Long before Chrysler launched its Detroit-gasmic advertising campaign for the 200 earlier this year, Bay area Cadillac dealers pointed out their 1985 models were "imported" from the Motor City while making fun of the German competition in this vintage ad.


As this Cadillac advertisement from 1985 reminds us ridiculous car advertisements are not the sole territory of car manufacturers, sometimes car dealers get in on the fun. In this advertisement, made by the Bay Area Cadillac dealers, we are introduced to "Otto Matic" who works at "Foreign Motor Autos". Otto unknowingly outlines, in a bad German accent, why the 1985 Cadillac is superior to the German models.

This advertisement takes aim at the German competition pointing out some good and bad features of both the Cadillac and the competition. Redesigned for 1985, Cadillacs that year were front wheel drive and significantly smaller than the previous models. They featured small V8 engines and automatic door locks unlike their German competition. Sold yet? Neither are we.

Perhaps the best thing about this unloved generation of Cadillacs was the fact they were indeed "imported from Detroit". Parts were not flown in from Europe, maintenance likely was more convenient due to a larger dealer network and the cars were cheap enough to drive Otto out of his chair. Although this advertisement makes some good points, if we had been faced with buying a luxury car in 1985 we would have gone to see Otto.

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