Retrotisements — 1972 Pontiac New Car Lineup

For the 1972 model year, Pontiac had ten models for sale in the US, covering six types. Those types and models were compact (Ventura II), mid-size (LeMans), full-size (Catalina, Catalina Brougham, Bonneville, and Grand Ville), station wagon (Safari and Grand Safari), personal luxury (Grand Prix), and muscle car (GTO and Firebird). In addition to the various print and TV ads for those models, Pontiac seemed particularly proud of its bumpers this year.

Here is a gallery of advertisements and advertising images for each of those models, as well as some generic ads.

1972 Pontiac (general)

1972 Bonneville

1972 Pontiac Bonneville dealer postcard

1972 Catalina

1972 Pontiac Catalina print advertisement

1972 Firebird

1972 Pontiac Firebird print advertisement

1972 Firebird Formula 455

1972 Pontiac Firebird Formula 455 print advertisement

1972 Grand Prix

1972 Pontiac Grand Prix print advertisement
1972 Pontiac Grand Prix print advertisement

1972 Grand Ville

1972 Pontiac Grand Ville print advertisement

1972 GTO

1972 Pontiac GTO print advertisement

1972 LeMans

1972 Pontiac Le Mans print advertisement
1972 Pontiac Le Mans print advertisement

1972 Luxury LeMans

1972 Pontiac Luxury LeMans advertisement
1972 Pontiac Luxury LeMans advertisement

1972 Safari

1972 Pontiac Safari and Ventura print advertisement

1972 Ventura Sprint II

1972 Pontiac Ventura Sprint II print advertisement

Retrotisements — 1979 Station Wagons

For my latest gallery of vintage car ads I’m going to focus on one particular segment, in this case it’s station wagons from the 1979 model year. Having never owned one I can’t speak to the experience of what it’s like, but I always crack a smile whenever I see a classic family truckster still on the road.

So in the spirit of old school station wagons, let’s take a look from what was hot off the assembly line 40 years ago from a sampling of American and foreign automakers.


The seventh-generation Town & Country was in its second year as the mid-sized LeBaron wagon. It had formerly been the company’s full-size station wagon.

1979 Chrysler LeBaron Town & Country wagon ad


The 1979 Safaris were available in several trim packages. This ad highlights the mid-size Grand LeMans Safari and the full-size Bonneville Safari.

1979 Pontiac Safari ad


This Cutlass Cruiser, Oldsmobile’s mid-size wagon, features a diesel engine. 1979 was the company’s second model year with a diesel engine for its wagons.

1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser ad

And here is the full-size Custom Cruiser.

1979 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser ad


All four of Ford’s wagon models for 1979 are on this beauty of an ad, including the Club Wagon van. We’ve got the Pinto, LTD, and Fairmont wagons all out for a nice day at the lake.

1979 Ford Wagon ad


1979 was the second model year for the Malibu wagon, then in its fourth generation. It was Chevy’s mid-size wagon entry.

1979 Chevrolet Malibu ad

Here’s Chevy’s full-size wagon, the Caprice Classic.

1979 Caprice Classic wagon ad


Dodge offered three wagon models in 1979 — the Colt, Aspen, and Diplomat. Here is the largest of the trio, the Diplomat.

1979 Dodge Diplomat ad


We can’t forget our imports now can we? Here is the 1979 Volkswagen Dasher, known back home as the Passat.

1979 Volkswagen Dasher


The subcompact Nissan Sunny (sold in North America as the Datsun 210) was in the second year of its fourth generation in 1979. In 1982 it was replaced by the Sentra.

1979 Datsun 210 ad


The Subaru Leone went by many names in America in the late ’70s, including the Subaru GL or L Series. Whatever you call it, it clearly stands out from the station wagon crowd of 1979.

1979 Subaru station wagon ad

Retrotisements: Back to School Edition, Part 3

Yes, it’s nearly that time of year that all kids dread and all adults love — Back to School! And so I’m back for a third time with a set of vintage advertisements that will either appeal to you or drive you mad. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

Vintage back to school ad

Buster Brown, 1958

Vintage back to school ad

Royal Typewriter, 1951

Vintage back to school ad

Samsonite (undated)

Vintage back to school ad

Scotch Tape, 1951

Vintage back to school ad

Sellotape, 1957

Vintage back to school ad

Shinola (undated)

Vintage back to school ad

Wearever, 1946

Vintage back to school ad

Crompton, 1920

The Revenge of Halloween Retrotisements!

By my count this will be at least the third gallery of vintage Halloween advertisement I’ve shared here, although it’s been a long time since the last one. So let’s scare up a good time by checking out some spooky ads from years gone by!

Vintage Halloween ad (Schlitz Beer, 1950)

Schlitz Beer, 1950

Vintage Halloween ad (PAAS Make-Up Kits, 1986)

PAAS Make-Up Kits, 1986

Vintage Halloween ad (Jell-O, 1952)

Jell-O, 1952

Vintage Halloween ad (Mazola Oil, 1920)

Mazola Oil, 1920

Vintage Halloween ad (Griifin Microsheen, 1956)

Griifin Microsheen, 1956

Vintage Halloween ad (Snider's Catsup, 1944)

Snider’s Catsup, 1944

Vintage Halloween ad (Pepsi, 1963)

Pepsi, 1963

Vintage Halloween ad (Kool-Aid, 1961)

Kool-Aid, 1961

Retrotisements: Back to School Edition, Part 2

One thing that stinks about being an adult is that I don’t get summers off anymore. One thing that rules about being an adult is I don’t have to deal with the looming threat of Back to School time. So you see, now I can look at vintage back-to-school advertisements with joy and amusement, not dread. And now you can too. Enjoy!

