Posts from ‘Favorite Car Ads’

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.

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.

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:

Does a low-compression engine mean the end of GTO?

1971 Pontiac GTO ad

The tone of this GTO ad is somewhat analogous to how some restaurants currently brace customers for lousy service in advance of seating. You’ve probably seen such signs posted near the door of your favorite diner the last time you went out for lunch or dinner. Today, restaurants are contending with labor shortages. In 1971, Pontiac was dealing with low-lead gasoline.

Triumph TR7, The Shape of Things to Come

1975 Triumph TR7

Though I was already reading car magazines in 1975, I have a clearer memory of the TV commercials for the Triumph TR7 than I do the print ads. That said, I recall the print ads, too, and they had a profound impact on my development as a car guy.

1968 Dodge Charger

1968 Dodge Charger

The 1968 Dodge Charger is an unassailable classic muscle car, and one of the most sinisterly beautiful cars ever made. The new-for-1968 Dodge and Plymouth intermediate cars had shed almost all the dowdiness of their earlier-1960s counterparts, introducing sleeker new shapes that seemed tailor-made for scoops and stripes… and the Dodge Charger’s transformation was the most dramatic of the bunch.

1988 Volvo Turbo Wagon

1988 Volvo Turbo Wagon (left) and 1988 Lamborghini Countach

When you’re an automaker whose advertising people have spent years brilliantly crafting a message of safety and reliability, you’re going to need to do something special when you add performance to the mix. And so it was when Volvo wanted to get the word out about its turbocharged models—especially the wagons.

1959 Rolls-Royce

1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

Rolls-Royce doesn’t advertise much. Sure, the legendary British ultra-luxury-car builder often sponsors special events, but you rarely see Rolls print or TV ads, and you never see digital promotions.

1937 Cord 812 Convertible Coupe

1937 Cord 812 Phaeton Convertible

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.