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Since the first T.V. commercials, the automobile has been one of the most advertised items of all time. Early on, famous cartoon characters were popular to use on car commercials. For the last few decades, auto manufacturers have outspent more than any other industry in the television commercial market.
These are some of my favorite commercials selected for historical reasons listed, mainly sticking through the 1960's through 1980's. Sure, there have been some pretty funny commercials lately, but I have tried sticking with some of the older historical models, ones that you may have seen yourself decades ago.
#10 ) Funny Ford Truck Commercial - Take 2
** WARNING ** Explicit Language
This was the beginning when Ford took the reigns from Chevrolet as the best seling truck series, and these commercials were aired a lot (I remember as a kid). I stumbled upon this while researching this blog post and thought it was pretty funny, but obviously the 2nd take was never aired with all the swearing. I wonder what the original intent of recording this was, as it would obviously never be aired and the internet was not available yet to post it as an extra. Either way it's pretty dang funny.
# 9 ) Datsun 10th Anniversary 280ZX Black Gold
1980 was entered with style by Nissan, and this commercial pushed the extreme of "sexyness" at that time. Notice how after she kisses him, the gear shifter is grabbed hard. This was the beginning of sex in ads and commercials of the 1980's.
# 8 ) 1975 Chrysler Cordoba with Ricardo Montalban
Ricardo Montalban was hired by Chrysler in 1975 to promote the new mid sized car named Cordoba. Many consider the car a pile of junk, but it did sell well the first few years before sales fell off the cliff. The term "soft Corinthian leather" was always used in his commercial spots, and became a line that was parodied for years.
# 7 ) GTO Endura Bumper
The Pontiac GTO Endura Bumper was the precursor to today's safety bumpers, and this commercial is an iconic historical favorite with engineers taking sledgehammers to the bumper.
# 6 ) First Chevy Camaro Commercial
This is one of the cheesiest car commercials I have ever seen. The Camaro rises out of the volcano with very fake fire and lava, and drives off in mint condition. I guess when you have to compete against the Ford Mustang, you have to pull all the bells and whistles.
# 5 ) First Mustang Commercial
The first Ford Mustang commercial was a true teaser, as the car was not really shown. These tv commercials went along with the printed media marketing which also did not show the car. Months of anticipation and excitement by Ford did not disappoint anyone when it was released, and over a million models were sold in less than two years.
# 4 ) Buick Grand National GNX (George Thorogood)
In my opinion the 1987 Buick Grand National GNX was the last true performance car built and marketed by Buick. Beginning with the Wildcat and GS in the 1960's, Buick for a time had some truly remarkable muscle and performance cars, and climaxed with the GNX. I loved this commercial when I was a kid with George Thorogood and "Bad to the Bone".
# 3 ) 1968 GT 500 with Carol Shelby
What is cooler than having Carol Shelby himself drive one of his machines in a commercial? Nothing.
# 2 ) Pontiac GTO VOE - BANNED
This commercial aired only once before it was cancelled by GM management, along with the VOE option. The commercial was aired during Superbowl IV, and shows a young driver pulling a lever under the dash labeled "EXHAUST", and the GTO's exhaust noise gets louder. This VOE (Vacuum Operated Exhaust) was available between November 1969 and mid January 1970 before it was cancelled, and only 233 GTO's were built with this very rare option.
# 2 ) Dodge Charger - BANNED
Another commercial I stumbled upon while researching, it is pretty funny but I cannot verify this commercial was banned or never aired. I can only go by what the uploader of the video claims. Either way it's funny.
** BONUS ** Ford Meteor
All I can say is, WTF? I thought this ad was real at first, but a 2nd play I realize it isn't, but it's pretty funny and I had to include it as an extra bonus.
Do you know of a memorable or historical automotive commercial that should be included?
About the Author
Daniel Fehn is a web designer, a huge classic car and truck fan, and a wannabe mechanic currently living in Minneapolis, MN. I designed and built timelessrides.com so I could share my enthusiasm for classic vehicles, and created the classified ads section for all to buy and sell their rides for FREE.
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