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May
12
1971 Dodge Demon Sizzler

1971 Dodge Demon Sizzler

 

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.

May
02
1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone GT

1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone GT

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.

Apr
25
1970 Chevrolet Impala

1970 Chevrolet Impala

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.

Apr
21
1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruise

1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser

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.

Apr
19
1979 Ford Pinto

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.

Apr
14
1968 Imperial

1968 Imperial

Folks are fond of recalling epidemics. We all know about the Black Death plague of medieval times, but do you recall hearing about the Great Plague of Vienna (look it up) or the Russian Plague of 1770?

Apr
04
1967 Dodge Polara

1967 Dodge Polara 500

Maybe you agree. Seems to these eyes that by the late Sixties, cars were taking on a decidedly masculine look and feel. This was, of course, the beginning of the muscle-car age, but there was more to it than that.

Mar
31
1966 Dodge Monaco

1966 Dodge Monaco

For the ABC television network, 1966 was a big year. The network elected to introduce 16 new programs that season–more than half of its prime-time lineup up. You can watch the intros from all of ABC’s new-for-’66 programs below.

Mar
24
1956 Buick Special Wagon

1956 Buick Special Wagon

The emergence of automotive tail fins can be attributed in a large part to America’s fascination with air and space travel. At the dawn of the jet age, it was common for manufacturers to hawk their wares–automotive and otherwise–with references to fighter planes and rockets.

Mar
22
1971 AMC SC/360

1971 AMC Hornet SC/360

As far as evocative colors go, it’s tough to match the power of the word blue. Blue chip stocks are good investments, a blue mood suggests sadness, and musically, the blues gave birth to rock & roll.

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