Posts from ‘Classic Car Ads’

1958 Edsel Ad, Favorite Car Ads: 1958 Edsel

1958 Edsel Ad

The Edsel was no worse, nor much better, than other American cars of its day. The brand’s failure has been attributed to a number of factors, but as an armchair historian, I blame three things: a shock-and-awe launch, confusing marketing, and false hope, that latter point relates to the ad seen here.

1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse

1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse

When the Mitsubishi Tredia and Cordia compact coupe and sedan came online in the mid Eighties, they were among the first affordable turbocharged cars. Before that there were Saab and Volvo turbos, as well as Mercedes diesels, but those cars were pricey. Sure, there was the Pontiac Sunbird—and a few Buick Skyhawks—fitted with turbocharged engines, but those cars were so failure prone I hesitate to mention them.

A Wonderful New World of Ford, Favorite Car Ads: 1960 Ford

Favorite Car Ads: 1960 Ford

Man, they don’t make commercials like this anymore. Nor do carmakers spend money heralding the arrival of their new-model year offerings. We live in the era of target marketing and micro ads. The odds of consumers today being exposed to ads for products they might not want—or cannot afford—are relatively low. Modern advertisers know who we are, and they know where we live.


Fat Cars Die Young

We’re talking about 350 pounds here. That’s the difference in weight between a new 1966 Volvo and a same-year Dodge Coronet—the latter depicted here as having “died young.” The text in this ad is interesting, and makes a good case that American cars of the era were simply larger and heavier than consumers really needed them to be.

1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Convertible

1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Convertible

When I think Cutlass, I think of the 1984 Cutlass Supreme seen below. The near-premium personal-luxury coupe was almost absurdly popular in its day, and was usually the best-selling car in the Chicago area every year.

1983 DeLorean DMC 12

1983 DeLorean DMC-12

The DeLorean sports-car experience, at least for auto enthusiasts, was very much like Christmas as a parent. Lots of excitement—and work—as the big day approached, and then a whole lot of clean up and bill paying in the aftermath. But the holiday itself? Hardly had time to enjoy it.

Low Priced Three

1941 Chevrolet

You can’t exactly say that Plymouth created a market segment, but the new-for-1928 Chrysler division went to great lengths to define one. Plymouth was founded specifically to tackle the “low-cost” competition, which at the time was primarily Chevrolet and Ford.


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?

1967 Pontiac Grand Prix, Classic Car Ads: Pontiac Grand Prix

1967 Pontiac Grand Prix

Talk about a good run. The Pontiac Grand Prix, introduced for the 1962 model year, remained in continuous production until 2008. During that time its mission change a few times. Grand Prix started out as a premium coupe, and was for a time the most-expensive Pontiac ever offered. Premium versions of the Bonneville and Firebird Trans Am would eventually claim the priciest-Pontiac title.

1958 Studebaker Scotsman Ad

1958 Studebaker Scotsman 2-dr Sedan

Referred to by Catholics as sins of omission, they are wrongful acts committed–not by doing something wrong–but by failing to do something at all. For example, failing to act with generosity in the presence of human need might be considered a sin of omission. In the case of automotive advertising, failing to list equipment removed from a car in order to reach a tempting base price might also count as such a sin. In the case of this print ad from 1958, some folks at Studebaker probably needed to spend some time in a confessional. Here’s the deal: