Posts from ‘Classic Car Ads’

Jul
26
Ricardo Montalbán, Luxury Cars of 1985

1985 Chrysler Town & Country

For the most part, we identify luxury vehicles not by price, but by make and model. For example, an Oldsmobile 88, to most people, was not a luxury car. But an Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight… we can pretty much agree that the senior Olds was a luxury ride.

Jul
18
Classic Car Ads: Electric Cars

General Motors EV1

A fun fact shared often in the automotive media is that electric cars fairly handily outsold gasoline-powered vehicles in the earliest days of the automobile era. Around the turn of the century, 40 percent of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity, and just 22 percent by gasoline. (Granted, we’re only talking about a few thousand vehicles here, since the entire industry was in its infancy.)

Jul
07
1983 Toyota Tercel

Cheap Cars of 1983

Affordability is a relative thing. But odds are, if a manufacturer is sharing the price of a product in advertising, the thing being sold is probably a good deal. Of course, in the case of automobiles, the listed base price is subject to any number of asterisks and fine-print notations—especially back in the Eighties, before regulators were paying especially close attention to auto ads.

Jun
21
1981 Ford Granada, Coupes of 1981

1981 Ford Granada

My dad was a coupe man, though I cannot say he owned coupes on purpose. He was a bargain hunter, and a car’s door count was less important than its price. Nonetheless, my sister, mother and I never complained about having to squeeze into the back seat. For the most part, my dad’s Chevrolet Nova 2-door, and multiple Oldsmobile Cutlass and Pontiac Ventura coupes, offered sufficient rear-seat space, provided you didn’t mind negotiating the path past the folded front seat—and for the most part, we didn’t mind.

Jun
07
1980 Chrysler LeBaron

1980 Chrysler LeBaron

According to website Statista, light-truck sales—which include crossovers and SUVs—have risen from about 2 million in 1980 to almost 12 million last year. One needs only to look around to see that coupe and convertible sales have fallen to all-time lows, but it’s the humble sedan that I am most worried about.

May
12
1983 Cadillac Seville

1983 Cadillac Seville

The song “Driver’s Seat” would be British pop band Sniff ‘n’ the Tears biggest hit. Released in 1978, the tune would chart in several countries, and would provide period top-40-radio listeners with a needed reprieve from the disco music which then dominated the airwaves.

Apr
25
1949 Ford

1941 Ford, and a clown

I don’t know when it was that stand-up comics began telling clown jokes. I want to say I was fully an adult before it was brought to my attention—by those stand-up comics—that the whole clown thing is pretty weird. I recall a local shock jock dedicating considerable attention to the whole clown-as-a-career thing.

Apr
18
Performance Car Ads from the Malaise Era

1979 Chrysler Cordoba 300

The American auto industry’s “Malaise Era” is generally defined as the 1973 through 1984 model years, and it was by and large a bummer for car enthusiasts. A confluence of several sobering factors—more-stringent emission standards, the introduction of low-lead gasoline, and rising auto-insurance rates—rather suddenly put the kibosh on horsepower, and as a result, on fun.

Mar
17
Hardtop Ads

1964 Mercury Marauder

Say the word “hardtop” and any vintage-auto enthusiast knows what you’re referring to: a closed-roof car with a pillarless roofline (i.e., no door posts to break up the flow of the styling).  Though there were earlier examples of the basic concept, General Motors kicked off the hardtop as we know it by introducing a pillarless-coupe body style in its Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile product lines midway through the 1949 model year.

Mar
09
1972 Plymouth Fury, Large Coupe Ads, Large-Coupe Ads

1972 Plymouth Fury

Question: What would large-coupe drivers of the Seventies and Eighties drive today? Answer: Not large coupes, because there aren’t any. I suppose there’s still the Bentley Continental and the BMW 8-Series, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here.