100 YEARS OF AUTO ADS

Published on .

With WWII ended and the suburbs expanding, advertising takes on a technological bent; then the TV commercial becomes entrenched. The '60s were marked by agency changes, none more surprising to the old-boy network in Detroit than when AMC hired an agency run by a woman, Mary Wells.

SEUSS ON THE LOOSE: One of Ford's first TV commercials ever used these amusingly animated Dr. Seuss characters in the late '40s to remind consumers to visit their "friendly Ford dealer."s32

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Nash's '53 Airflyte is the "travelingest car ever built," according to this print ad that shows off the car's many features, including seats that fold down into beds.

IT'S A MIRACLE: The 1950 Studebaker, this ad claims, provides a bump-free "miracle ride" as well as great gas mileage and durable brakes. Moreover, the car is made by "father and son teams" and other artisans.

FANTASTIC FRAZER: High-Torque Engine and Hydra-Matic Drive are among the high-tech qualities of this 1951 Frazer, this ad says. Among its models are the Vagabond, a car that converts "within 10 seconds" from a six-passenger car to a spacious wagon.

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? The '51 Hudson is the "lowest-built American car," with the "lowest center of gravity." Low also applies to the price of the Pacemaker, Hudson's bargain model.

EYEING THE HURRICANE: The Jeepster boasts "Hurricane Power," says this Willys ad. But that's not all-copy also spells out that there's "magic under the hood."

GETTING TO THE POINT: This 1947 ad doesn't beat around the bush, portraying a lush drawing of the return-to-elegance Lincoln Continental Cabriolet with the sparse copy, "Nothing could be finer." It says, in small print, that white sidewall tires can be added, when available, at additional cost.

A JEWEL OF A CAR: Cadillac ran a series in the 1950s showing its cars paired with Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry. The point made in the copy is that while on the outside Caddy may appear to be an expensive status symbol, the truth is the auto is economical in gas mileage, dependability and long life.

In this article:
Most Popular