Pennsylvania-based TV producer and American Motors history expert Joe Ligo knows more about the extinct/now part of FCA (if that’s how you prefer to think about it) Kenosha-headquartered car company than anyone I know. That’s why it should be no surprise that he somehow made a string of old AMC commercials much more interesting by providing cool historical context.
I have tremendous respect for people like Ligo. He devotes much of his time interviewing former AMC employees, digitizing old marketing documents, downloading amazing footage from old laserdiscs, and sharing his findings with the world.
AMC wasn’t exactly a mainstream car company even in its heyday, and now that it’s gone, it’s a relatively small blip on most Americans’ radars. Still, it was an amazing company, and I’m happy people like Joe Ligo are working to preserve its legacy.
This video the historian uploaded late last month is much more than a typical “Hey look at these old commercials!” mashup. It includes the fun (and often corny) marketing visuals, but also Ligo’s commentary, which provides great historical context. Ligo discusses the actors in the commercials, he mentions how he learned in an interview with former AMC CEO Joe Cappy that—it turns out—riding a buffalo isn’t particularly comfortable, he talks about why AMC featured a Mercedes in an Eagle commercial, he talks about how Dodge prioritized its Dakota and brought an early end to the Comanche, and much, much more.
It’s basically a 20 minute video of an AMC nerd (I say this as a compliment!) driving an old AMC Ambassador, talking about old AMC commercials. It’s the most geeky, Jalopnik-y thing I can even imagine, which is why I had no choice but to share it.