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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The 20 best car ads of all time | Hagerty Media

If a car maker wants to advertise its shiny new car, more often than not it'll turn to the internet to create a viral video to get people talking. But things used to be so much simpler-and cleverer.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/the-20-best-car-ads-of-all-time/
136 REPLIES 136
64jeepsrt
Intermediate Driver

Yeah... the lemons make their mouths pucker so their wooden dentures will fit... LOL
Eniram12
New Driver

You forgot the next best ad to Volkswagen - JORDAN. "Somewhere west of Laramie"
plank
Pit Crew

It is a little disconcerting that the writer couldn't include at least one ad for a U.S. manufactured vehicle. Having an ad agency background I know of the millions of dollars spent and ideas springing from unbelievably creative AMERICAN minds to create some of the most impactful ads in automotive history. The writer is either too young to remember or has some kind of European snob bias. "See the USA in your Chevrolet" sold thousands of cars. Want more?
win59
Detailer

It is even more disconcerting that so many commenters can't read - or comprehend?? - the opening paragraph of this article clearly stating that this is a collection of ads from Europe and inviting us to enjoy them.......!!!
Sheeesh.
MWL
Pit Crew

I actually had framed an ad for the NA Miata that simply said, "Beware of Expensive Imitations."
HASCpres2019
Intermediate Driver

I still have a collection of car ads I've accumulated over the years, ranging from 1911 (I found a trove of old farm magazines) into the late sixties. The classic Beetle ads are still my favorites. One line that I still use while taking someone for a drive in my 5 speed Jeep TJ is "After a while it becomes automatic" !
OMPguy
Pit Crew

The Rolls Royce ad is truly a classic, but I also like the one that says, "Shouldn't your second car be a Rolls Royce?" It discusses build quality and resale value retention in the Seventies.
Storminwgfp
New Driver

Same old garbage from Hagerty! Not one American car company ad, not one! I have no idea why Hagerty hates America so much. WTF?
KK
New Driver

Ok...then what ad in the US do you think is the most creative?
Padgett
Intermediate Driver

Been a Whole Bunch from "Somewhere" to "Ask the man who owns one", "Standard of the world", and my favorite:advt.jpg

 

 

fotogmike
Intermediate Driver

Read the introduction. This originally appeared in Hagerty U.K.
RJ
Intermediate Driver

Nice to see the Volvo 745T, but my favorite Volvo ad was the 1800E with a couple of white-coated engineers - "We removed the carbs to make it faster" - introducing the D-Jetronic F.I.
Air_and_Water
Detailer

If memory serves it was "It goes faster without the carburetors" and there was a photo that included technicians holding a pair of carbs, implying they took them off. You're right, it was a great ad! 🙂
Tim
Instructor

Wow, you can tell who the C students were in school. Those that didn't read the assignment and wondered why they didn't get a better grade. All the complaints about "no American ads". 😆
jlynn
New Driver

The red apple, the key, the Alfa Romeo key fob...Not only the best car ad of all time, but one of the best ads for any product, Period. You guys really swung and missed on this one. Better stick to insurance.
930Flachbau
Intermediate Driver

Not one ad from the 80's and 90's from Porsche? Are you serious? How about the famous Porsche 911 Turbo going airborne...."One ride and you'll understand why most rocket scientists are German." It was on "Seinfeld" for Pete's sake.
ROBBO99
Intermediate Driver

My all time fav was young boy sitting in a porsche thinking about his future
OMPguy
Pit Crew

Another favorite: A full-page ad in newspapers following a lunar landing, showing the Lunar Rover. The headline simply said, "It's ugly, but it gets you there." No text, just the VW logo.
OMPguy
Pit Crew
Biff1
Pit Crew

The problem with any “greatest of all time” article is the number of “whataboutism” in the comments. I enjoyed seeing the old ads. My new policy is to avoid the comments area of any article like this, so, HaHa, this is my last comment about comments. Seriously, some of you guys would complain about a $1,000 bill you found on the sidewalk because you had to make change and it was hard.
MoparMarq
Detailer

All I could get back was $100 bills, gosh-darn-it!
JimBob49
New Driver

My list would include the 1968 Pontiac GTO at a turn around on Woodward Ave...
KK
New Driver

One of my favorites - The AMC Pacer French ad. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/257268197436476063/

Microbob_1984
New Driver

My favorite wasn't on the list for one simple reason: it wasn't really a car ad. It was a parody of the VW ads that appeared in the National Lampoon magazine. Copying the VW ad typeface, with a black and white picture of a VW Beetle floating in the water, the caption read: "If Ted Kennedy drove a Volkswagen, he'd be President today!" This is, of course, a reference to the late U.S. Senator Edward Moore Kennedy's plunge off of the Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in a car containing Mary Jo Kopechne on Friday, 18 July, 1969, in his mother's Oldsmobile Delta 88. The parody caused such an uproar that VW sued the Lampoon (The case was settled out of court).
rolandmgb
New Driver

This was so fun...all great! Imma old guy, but gotta add one of my favs: Playboy Magazine... don't got a pix, but a Yellow Hemi 'Cuda convertible. White interior. Top down. Sitting in a matching field of Daisies. Caption: " It goes as fast as the law allows. If you want to got faster than the law allows, remember, Chrysler Corporation also makes cars for the law." Mic drop.
2112
Pit Crew

