Nothing Says America Like A French Skier

American iconography is simple. A few fields of grain, a flag, maybe a bald eagle. How about a Camaro? Sure. And a pickup truck? Why not. And French alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy? I'm not so sure about that last one.

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Chevrolet, to its credit, was advertising some of its hotter offerings for 1969, and bizarrely anti-French sentiment wasn't wholly sweeping the nation yet. Many of those offerings were available by tacking on some go-faster goodies to existing products, like the Custom Sport Truck, which now would be call the CST-5000 because that is just how things are named nowadays. The bucket seats and floor-mounted manual transmission might be a bit "meh" nowadays, but the 396 V8 engine did come with 375 ponies under the hood, so there's that.

Or you could get the Camaro, which came with plenty of stuff but here they seem to want to advertise the fact that it has brakes. Yay brakes! I think. And who doesn't love those? Not Jean-Claude Killy, that's for sure.

Also, the only thing in life, really the only thing, that he enjoys in life, is to drive a Chevrolet. Yep. That's about it. I guess skiing is nothing but a job to some people.

I really have no idea what he's doing in this ad.

DISCUSSION

stevegravelle
stevegravelle

Uh, you might want to ask someone who was there. I was, albeit a decade or so from potential car-buying age. But for about 6 months to a year after the '68 Olympics, Killy was HUGE. The Winter Olympics then was kind of a thing in an era when you didn't have TV sporting events 24/7/365. Actually having any form of sports event on TV on a weeknight was pretty sensational, so for about 2 weeks people actually followed luge, hockey, bobsled, and skiing (this was before women's figureskating became a network obsession). And Killy kicked ass that year. He even got profiled by Hunter Thompson afterward - that essay is worth looking up.