oldsmobile sales had fallen from over 1 million units in 1985 to just over 400,000 for 1993.

Classic Ads From 1978

1978 Pontiac Bonneville

If you’re looking for a common thread to sew this collection of ads together, it may be luxury–or, more correctly, the perception of luxury.

1969 Dodge White Hat Special, Spring-Special

1969 Dodge Polara White Hat Special

For a number of reasons, automakers have been pulling ahead model year introductions lately. It is now not uncommon for a largely unchanged car to be rolled over to the next model year in February or March, for example.

1977 Chrysler 318, The Small V8s of 1977

The Chrysler corporate 318-cubic-inch engine was the smallest V8 available in the 1977 Plymouth Fury.

Car-guy discussions regarding automotive downsizing usually center on styling. I have done my share of kvetching about how a few model lines that were “resized” in the late Seventies and early Eighties came off looking like caricatures of the cars they replaced.

1979 Ford Pinto, Economy-Car

1979 Ford Pinto

Have you noticed that the term “economy car” seems to have fallen out of common use in recent years? We think there’s good reason for that. With the average transaction price of a new vehicle hovering around $36,000, and the even the least-expensive new rides going for $18,000 or better, there isn’t much out there that feels economical.

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