Posts from ‘Classic Ads’
by Don Sikora
Note: The following story was excerpted from the December 2017 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
.In the late Eighties, Japanese automakers introduced four-wheel steering to the U.S. market. The first car Americans could buy with such a system was the 1988 Honda Prelude Si 4WS. Mindful of the old adage that nobody remembers who was second, let us suggest the 1988 Mazda 626 Turbo 4WS as cheap wheels.
I was born in 1965, and to the best of my memory, I never saw a DeSoto being used as a daily driver. Of course, cars didn’t last quite as long in those days, and by the time I was paying attention to cars, the last of the DeSotos would have been almost 10 years old.
I graduated from high school in 1983. The third year of President Ronald Reagan’s first term was pretty good to me—I spent the summer working full time at a service station, I starting taking classes at a local junior college, and I spent a considerable amount of time looking at, reading about, and talking about cars.
There is an air of parsimony to the automotive print ads of 1982. Take in all of the examples and take note of the following:
An important automotive anniversary passed with little fanfare recently. At least, it passed with little fanfare here in the United States.
By now we all know the Edsel story. It’s a brutal tale having to do with market timing, a recession, and a bunch of bad luck. If you’d like to read more about the Edsel end days, click here.
People can be dismissive of market research, but there are plenty of times when a company needs to take the pulse of potential customers, making certain that they have a handle on that group’s wants and needs.
If you’re looking for proof that 1982 was a transitional year for the domestic auto industry, check out the dealer sales-training video for the then-new Chevrolet Cavalier below. It’s worth noting that Chevy’s cutting-edge front-drive subcompact car is being promoted with two-tone paint and white sidewall tires.
Wikipedia describes a soccer mom as “a married middle-class woman who lives in the suburbs and has school-age children. She is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan or SUV. She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.” Per Wikipedia, the term started showing up in the national media in 1982.
The primary difference between the manufacturing of police cars and the building of ambulances is amount of work done by the automaker itself.