What Would Hefner Drive? Malaise Era Car Ads From the Pages of PlayboyS

The Baksheesh Table at the Detroit Irony 24 Hours of LeMons was fairly groaning under the weight of all the beer bribes— they love their beer in Michigan— but one team mixed it up with a December 1977 Playboy

Thanks to the Corsa Nostra Alfa GTV team (who hail from Chicago and thus understand that justice ain't free), the LeMons Supreme Court was able to spend many hours flipping through a Malaise Time Warp.

What Would Hefner Drive? Malaise Era Car Ads From the Pages of PlayboyS

The centerford was Miss Ashley Cox, who looked surprisingly un-Malaisey despite the disco-ish hair and makeup. But hell, we have the internet force-feeding endless images of nekkid wimmins directly into our pineal glands these days, and we got Photoshop and quasi-believable dirigiblesque fake boobs to boot, so old-school centerfolds are sort of a snore. We want to see the car ads!

What Would Hefner Drive? Malaise Era Car Ads From the Pages of PlayboyS

Most of the ads in the December '77 issue were right out of the pipe-and-smoking-jacket Hugh Hefner ethos: booze, audio gear, and cars. The question is, which car would a true player have chosen back then? Perhaps a new '78 TR7?

What Would Hefner Drive? Malaise Era Car Ads From the Pages of PlayboyS

Like Ashley Cox, the Scirocco's lines hold up pretty well today. Just don't look too closely at the engine-power numbers.

What Would Hefner Drive? Malaise Era Car Ads From the Pages of PlayboyS

Back in '77, brutal inflation numbers meant that you had to save your pennies for Quaaludes and Acapulco Gold, rather than squandering them on go-go juice for your Delta 88. That's why the smart car buyers boogied down to their local Mazda dealership for a brand-new GLC (which became the 323 a few years later).

What Would Hefner Drive? Malaise Era Car Ads From the Pages of PlayboyS

Playboy included a Holiday Gift Guide in its December issue, and what better gift for your special lady than a shiny new Renault Le Car?

What Would Hefner Drive? Malaise Era Car Ads From the Pages of PlayboyS

The question for us now is, obviously, which of these fine automobiles would you buy, were you time-machined back to 1977? For me, it's got to be the Lancia Coupe, though the Plymouth Arrow GT comes in a close second. Hey, let's have a poll!



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