IrishRover
New Driver

Are you kidding me ? All TWENTY ads are for FOREIGN cars ? There was not an AMERICAN car from that print era that deserves to be on that list ? What about the Mustang ad from the late 60's "This one eats birds for breakfast". And the Hudson ads from the '50's hawking the "Fabulous Hudson Hornet 6". The Thunderbird ads, the Cadillac ads, "See the USA in your Chevrolet", Olds Toronado ads from the middle '60's. There must have been hundreds of Plymouth Fury ads in magazines. Detroit was BIG in those days. Go do your homework and come up with some for AMERICAN cars. I can't believe you didn't.
Ghtaboma
New Driver

I had six of these. By the last one, I could change out the engine by myself!
robtheintz
New Driver

As a beginning teenager in the mid 60s, I remember the best Volkswagon advertisement as a picture of a front fender and the cost of it. As I recollect, it was $17.99
TimK
Detailer

Two ads I really liked was the one for the Trans Am at the stop light that ate the foreign sports car in front of it when the light turned green. And the ad for on of the VWs they banned that was to show how tough the VW is by depicting a terrorist inside one in front of a sidewalk café. When he pushed the button the blast was contained within the VW.
MustangJim
Intermediate Driver

Thank you for this article. It was fun! I remembered some, but not most. Very enjoyable
grc810
Pit Crew

I'd like to see them run this topic on TV commercials. I can think of several great ones. It would be interesting to see if they came up with any I'm thinking of.
chrlsful
Instructor

@ the beginning of the Mini's sales I don't think that phrase was in use ("bigger") but only toward the end. I can remember when the same ppl used "Mine's smaller than yours" as a put down / personal aggrandizement. Telephones had just switched from analogue (bag phone) to digital and I kept loosing mine as it was TOO small (3 inch by 1 inch by 1/2 inch?). UTac Motorola flip was out then too. When was that anyway?
rrrrobbob
Pit Crew

Some of the most memorable ads were for the VW Bus.

"It's unusual to drive the vehicle you were conceived in."

"It belonged to a Trotskyist, Maoist, a Democrat and a Republican without ever changing owners."

rrrrobbob
Pit Crew

I remember seeing this commercial for the VW Golf and thinking it was absolutely magic, how their entire NIGHT DRIVING campaign captured the sublime connection between a driver and a machine ... and how that connection was magnified at night with less traffic and fewer distractions ... only the essence of man and machine. That's Richard Burton reading Dylan Thomas. Best ever.

https://www.adforum.com/creative-work/ad/player/6697638/night-driving/volkswagen
Bunka
Intermediate Driver

Fahrvergnügen
FlatheadsFoe
Intermediate Driver

OK, it is not a print ad, but here is really good commercial for an American vehicle!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_hjxfBhWzA
BB66Vett
Pit Crew

My favorite ad was the VW ad "Did you ever wonder what a snow plow driver drives to work?
FlatheadsFoe
Intermediate Driver

One more European car, but a clever ad!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqW9eBYKvzc
Rider79
Instructor

I see my 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco in the VW Polo ad!
02-orignal-ownr
Detailer

Too bad there aren't any classic American car ads in the list: Three I can propose, all from the teens, 20s and 30s:
Cadillac: Standard of the World--Cadillac used that phrase in its ads for over 3 years
Jordan Playboy: "Somewhere West of Laramie"--a classic ad--the first time a car ad sold image rather than the car's mechanicals
Duesenberg: "He (or she, depending on the magazine) drives a Duesenberg." No image of the car itself, just a fashionably dressed man or woman with a ritzy home in the background

Lots of other great ads since--think of the car ads during WW II that touted how Ford was building B24s, General Motors 6x6 trucks and Studebaker, Weasels, "to win the war."


02-orignal-ownr
Detailer

small correction: Cadillac used "Standard of the World" in their ads for over 30 years, not three.
Mikeintexas
Pit Crew

Some great ads. Volkswagen has so many in 60s and 70s from BB&D or BBD&O including "Think Small". My favorite was picture of VW micro bus with 8 Nuns getting inside. Only text was "Mass Transit". Another article for classic advertising might be for auto parts suppliers, however many of the best probably would not be politically correct today.
Mikeintexas
Pit Crew

Heard after RR Engineers saw the ad featured here that they fixed the clock.
HondaCollector
Pit Crew

Rather boring at best.
dreamingeagle
Intermediate Driver

always thought the Saab 900 Turbo ad with the Saab Viggen jet was far more superior to anything here;

so was the ‘Accept No Substitutes’ series;

the MG ads were lame as the Citroen ads because everybody knew French and British Leyland cars (yes, Jaguar, too) flat plain didn’t run well at all even when they did;

you completely ignored the brilliant series of Mercedes ads that featured their safety, a far more impressive ad series featuring real human families, not a Panda or walrus;
DUB6
Technician

   Hey folks, did anyone else notice?  This European Car Advert Article didn't include any American Cars?  But this European Car Advert Article ALSO didn't include any Japanese Cars, any Korean Cars, any Chinese Cars, any Australian Cars, any Indian Cars, any South African Cars, any Brazilian Cars - in fact, I believe that this European Car Advert Article didn't contain ANY cars except from Europe!  Can you believe it?  How come nobody is complaining about that, eh?  🤣

70amcpwr
New Driver

Did I miss something?? What county are we in?? AMC gremlin, like it or not it fought the beetle which no other brand could do at the time. "Hey toots, where's the rest of your car?"
rrrrobbob
Pit Crew

Going out on a limb a bit here but one of my favorite ads ever was for a hot Kawasaki bike.

Just a huge 2-page spread photo of a bike and rider leaning in a turn at speed, his knee a hair off the ground. Headline "Change of underwear not included."
rrrrobbob
Pit Crew

Another US ad, sadly for a car I can't quite recall, something hot, obviously.

Headline: "Raised by wolves."