May
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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.

Sadder still is the Plymouth Road Runner ad, which focuses specifically on the vehicle’s insurability. Less obviously foreboding is the Mercury Capri ad. But, read the Capri ad’s copy a couple of times and you realize that Ford understood that market forces would soon be turning away from big-engine muscle machines and more toward economy and personal luxury. Of course, what no one could have predicted in 1971 was the OPEC oil embargo, which virtually killed the muscle-car segment.

Shared here are ten ads from just before the auto world changed. As you peruse these historic gems, see if you can feel the pending Malaise.

More Model-Year Madness Ads

 

American Motors (South Africa)

1971 Hornet Ad

1971 AMC Hornet Ad (South Africa)

 

Buick

1971 Buick Riviera Ad

1971 Buick Riviera Ad

 

Chevrolet

1971 Chevrolet Vega Ad

1971 Chevrolet Vega Ad

 

Datsun

1971 Datsun 510 Ad

1971 Datsun 510 Ad

 

Dodge

Dodge Demon Sizzler Ad

1971 Dodge Demon Ad

2017 New York Auto Show: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

 

Ford

1971 Ford Maverick Ad

1971 Ford Maverick Ad

 

Mercury

1971 Mercury Capri Ad

1971 Mercury Capri Ad

 

Oldsmobile

Oldsmobile Cutlass 4-4-2 Ad

1971 Oldsmobile 4-4-2 Ad

 

Plymouth

1971 Plymouth Road Runner Ad

1971 Plymouth Road Runner Ad

 

Volkswagen (Australia)

1971 Superbug Ad

1971 Volkswagen Ad

High-End Haunches: The Luxury Bustlebacks of 1982

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