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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

11 vintage Christmas car ads guaranteed to make your day merry

During the holidays, some of our fondest experiences with friends and family involve the cars of our past and present. Maybe that includes belting out your favorite carols over the radio, drifting through snow in empty school parking lots, hauling home the too-tall family Christmas tree, or surviving a death-defying trek to the in-laws' house.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/11-vintage-christmas-car-ads-guaranteed-to-make-your-day-merry-a...
51 REPLIES 51
audiobycarmine
Instructor

Great ads all.
That VW "Snowplow Driver" commercial was very smart.

In your "Ford's out front" text, you missed the tire tracks, indicating that a car recently got garaged.
And that '60 Chrysler — gorgeous!
55Customline
Intermediate Driver

audiobycarmine- I agree, the VW ad campaign was firing on all cylinders in this era, I think all of their ads were gold. The "What does the Snowplow driver drive to the Snowplow" ad remains one of my all time favorites. Association is a funny thing, when I think of this VW ad I also think of the Dunkin Donuts "Time to make the Donuts" ad that I think ran simultaneously w/ the VW ad in this same era.
Tinkerah
Gearhead

In "Ford's Out Front" I prefer thinking the car's out being slid around an empty school parking lot!
pcchuck
Intermediate Driver

Wonderful stuff ! just like my collection of Life, Look, and Post magazines from the 40's, 50's, and 60's..... Every page is just like the ads......
BrokeKen68
New Driver

Nothing like, "It Comes in a Box."
Rick2
Instructor

The 1960 Chrysler has everything controlled by foolproof buttons. Our modern manufacturers could learn some things from the past.
sclin10
Advanced Driver

'Plymouth School Speeches' surprisingly doesn't include an illustration of the car. Very unusual.
joenumeruno
Pit Crew

Both Plymouth ads look very much like they were penned by Norman Rockwell.
MustangJim
Instructor

I think that they are all a lot more creative and enjoying then the Christmas car ads now... I am tired of the GMC commercials, the one where he wants the truck and the Acadia is for her, and she runs to the truck and says I LOVE IT...grrrrr.. then the one with the stupid dog and then she whistles and the SIerra comes over the crest? Don't get me going on Lexus, I hate these commercials today.. but maybe its just me but I found these refreshing to view. I still watch episodes of Andy Griffith though.
Bostwick9
Detailer

Remember that Cadillac Christmas commercial from a few years back? "My Baby Drove Up In A Brand New Cadillac".... that featured a bloody security guard outside the showroom patrolling? WTH was that all about ?
And it played and played and played in a mindless rotation until it made your ears bleed.
Some commercial for cars it's hard to tell what exactly are they advertising.
No element, no inspiration, unanswered desire in any of this over teched, feature bloated, angry, ugly, monitored, gimmicky and electronically complex lot that sparks any sort of desire or even visual pleasure.
55Customline
Intermediate Driver

For me, the GM "real people...... Not Actors" ad campaign was a complete lie & way over done, ruined their ads for me. Reference Jeff Daniels song he wrote on this topic.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GaTXLeHX5I w/ a lawyer on retainer.
55Customline
Intermediate Driver

I hear there is a new GM ad featuring a '66 Chevy Convertible (I thought it was a '65, but the commenters have proven me wrong) that is airing on national tv way too much. reading about this made me realize how little I'm watching national tv these days. I've seen this ad exactly twice, the first was on Pump TV where I could not really pay as much attention as I would have liked, and the next was on the Hemmings website, where I was able to pay attention to it. Great ad, but there are may commenters saying they've seen it way too much, like the ad where the wife/girl friend takes the truck when the Acadia was intended for her.
TonyT
Technician

When you see the Chevy ad, you might have the same question that I did: Who stores a convertible in a drafty barn WITH THE TOP DOWN??!
mvillmer
Intermediate Driver

It's not just you. They really lack creativity.
ROBBO99
Detailer

Santa's 1963 corvette convertible , HO HO HO !!
55Customline
Intermediate Driver

This is a timeless classy ad! Very well done Hertz!
Stevejatc63
Pit Crew

My grandpa was a shop mechanic for Chevrolet. He talked quite a bit how they would spend time installing accessories on cars both new and used.
JohnnyD
Intermediate Driver

My dad loved and was "over the moon" over his 1960 Chrysler Windsor in baby blue. Great futuristic dash board and chrome controls. Mom couldn't stop herself from speeding because of that 383 Golden Lion V8. Fast!
Dad traded a 55 Plymouth for the Chrysler. Now I drive a 55 Plymouth to car shows because acquiring a 60 Chrysler is too pricey these days for my budget.
yanmarley
New Driver

Actually, that beautiful 1956 Cadillac is a 4 door hardtop, not a coupe. Still would love to have another. Merry Christmas all!
Bostwick9
Detailer

The Chrysler is a two door hardtop as well.
Bostwick9
Detailer

Hit me right in the heart Bryan.
When I was a kid my walls were covered in car ads. I wanted my life to be like that when I was old enough.
Adventure, romance, wide open spaces, arriving in style, dreams realized.
Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go in a brand new Body By Fisher GM car.
Thanks for this piece.
What a treat.

