100 YEARS OF AUTO ADS

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THE LIBERATOR: Buick's wartime advertising shows a ferocious-looking tank with the headline, "Buick powers the liberator." In the copy, Buick takes credit for the M-18 Hellcat and shifts its well-known slogan to, "When better war goods are built, Buick will build them."

SIMPLY SIMPLIMATIC: Like most car advertising of the day, filled with verbiage such as "Hydramatic drive" and "Master Guide power steering," DeSoto coined the term "simplimatic transmission" to describe its easy drive. The 1941 ad boasts, "You'll love the way this low-slung beauty hugs the road."

STORMY WEATHER: This 1929 spread for General Motors aims at selling cars during the Depression by saying mothers can drive their children to school during inclement weather-thus maintaining their health.

SUPERCHARGED: Reckless speed figured even in early advertisements, as this 1935 Auburn copy proves. Auburns can run up to "a maximum speed of 100 miles an hour" even though "there are few places where you can drive" that fast, the ad promises.

CONSERVATIVE BEAUTY: The styling of Mercedes-Benz is so described in this 1938 ad, showing five models of the luxury cars carrying pricetags from $2,000 to $14,000, a heartstopping amount for a '30s pocketbook. Copy identifies Mercedes as the "world's oldest and leading motor car makers."

SUNDAY PUNCH: Pontiac makes no bones about the firepower it was producing for the U.S. military in this 1943 ad, at the height of World War II. The copy makes no mention of cars, focusing instead on its war machines, including the aircraft torpedo "Silver Streak," dubbed in the copy as "Sunday punch," "slippery messenger of death" and "tin fish."

TRUST ME: Plymouth's 1945 ad only lightly touches on its war machine production, instead reminding consumers to buy its auto brand during peacetime. The serviceman checks his watch while copy says, "In trust for tomorrow."

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