Posts from ‘Classic Ads’
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.
Nestled into an unassuming neighborhood in Chicago’s North Side is a large yet equally unassuming industrial building that once housed a printing company. Today, that building is home to the Klairmont Kollections, an incredible, 100,000-square-foot private museum that encompasses 300-plus vehicles, along with scads of bicycles and toy cars, a few airplanes hanging from the rafters, and a life-sized replica of a vintage gas station—and that’s just for starters. It’s a jaw-dropping array of automobilia and straight memorabilia that’s enough to keep even a casual enthusiast occupied for at least a full day… but you can’t just walk in off the street and check it out. The Klairmont Kollections might best be termed “semi-private,” since it is usually closed to the general public and available only for private functions such as weddings or corporate/charity events.
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.
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.