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As Collectible Automobile Editor-in-Chief John Biel has pointed out, a good number of vintage car ads were staged alongside swimming pools. As a swimmer, I appreciate the positive association between aquatic fun and cool new cars. But pools aren’t the only bodies of water automakers liked to feature in their advertising.
Fun fact: Most car dealers pay a small amount into a regional advertising fund for each vehicle they sell. That money is spent on ads and promotions tailored to reach would-be car shoppers in a given area. In many cases, manufacturers contribute additional cash to the fund. And, depending on the franchise, some of that money may be spent by the dealer on store-specific ads.
If you trust Wikipedia, the Cord 810 was among the first automobiles to sport hidden headlamps. As far as design trends go, that’s a pretty auspicious starting point. For the purposes of this gallery, we are making a clear distinction between hidden headlamps—those found in or near a traditional grille–and pop-up headlamps along the lines of those found on the early-generation Mazda Miata or RX-7.
By most accounts, the automotive period known as the Malaise Era lasted from 1973 until 1983. During that time, the performance of most new vehicles paled in comparison to the less-regulated cars of just a few years earlier. Blame the government if you will, as low-lead gas, fuel-economy standards, and emissions regulations all took a serious toll on the horsepower output of most engines. I say most, because some cars suffered less than others. And there was one main reason for that relative immunity to the Malaise Era woes: fuel injection.
I’ll be frank: I collect car ads in different folders with the intention of finding a sufficient number of similar ads to create a blog-post gallery. The ads shared here? Well, I’m having the blog-post equivalent of a fire sale. I love these ads, but I can’t really see them becoming part of any article with anything like a coherent theme.
There were Eagle cars because the folks at Chrysler didn’t think the Jeep brand could stand on its own. Of course, this decision was made in the late Eighties. No one today would question Jeep’s viability as a stand-alone brand today.
For the month of March 2021, not one American-brand vehicle was reported among the top-ten best-selling vehicles in Australia. For folks not in the know, that might not seem so strange. Australia is a long way from the U.S., and very close to Japan, a country known for its automobiles. And in fact, except for a single Hyundai model, every vehicle on the Australian top-ten list is Japanese.
What price luxury? If you were shopping for a new car in 1955, that number was approximately $3000. It was around that dollar amount that the vehicles we might now describe as premium starting kicking in.
Per Wikipedia, “Muscle car is a term for high-performance American coupes, usually but not limited to rear-wheel drive and fitted with a large displacement V8 engine. General Motors introduced the first proper muscle car in 1949. The term originated for 1960s and early 1970s special editions of mass-production cars which were designed for drag racing.”