For a number of reasons, automakers have been pulling ahead model year introductions lately. It is now not uncommon for a largely unchanged car to be rolled over to the next model year in February or March, for example.
The reasons for this vary, but count among them fuel-economy and emissions-regulation compliance, resale-value manipulation, and sundry marketing schemes.
For decades, however, the automotive model year traditionally ran from September to September, with some variation for dramatic new-model intros and the need to clear old inventory from dealer lots.
So, when using that customary fall-season-to-fall-season schedule, the model year was half over by the time winter was ending and spring was around the corner.
One thing automakers did to keep up consumer interest in certain models was to offer “Spring Specials”–uniquely trimmed or equipped versions of a car or truck, often offered at a mildly discounted price.
To true car geeks, these packages are often fascinating, as they frequently included trim elements that were otherwise unavailable on a given model.
Here, we’ve collected ten special-edition-vehicle print ads, including several spring special examples. Additionally, we’ve got a TV ad for the 1969 Dodge Coronet “White Hat Special,” which was very much a spring-special-style promotion. Check them out, and tell us if any of these seems rare and interesting enough to be collectible.
1984 Buick Century Olympia
1969 Dodge Polara White Hat Special
1973 Dodge Polara Custom Spring Special
1971 Ford Torino Spring Special
1971 Ford Mustang Special Spring Value Edition
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1976 Ford Elite Limited Edition
1976 Ford Mustang II Limited Edition
1976 Ford Torino Limited Edition
1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Value Package
1973 Volkswagen Beetle Sports Bug
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