Nobody really ever expects an advertisement to tell them the whole truth, whether it's for laundry detergent or criminal defense attorneys. When it comes to 1980s car ads though, a new dynamic comes in to play.
That dynamic, specifically, was words like "dynamic." The early part of the 1980s was filled with cars that were a bit weak, especially compared with today's hairy-chested monsters. The emissions regulations and fuel price spikes of the 1970s were still affecting engines, but people were getting tired of the same old excuses. Faced with this dilemma, manufacturer marketing departments had to get a bit innovative.
The strategy they devised wasn't to lie, exactly, as that would be crass and horrid. The idea they came up with instead was to simply yell specifications in an impressive manner and then pray to the Mad Men in the sky that they would stick with the car-buying public.
We saw that last week with the 1984 Chevrolet Corvette, when the announcer touted the car's four, yes count 'em one two three four speakers, plus the fact that it even came with wheels and tires standard. Fiat was in even worse shape, though, with it X1/9. Its anemic engine wasn't evan a V8, and it's not like you could celebrate its reliability with the infamous "Fix It Again, Tony" moniker.