Classic Car Ads: Newspaper Bargains

What was with the big floating heads? Why were so many of the advertised vehicles displayed at extreme angles? And why, tell me why, no one bothered to have these delightful ads proofread?

Maybe you’re too young to recall newspaper dealer ads, but before the Internet kicked in, most Saturday newspapers contained a dedicated section or two of house-produced dealership advertisements featuring many of the elements noted above. Now, computer-designed layouts kicked in in the late Eighties, so for the really good stuff you have to go back a little earlier.

Dealers like to appear in their own ads, so it was common to see a giant head floating above the week’s bargains. And the bargains! In huge type appeared unlikely prices which were sure to lure customers to local dealers–just in case the price was correct, and the single example available at that price had not yet been sold.

This is hucksterism at its unbridled best—or worst—depends how you look at it. Collected here are a dozen such ads, each including “special” pricing, and often the promise of friendly service. Enjoy!

More classic car ads

Newspaper Bargains


1926 Car Ad

Tri-State Motor Company, San Antonio, Texas

Classic Car Ads: Cars of 1912



1955 Dealer Ad

Golden Mile Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, Ontario, Canada

Classic Car Ads: Pickup Trucks of 1961



1956 Dealer Ad

Riefling Nash, Jefferson, Missouri

Classic Car Ads: Station Wagons of 1979



Hallman's Chevrolet, Rochester, new York

Hallman’s Chevrolet, Rochester, new York

Classic Car Ads: Luxury Cars of 1985



1960 Dealer Ad

Greater St. Louis Dodge Dealers Association

Classic Car Ads: Cheap Cars of 1983



Mr. Norm's

Grand Spalding Dodge, Chicago

Classic Car Ads: Coupes of 1981



1966 Dealer Ad

Classic Car Ads: Sedans of 1980



Ken O'Keefe Ford, St. Mathews, Kentucky

Ken O’Keefe Ford, St. Mathews, Kentucky

Cheap Wheels: 1975-1977 Oldsmobile Omega F-85



1967 Dealer Ad

Wilmington Ford, Wilmington Delaware

After Dark: Classic Car Ads Set at Night



1969 Dealer Ad

Saxon Oldsmobile, Elk River, Minnesota

Big-Top Madness! Clowns in Classic Car Ads



1971 Dealer Ad

Di Salvo’s American Motors, St. Louis

More Show than Go: Performance Car Ads from the Malaise Era



1980 Dealer Ad

Martin Chevrolet, Richmond, Virginia

Design Madness: A Gallery of Sixties Hardtop Ads



1987 Dealer Ad

Hamilton Yugo, Irwin, Pennsylvania

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Classic Car Ads: Newspaper Bargains Gallery

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Hot Deals Madness! A Gallery of Classic Dealer Ads

Newspaper Bargains

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