Posts from ‘Datsun’
Most automotive styling affectations were born of functional vehicle features. Real wire wheels, for example, lead to the faux-wire hubcaps that were so common in the Eighties, especially on Buicks and Oldsmobiles. Likewise, the vinyl and landau roof craze of the Seventies and Eighties was born of the landaulet and carriage-roof vehicles from decades earlier.
If you were looking for a diverse collection of affordable sporty cars, you’d probably want to set the time-machine dial for 1984. You would be hard pressed to find a broader collection of fun-to-drive rides at any time other than the mid Eighties.
By 1979, there was light visible at the end of the tunnel for performance-car enthusiasts. Though horsepower was still wanting in most cases, cars were growing leaner, and arguably better built.
If you’re looking for a common thread to sew this collection of ads together, it may be luxury–or, more correctly, the perception of luxury.
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.
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.