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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Automotive ad legends Fitzpatrick and Kaufman "were not mere mortals"

It's been said you should never meet your heroes because they'll never live up to your expectations. Rob Keil didn't find that to be true. Instead, he learned that sometimes your heroes turn out to be bigger, better, and more fascinating than you ever imagined. Book-worthy, even.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/automotive-ad-legends-fitzpatrick-and-kaufman-were-...
24 REPLIES 24
Reinhold_Weege
Instructor

great story!
CitationMan
Technician

Wow, I have to order that book.
audiobycarmine
Instructor

Such superb artistry! This part of automotive history sometimes gets overlooked. Thank-you for keeping their stories alive.
Bhenson34
New Driver

I worked at my Dad's Pontiac dealership in the late 60's and early 70's and these pictures bring back fond memories.
OldFordMan
Detailer

These things will never happen again. So sad that "progress" has overtaken skill and beauty.
Oh, did I mention honor and truthfulness?
MrBill-1943
Detailer

So very very true.
Dusted
New Driver

Excellent article. You'll never see this again. This pretty much sums it up.

"The car business is so different today than it was in the ’60s. That was a more glamorous era. It’s hard to find anything new to say about cars or new ways to present them in print.”
“Not because it isn’t technically possible, but because we’ve moved on to a different place,”
"Sadly, that era has passed."
Air_and_Water
Advanced Driver

Those are stunning works. The use of light and shadow, reflection, and oh, those water droplets! They're truly brilliant pieces. They're every bit as good and important as the Reuters ads for VW in the '50s, and that's not a small compliment.
ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

Automotive Art: has a new meaning. Bravo Hagerty for bringing this forward.
JSievers
Advanced Driver

I suddenly have an overwhelming urge to buy a vintage Pontiac! Beautiful ads and beautiful cars. I’ve ordered my copy of the book. If you’re into early auto advertising a great companion piece is “Boulevard Photographic: The Art of Automotive Advertising“.
hyperv6
Engineer

I have been a fan of their since I was a kid. I used to cut the ads from used Saturday Evening Post of their art. Also I have a collection of the 60's Pontiac brochures with their art work in it.

I ordered this book and highly recommend it. It is worth every penny.

This is the kind of work you will never see again as the automakers will just resort to computer generated advertising because it is faster and cheaper.

I also was able to get a book Art Fitzpatrick did with Jim Wangers that had later Pontiac models his ads never covered. I actually got the book from him and he signed it.

I wish Cadillac would go back to advertising like this as it is classy and stylish. Imagine a Lyriq in add like this on the Mediterranean coast.
Tsaxman
Detailer

Here's a link to purchase the book. It's only $55 plus six bucks for shipping.

https://www.fitzandvan.com/
Stixx
Intermediate Driver

I was inspired as well from the VKAF adds for Pontiac both as an enthusiast and as an illustrator while in art school at AIP in Pittsburgh PA. Making my living ultimately by doing Architectural Illustrations in the same medium as the Pontiac adds it was not long until I had to produce Automobile Illustrations of my own Cars and modified cars I was creating at the time. A much different approach I did many realistic paintings in gouache tempera and water color but I also was fascinated by the spontaneous medium of the contemporary artists and body builder " FOOSE in recent years and love his technique as well. Retired now and limited to my own time and space and hobbies including moto both two and four wheels it is time that I did some more renderings of my latest cars such as my Mustang Bullitt perhaps or my Triumph Street Scrambler. Thanks for the inspiration and I will look for the book to add to my library
MrBill-1943
Detailer

Oh how I miss the days when selling a car through art was an art. Each and everyone of these presentations makes me want to go out and at the very least test drive and buy as I did with the one of them back in the day. Great article and keep the art work coming.
RayB
New Driver

Great art and good story. But did anyone besides me notice anything missing in these images? We'll just say, typical for the times. I guess in some ways we actually have evolved.
SilentBoy741
Advanced Driver

I noticed that back then cars came in a huge array of colors, but today people only want the white ones. Ironic.
Air_and_Water
Advanced Driver

Dealers want to stock "safe" cars that will sell. Some people want bright or subtle or rich color, but most will settle for white/silver/gray/black, so that's what dealers stock. Give me orange, green, yellow... something with visual punch!
SS396
Pit Crew

In 1959 to 1963 as an 8 to 11 year old boy I would beg someone in our family to drive me to all the GM dealerships in our town in September, when the new models came out. I would gather as many of the new car brochures that I could. I had quite a collection and would spent hours looking at the artwork.......and dreaming. I wonder what became of all them!
dodger
New Driver

I still have my brochures from the 60s.  They've travelled a good number of miles with me and I still refer to them in the car collecting hobby.  One that looks like my 67 GTO convert is framed on the wall with the boastful Wangers' ad copy, too.  It begins "GTO is an idea on wheels..."   

I missed any mention of the two series of US postage stamps that Fitz was commissioned to do about 13-16 years ago. 50s Sporty Cars and 50s Fins and Chrome.  Curiously, a Tom Fritz did the next batch of Musclecars stamps.

Tinkerah
Technician

I can barely scribble my own name so I swoon when I see what can be done with such simple tools when put in the proper hands.
GoFast
Detailer

Amazing how long this team got away with grossly exaggerated proportions. The FTC would never stand for that today!
Andretti
Pit Crew

:(. USA Orders only accepted. Guess I’ll have to wait a little for my copy.
I have a framed print ad copy of a ‘69 GTO in the snow but wouldn’t want to do that to mine!
oldguy2
New Driver

The GTO is labeled as a 1968, but the 1968 had wing windows. Wing windows were discontinued with the 1969 model year.
Gary_Bechtold
Technician

The Pontiacs look so amazingly good in those ads. It takes an incredible amount of skill to do what they did. The cars look more amazing in the ads than they do in real life which really shows the art of advertising at it's best.