Posts from ‘Classic Car Ads’
Question: What’s the nicest graduation gift you ever received… high school or college? If it was a car, you’re one of those people that everyone else in your class hated. Still, kudos to you. Scoring a car as gift—for any reason—is pretty cool. I suspect your grades were better than mine.
Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2018 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine
The Ford Falcon was Robert McNamara’s baby. A practical “numbers guy,” McNamara hated waste and excess. The Edsel went against his core beliefs with its large size, superfluous decoration, and the fact that it competed with existing Ford and Mercury products. As the Edsel was failing, McNamara was campaigning for a compact Ford.
You can’t have it both ways… that is, you can’t have it both ways unless you worked in Ford’s marketing department in the mid-to-late Seventies.
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.
It’s a shame that Tatra isn’t better known to American auto enthusiasts, because the Czechoslovakian automaker produced some of the most interesting cars and trucks of the industry’s first century.
I had this ad taped up in my high-school locker during my senior year. Not because I was a Mustang II fan—I was not—but because this ad so plainly laid bare how desperately Ford wanted their pony car to perceived as European and high tech, which it really wasn’t. (Note: I’m not quite that old. I graduated high school in 1983, and had found the Mustang ad in a back issue of Popular Science, I think.)
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.
In high school, a buddy of mine and I often traded notes between classes. These notes consisted of little more than the random wit and doodles of two really bored teenagers, but they were often pretty funny. One practice we engaged in was creating ad copy for fake products. This copy was always rich with absurd branded slogans and liberal use of the ™ tag.