We've been running the Classic Ad Watch series for years now, and we've seen some pretty entertaining car commercials along the way. Since the Fourth of July week is all about the frenzy of consumption that is the American Dream, we'll be taking a look back at some of our most beloved ads from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Best of all, we're letting you vote on which is your favorite from each decade! First up is that most beloved decade of the Baby Boomers, who will ensure that the rest of us get to hear "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" an average of 5.5 times per day for the rest of our lives: the 1960s! Make the jump to check out and vote on the ads, featuring stars such as Abe Vigoda and Petula Clark hawking the products of Detroit, Wolfsburg, Longbridge, Kenosha, and Göteborg.
Emerging from an an eruption of foam rocks and dry-ice smoke, the '67 Camaro SS 350 roared out of the cheapest special-effects house in Hollywood and into our hearts, and no convenience-store parking lot would remain burnout-free, ever again! This ad demonstrates the Camaro's often-overlooked off-road capabilities.
Car buyers around the British Commonwealth were tired of those damn sliding side windows on the otherwise-luxurious Mini, so BMC decided to spend a few pence on crank-operated glass. In this ad, we learn that bikini'd Aussie babes "like it going up and down." Wink, wink!
The kids back in '69 wanted fast cars and rock-n-roll, and those who weren't schlepping M16s in the Iron Triangle could get both with the GTO Judge. We totally dig the grooo-oovy Paul Revere and the Raiders in American Revolution garb.
AMC was all about cheap- wait, we mean economical- and Abe Vigoda was proud to point out the ways in which the '67 Rebel packed standard features not found in such extravagant machines as the Ford Fairlane and Chevy Chevelle. Coil spring rear seat!
This informercial-length epic shows how the longer, wider, taller '66 Lincoln Continental served as a patriotic statement, with Commies pointing out its features. Why, even the People's Commissar feels compelled to mount dual machine-guns in the truck, in case of attack by rival Politburo factions.
Not to be outdone by the all-out rockin' in the Judge ad, Ford put together an even more wholesome band for their ad for the special-edition '69 Mustangs. Could you imagine anyone in this ad sucking on a big doobie packed with stems and seeds, or catching scabies in a commune's beanbag chair?
The Goat gets a couple of ads in our Top Ten, because it's impossible not to love the sight of lab-coated scientists bashing the snout of a car with a sledgehammer while their peers howl with bloodlust. Too bad the paint always flaked off those Enduraflex bumpers after a few years.
Sideburns! Petula Clark! Purple microdots! We're betting the last ingredient was sadly absent from the set when they filmed this ad, which features the '68 Fury as a musical instrument.
Is "luxury" the first word that pops into your head when you think of the Volvo Amazon of the 1960s? Of course! We've got a sexy Amazon driver with a breathy voice and bizarre enunciation 'splaining the whole thing for us... in Swedish.
The Volkswagen bus of the early 60s was only 6" longer than the Beetle (and powered by the same lawnmower-esque engine), but just watch how it inhales huge stacks of boxes, crowds of impatient German commuters, and painting equipment! As long as it doesn't have to climb any hills with those loads, it's all gut! This one's got some of the finest animation we've ever seen in a car ad.