DanC
Intermediate Driver

OK, I understand the print ads, but easily the best Auto Ad was the TV ad when the young serviceman came home and his father gave him a Mustang. Father and son and the Mustangs... Gets me every time. It isn't Christmas but in my mind the best. Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkKAcRFDI80
Rick2
Instructor

I never saw that before. Wish I could have done that for our grandson.

55Customline
Intermediate Driver

DanC, I'm w/ Rick2, I've never seen that before.....Thanks for sharing! Powerful! I know we car guys (people) are an easy target for this type of ad, but WOW!
McG-
New Driver

The iconic Doyle Dane Bernbach's VW ads from the 60s are the best, but I gotta go with Santa on this one... Kick those reindeer to the curb and take the white Corvette with red interior from Hertz!
Ric_Rabbit
Pit Crew

These were good, but I absolutely despise the television ads where the husband surprises his wife with a new luxury SUV on Christmas morning, as if she didn't know what she wanted and had to rely on him to make the decision on what she'd drive.

My wife'd make me take it back to the dealer if I did that to her.
MARK400
Detailer

I hope Santa had snow tires on the Corvette.
Bertone780
Detailer

That Vette would be pretty squirrelly in the snow.
Studenorton
Instructor

Not to mention Hertz reporting it stolen, and Kris Kringle getting pulled over.
gfviperman
Detailer

Cool ads!!! We had a 1960 New Yorker, 4dr HT ... Golden Lion ...

Do not remember that ad ... but will never forget that car!!!
Studenorton
Instructor

"Conductor, where are we?" "Somewhere west of Laramie."
Foster and Sousa and bluegrass and ragtime and jazz and rock and roll all have their places,
but for the real American art form, it's car ads, every time.
Ask the man who owns one.
JSievers
Instructor

Ahh ... simpler times, and much better advertising than we get today.
RallyRaid
Intermediate Driver

I wonder if Cary Grant received anything in return for Cadillac using his likeness in that ad?
Zephyr
Instructor

Not to mention the Marilyn Monroe look-alike next to him.
KYColonel
Detailer

I didn't know people in that era had teeth that white 🙂
Tinkerah
Gearhead

4 out of five dentists recommended Camel cigarettes for gleaming white teeth.
BatmanRR
Intermediate Driver

This is the best Christmas commercial I have ever seen. I give Chevrolet my thanks for what I will call a commercial that deserves an Academy Award. Merry Christmas!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4-oyBnknHk
LtDan
New Driver

Lt. Dan,
I agree one of the best commercials of all time. Who would think a Christmas commercial about a car company could bring tears to your eyes?
Zephyr
Instructor

I'm not sure the kids would be too happy on Christmas morning when dad says "we took the money we were going to spend on presents for you and used it to buy a Willys Overland instead!"
dd1
Detailer

Loved the ads! Thanks so much for the walk through history. Simple mechanicals and electrical systems. No complex scanners while trying to decipher cloak-and-dagger engine codes. The VWs may not have put out the best heat in the world but they were easy enough for the average home mechanic to maintain and fix. Thanks again and happy holidays to one and all!
KYColonel
Detailer

I'm a 4 generation Vette owner. Naturally, my choice is the Hertz Ad.
salguod
Intermediate Driver

Given the trajectory from the sleigh and where Santa is now, I'd guess he's going to miss the Corvette.

Even if he made it, it's likely to be in the snow bank opposite the coming curve by then anyway.

My mind can't help thinking about the reality of these situations, sadly.
RebusCom
New Driver

In this day and age it's now extended beyond car manufacturers to new car online delivery.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jimTE0phGl4
SLAVENDER
Intermediate Driver

The 1956 Cadillac ad is interesting in that it shows us what their target demographic was. Sure, he is 20 or 30 years her senior, but who is he to her? Her ring is prominent and looks expensive, but he doesn't wear a ring. Clearly he is not her husband.
Finally, she has an angel over her left shoulder that looks a lot like her. The angel is reaching out to her, whispering in her ear.
That can only mean one thing about who he really is - El Diablo!
mcschaller65
New Driver

Regarding the scanners and complex codes, I got in my BMW a week ago and none of the instruments worked. Needed a new motherboard. Dealer said 5 weeks for a new one. My local mechanic got it in 1 day. They had to enter a code to get it to work. While it was down, I drove my '64 Porsche. No computers there. Happy Holidays!
acooper529
Detailer

The 500 window VW Bus and the Santa Hertz 'vette are beyond iconic.
Tinkerah
Gearhead

Beautiful ads, and I freely admit tearing up at the videos. But the cynic in me knows no better time to share this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFEfqA4mD1Y
Merry Christmas all, and a Happy & Healthy New Year to everyone!
MrBill-1943
Detailer

Got two (2) Cadillac and the 60 Dodge. Not only is the message great but Oh the art work. Today everything is in your face all over the place, these old style advertisements were meant to hold your attention and love what you were looking at creating a visit to the dealership on Monday.
Charlie
Intermediate Driver

I liked the Chevrolet accessory list, especially the Hot Water Heater, as I had a car once that did not have a heater until I went to a junkyard and pulled a Southwind heater out of an old Ford and installed it in my car. My car at the time was the much sought after 1932 Ford "Deuce", 5 window coupe.