You can't say that! Old car ad shockers part 5

By: Andy Enright, Photography by: Unique Cars archives

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Part four of our old car ad shockers

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We wind back the clock and trawl through more ads from years gone by. Some are great. Some are toe-curlingly awful but very few of them would work today.

 Morris -ital

A warmed over Marina, the Morris Ital was the inbred relative that ItalDesign would hide under the stairs. The ad was a maelstrom of weasel words too. It’s ‘been driven into a 100 ton concrete block at 30mph’ but no mention of results. It has ‘more welds per foot than most manufacturers demand’. Strangely there’s no mention of the Ital’s second gear synchro which had a wear rating somewhere between affogato and fairy floss.


Fiat -x 1-9

What strikes us here are not the similarities Fiat’s pert little X1/9 has with the other Italian mid-engined thoroughbreds. It’s the sad fact that where a mid-engined Ferrari once cost about double the annual guy’s salary, now a 488GTB will account for five or six years’ wages. If Fiat’s latest roadster, the 124 Spider, was priced in the same proportion as the X1/9 was to the 308 GTB, it’d retail at $78k rather than $42k it takes to get your name on the rego. Ouch.



We don't tend to think of a Lancia Beta as a good investment. They rusted, they weren’t particularly pretty and they were built with all the care of a Happy Meal toy. Keen to verify Lancia’s claim that the Beta is built to last, we consulted the excellent and turned up precisely zero Beta 1800s still on the road, with one registered as unlicensed. If we’re charitable, this ad is wishful thinking. At worst, complete bullshit.


Triumph -dolomite

At the other end of the truthfulness continuum is this ad for the Triumph Dolomite. If you stared at a Dolomite long enough you actually could see it rusting away. And before too long – maybe a week or two if left outside in typical British conditions – all that would be left would be a nostalgic scorch mark of a wiring loom fire


| Part one: old ad shockers

Part two: old ad shockers

| Part three: old ad shockers

| Part four: old ad shockers


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