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.
If I may be allowed to overgeneralize, allow me to suggest that American car buyers appreciate utility, but would rather a given vehicle not look too utilitarian.
Born in 1883 as the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company, PPG began dabbling in paint almost from its birth. PPG was there from the start when automakers began producing vehicles in volume, providing both glass and paint to the burgeoning industry.
If you enjoy the occasional dream in which elements of the world around you seem familiar, but not quite right, you will likely enjoy learning about the American-brand cars once sold in Mexico.
Fact: You can’t sell a station wagon in the United States anymore. Fact: You can dress a station wagon up like an SUV and sell that, as evidenced by the popular Subaru Outback.
In general terms, the late-Seventies/early-Eighties “downsizing” era is generally regarded as a bleak period for the American auto industry, and for good reason. As they raced to slash production costs and reduce fuel consumption, carmakers often shrank their products to a draconian degree–much to the dismay of the buying public.
By the time the 1976 model year rolled around, the trusty round headlamp had been an auto-industry norm for more than 70 years. Much of what drove this stylistic consistency was the easily replaced one-piece sealed-beam lamp, the use of which became U.S. law in 1940.
By the end of the Seventies, it seemed as if the marketing types at Chrysler had given up worrying about protecting legacy brands. In 1978, for example, the company rolled out a small, Mitsubishi-built 4-cylinder Dodge coupe, which the company rather thoughtlessly dubbed Challenger.