You can't say that! Old car ads part 3

By: Andy Enright, Photography by: Unique Cars archives

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Part three 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.

Ford -cortina

If you can read this copy without wincing, you might just be the last unreconstructed bastion of Cortina target market. It’s fair to say that things have progressed a bit since this 1969 ad that ran in South Africa. So next time somebody tells you how things were always a lot better in the old days, show them this.



File this one under ‘Me and My Greatest Error of Judgment’. Imagine emerging smugly from a Volvo dealership having paid $4000 for the admittedly handsome P1800, rather than sinking another few grand into a depreciation disaster like a Mercedes 300SL convertible, a Ferrari 330, an Aston DB4 or a BMW 507. Your whole life would be a recurring Cliff Chambers ‘Gotaways’ nightmare of regret.


Ford -escort -mexico

FORD seemed to be trying to corner the market in sex pests/magician’s assistants/swing bowlers with this ad for the Escort Mexico. It’s charmingly of its time and the car is enough to have us a bit weak at the knees, but we like to think Mexico owners wore polyester rally jackets and fast shoes rather than looking as if their other vehicle was a Transit with ‘Free Candy’ written down the side.


Gay -catching -todays -mood

Here's another one that probably wouldn’t scan so well today, although there’s a delightful old-school innocence about this. Minis were a bit of a gay icon, a poster car for the happy-go-lucky generation who just wanted a big smile behind the wheel and who didn’t know when to say no to wickerwork luggage.

| Part one: old ad shockers

Part two: old ad shockers


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