Tag: automobiles

Ads from the Open Road, Volume 1

Ads from the Open Road, Volume 1

Retrotisements
I don't really pay much attention to billboard advertisements while I'm driving, unless it's something fairly snappy or unique. And as much as I'd like to romanticize old billboard ads, I think the medium as a whole has been fairly bereft of great ideas. And if you think about it, it makes sense. You're only going to see a billboard ad clearly for what, four or five seconds? So it's all about economy of ideas and design. Anything too complicated and you either lose a driver's interest or cause a 20-car pileup. Neither is good for business. I'm not holding this group of classic billboard ads up as the best ever, but I think you'll enjoy them nonetheless. These are all courtesy the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections advertising series. I can't decide which part of...
Is This the Least Safe Baby Car Seat Ever? (1969 Sears Catalog)

Is This the Least Safe Baby Car Seat Ever? (1969 Sears Catalog)

Ephemera, History
So I'm bopping along, looking through 40-year-old Sears catalogs, as I am wont to do, when something catches my eye. No, not hideous fashion or vintage toys, although I certainly find plenty of that. I'm talking about a something altogether different. Tucked away on page 543 of the 1969 Fall/Winter catalog is an item that you might miss if you focused on the rather, um, interesting vintage baby car seats. See if you can find what I'm think of on this "Travel Time" page... Did you see it? Nope, not the car seats. It's item #6, listed as the "Steel Travel Platform," and it is a lovely relic from the golden age of Mid-Century Baby Travel. (more…)
Time Capsule: Vintage Detroit Car Maker World War II Production Photos

Time Capsule: Vintage Detroit Car Maker World War II Production Photos

Capsules, History
As part of a larger story in its August 17, 1942 issue on strife within between Detroit's car makers and their labor union member workers, Life magazine captured some excellent photographs of Motor City manufacturers in the midst of wartime production. The pictures, taken by staff photographer William Vandivert, captured a rare moment in modern American history -- when the nation's vast commercial manufacturing muscle was flexed to produce machinery (planes and bombers) for World War II. Seen here are images from Ford, Chrysler, and Chevrolet plants in Detroit, Michigan. Click on any photo for a larger version. (more…)
Retrotisements — 1975 Chevrolet New Car and Truck Lineup

Retrotisements — 1975 Chevrolet New Car and Truck Lineup

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
I wouldn't go so far as to say that 1975 was a great year because that's when I was born but it's totally the case. And that's pretty much all the inspiration behind the choice for this car capsule. It features Chevrolet, perhaps the most All-American automotive brand around (sorry Ford fans). Chevy's slogan for the 1975 model year was "Chevrolet Makes Sense for America," which was a recession-themed tagline carried over from the previous year, according to this very in-depth look at Chevy marketing. Their TV ads sported a catchy little jingle titled "Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet." And the '75 Chevy lineup was rather a large one, featuring nearly a dozen passenger cars. And here they are, ads and brochure pages for every Chevy model from the subcompact Vega to...
Car Capsule: Photos of the 1955 Ford and Mercury Lineup

Car Capsule: Photos of the 1955 Ford and Mercury Lineup

Capsules, Featured Posts
Some time in 1954, Life magazine photographer Yale Joel ventured to an unknown destination. His assignment was to photograph a group of brand new cars -- 1955 Ford and Mercury models, to be precise. I don't know how many of these pictures ended up in the magazine, as I've been unable to find any associated article in the Google Books archive, but some of these are real stunners. I wasn't sure at first if these were actually 1954 models, but the dead giveaway was the distinctive look of the '55 Ford Fairlane. That stainless steel Fairlane stripe on the side was what tipped me off, as the Fairlane debuted in model year 1955 (replacing the Crestline). Also present -- as far as I can tell -- are the Mercury Montclair and Monterey, as well as a Ford station wagon. Owing to the fact th...
Retrotisements — 1958 Plymouth New Car Lineup

Retrotisements — 1958 Plymouth New Car Lineup

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
Print advertisements, brochures, and TV commercials help give us a glimpse into the automotive past. Today’s ad collection shines a spotlight on the 1958 Plymouth domestic American car lineup, which featured three main models — the Plaza, Savoy, Fury, and Belvedere -- as well as the Suburban station wagon. The full-size Belvedere, introduced in 1954, was in its third generation for '58, and was available as a 2-door hardtop, 4-door sedan, 2-door Club Sedan, and convertible. It was demoted from the top of the Plymouth line in 1956 to make room for the Fury. The Savoy, also in its fifth year of production, was Plymouth's mid-line priced vehicle. Three trims were available in 1958 -- 2-door and 4-door hardtop, and a 4-door sedan. And then there's the Plaza, which was the entry-level mod
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 7 — Early 20th Century Cars

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 7 — Early 20th Century Cars

Vintage Photo Wednesday
From Wikipedia: The Haynes Automobile Company was a United States automobile manufacturing company, which produced automobiles in Kokomo, Indiana, from 1905 to 1924. The company was related to the Haynes-Apperson company, which produced automobiles from 1896-1905. Co-founder Elwood Haynes changed the name of the company after fellow co-founders Elmer and Edgar Apperson left to form the Apperson Automobile Company. From Wikipedia: The Stanley Motor Carriage Company was an American manufacturer of steam-engine vehicles; it operated from 1902 to 1924. The cars made by the company were colloquially called Stanley Steamers, although several different models were produced. The 8-96 is also known as the Buick Victoria. From Wikipedia: Chalmers Motor Car Company...
Retrotisements — 1960 Ford Motor Company New Car Lineup

Retrotisements — 1960 Ford Motor Company New Car Lineup

Featured Posts, Retrotisements
Print advertisements, brochures, and TV commercials help give us a glimpse into the automotive past. Today’s ad collection shines a spotlight on the 1960 Ford Motor Company domestic American car lineup, which featured four main models — the brand-new, compact Falcon, full-size Fairlane and Galaxie, and the second-generation, luxury Thunderbird -- as well as the usual assortment of wagons and trucks. 1960 was a fairly significant year for Ford in terms of change. On the consumer front, the recently introduced Galaxie was completely remodeled, while the Falcon made its debut. The Falcon represented Ford's entry into the compact car market, and its development was spearheaded by company president Robert S. McNamara -- who in 1961 became United States Secretary of Defense under Presiden