"Datsun is going to pick you up". Thanks to the upbeat singers it sounded like a good thing, but no one in this commercial seems too pleased about being "picked up" against their will. Thanks to the magic of advertising that all changed once they were placed in the bed of one Datsun's compact pickup trucks.
Although it wouldn't take much to talk us into purchasing either of these full-size SUVs, back in 1981 when they were new Chevrolet made this dealer promo video to illustrate the minute differences between their Blazer and the Ford Bronco.
You don't always have to look tough to be tough, at least that is what it seemed Dodge was attempting to illustrate in this vintage promotional video for the Mitsubishi built 1981 Dodge Ram 50.
What do you do when the trusty 5 cylinder diesel in your 1981 Mercedes 300TD finally requires a replacement? While most people would probably find another Mercedes diesel and enjoy several hundred thousand more miles of relatively trouble free driving, the builder of this unique Benz had an entirely different idea.
Several years before the 4runner was introduced to the world an odd collaboration between Toyota and Winnebago produced a little known compact SUV conversion called the Trekker.
The 1981 Buick Regal and figure skaters (specifically Icecapades star Charlie Tigner) had a lot in common, at least that was the premise of this strange vintage advertisement.
We aren't sure there is such a thing as a normal AMC Eagle, but we feel safe saying other models of the 4x4 car were a lot less strange than this Sundancer convertible model. These convertible Eagles were offered through AMC dealers as an expensive coach built option for only two years. The Eagle's notoriously rust…
If you had other ideas when "they" told you to go into medicine, the strikingly new 1981 Monte Carlo was the car for you. Chevrolet built it for people that were so proud of who they were it could only be expressed through drum solos and Monte Carlo ownership.
Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. I think I've seen a total of two Stradas during the last 20 years, both in Alameda.
You know you're in the Malaise Era when the best quarter-mile times for the wildest street cars money can buy are barely into the 14s. But still, who doesn't want an '81 Aston Martin Volante or BMW M1?
After a few years of double-digit annual inflation in the late 1970s, Americans had become accustomed to Malaise Era interest rates. That's why Mercury's offer of a mere 12 percent APR sounded pretty good.
Yes, what could be more American than a Volkswagen-engined Plymouth based on a Simca design? Actually, big spenders could get the '81 Horizon with Chrysler's new 2.2 engine, which upped the American-ness to some extent.
Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. How much power does a car really need?
When you're 21 years old and you've already owned a Yugo, a Fiat Spider, and numerous air-cooled Volkswagens, what's the next logical step? Hey, those cars were PCH gateway drugs!
More than any car we've seen, the Mustang has always been marketed as a product that can transform its owner's entire life. A Mustang buyer becomes somebody different, according to Ford.
Was the Renault Le Car (aka Renault 5) really the best-selling front-wheel-drive car in the world in 1981? From the country that brought us the bullet train, here comes the Le Car!
Though the cars themselves must cost less than $500, the cost of the required safety equipment pushes the build cost of a typical LeMons car well above two grand. That stuff is worth every penny!
Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Today we've got Exhibit A in the Datsun/Nissan Rebranding Story.