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Greyhound, 1960

Greyhound, 1960

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Gibbs, 1954

Gibbs, 1954

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Campbell's, 1937

Campbell’s, 1937

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Minnesota Woven, 1962

Minnesota Woven, 1962

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Woolworth's, 1951

Woolworth’s, 1951

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Interwoven, 1960

Interwoven, 1960

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Royal Typewriter, 1960

Royal Typewriter, 1960

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Tom Sawyer, 1957

Tom Sawyer, 1957

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Mastercharge, 1969

Mastercharge, 1969

Vintage back-to-school advertisement: Sheaffer's, 1962

Sheaffer’s, 1962

Retrotisements: The Early Days of Kentucky Fried Chicken

One of the many things that makes Kentucky Fried Chicken unique in fast food history is that its growth as a powerhouse franchise was not quite as direct as, say, McDonald’s. For one thing, the chain began not as a dedicated franchise location but rather as a menu of items out of a regular restaurant. In this case, KFC was essentially born in a pair of motels/restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina and Corbin, Kentucky. Colonel Harland Sanders, who owned both in the 1930s, rebuilt his Corbin location as a motel with a 140-seat restaurant after a fire struck in late 1939.

Here is a June 1940 newspaper ad for the Sanders Court & Café, published in the Asheville Citizen Times. Note how there is no reference to chicken:

June 1940 newspaper ad for the Sanders Court & Café (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

The first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise opened on September 24, 1952 in Salt Lake City, Utah. But in the first several years of KFC’s franchise operations, it was not comprised solely of standalone buildings. Rather, what happened was that Col. Sanders licensed the right to sell chicken with the KFC brand and recipe to individual restaurants. Here are a few examples of how that looked in advertisements, starting with a March 1955 ad for the Ross Inn in the Cumberland, Indiana area. Take note of the first nationwide KFC logo:

March 1955 ad for the Ross Inn in the Cumberland, Indiana area, selling Kentucky Fried Chicken

Come meet Colonel Sanders!

Here’s a 1956 ad for The Huddle restaurant with some wonderful ad copy featuring “The Story of Kentucky Fried Chicken” from Lafayette, Indiana:

1956 Kentucky Fried Chicken ad

And here’s a 1958 Tillman’s Plaza ad featuring KFC’s famous tagline, “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good”:

1958 Tillman's Plaza ad featuring KFC's famous tagline, "It's Finger Lickin' Good"

Lastly, here’s a slightly grainy but great 1957 ad from KFC ground zero — Salt Lake City. It’s one of the first ads I’ve seen to prominently feature one of the iconic brand elements of KFC, the striped bucket. The Harman Cafe was owend by Pete Harman, who was the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee. Harman worked with Colonel Sanders to develop and prepare the KFC system for franchising, working to develop training manuals and product guides. His other claims to fame are the development of the bucket packaging and the emphasis on the “Finger-lickin’ good” motto.

1957 Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)/Harman Cafe ad

Retrotisements — A Year in the Life (1967)

In past ad galleries I’ve typically stuck with a particular theme or product, such as holiday-themed ads or new car lineups. I’m going to try something new and product an ad gallery from a single year, covering a wide range or products and services. Basically, a sort of visual shorthand to see what someone would’ve seen in print or TV ads in a particular year. Think of this as a virtual department store of sorts.

For the first edition I thought I’d travel back exactly 50 years to 1967. Let’s browse!


1967 Chrysler ad

1967 Chrysler

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle ad

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle

Consumer Electronics

1967 Kodak Instamatic ad

Kodak Instamatic

1967 Westclox ad


1967 Automatic Royal ad

Automatic Royal


The Dirty Dozen ad

The Dirty Dozen

1967 Jimi Hendrix Purple Haze ad

“Purple Haze” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience


1967 Arrow ad


1967 Career Club Shirts ad

Career Club

Food and Beverage

1967 Nabisco Snackmate ad

Nabisco Snack Mate

1967 Michelob ad


1967 7Up ad


1967 Arby's ad


Health and Beauty

1967 Maybelline ad


1967 Alka-Seltzer ad


1967 Lustre Creme ad

Lustre Creme

Household Goods

1967 One-Step Floor Care ad

One-Step Floor Care

1967 Dash ad


1967 Admiral Duplex ad

Admiral Duplex


1967 Best Western ad

Best Western

Hawaii ad 1967

Hawaii via Pan Am and American Airlines

1967 Pan Am ad

Pan Am


For Labor Day, Enjoy Some Canned Hamburger!

I don’t know about you, but there comes a point when convenience goes too far, and things just get weird. Case in point: This 1950 advertisement for Swift’s Premium Canned Hamburgers, which purports to “take the labor out of the Labor Day Week End.”

1950 advertisement for Swift's Premium Canned Hamburgers

But hey, as gross as the prospect of eating preformed meat out of a can may be, at least you can send in that coupon and get a sweet sandwich toaster for just 50 cents!