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There’s no question that Packard is out of business, but there is some disagreement as to when the company really wrapped things up. Though the Packard brand officially died after 1958, some purists consider 1956 to be the marque’s final year, as that was the last time the automaker built its own cars based on its own designs and technology.
If you were even partially hip on current events in 1973, you likely recall the OPEC Oil Crisis.
If you give the Ford Mustang credit for anything, it should be resiliency. Introduced in 1964 as a ’65 model, the Mustang has been in continuous production ever since.
It was a bold move by General Motors. In one fell swoop, GM discontinued four vehicles that had grown mostly irrelevant, and replaced them with modern, cutting-edge machines perfectly tailored to meet the expectations of a changing marketplace.
Per most automotive historians, the automotive Malaise Era—the period during which American carmakers built relatively low-power and rather dull vehicles—ran from 1973 through 1983.
By 1971 you could feel the storm coming. What would later be known as the The Malaise–the painful period of dull, under-performing automobiles–would kick in just months after the ads shared here first ran. Look through these ads for clues that the new-car world was about to become a duller place. The Dodge Demon, for example, promises more style than power, with focus on stripes and appliqués instead of horsepower.
Ford is doing it wrong. The current Ford Mustang GT is the highest-performance regular-production version of the brand’s beloved pony car (outside of the track-ready Shelbys), but that’s not really what a GT is. Historically speaking, at least.
Robert De Niro was cruising the Boroughs of New York City long before he played a mentally ill cabbie in the 1976 Martin Scorsese classic Taxi Driver–six years before, to be exact. Taxi Driver hit theaters in 1976. De Niro, however, shows off an AMC Ambassador in this forgotten ad from way back in 1970.
Sometimes hindsight plays tricks on us. I have always been uncomfortable that the Talking Heads’ seminal album More Songs about Buildings and Food was available on 8-Track tape.
I associate the 1978 album with a progressive musical movement that endured through the Eighties. That fact that that same music could be purchased in a lousy, short-lived format known for premature failure is difficult for me to square.