Why The Volkswagen Beetle Beats The DeLorean For Spy Duty

Man, I feel like I missed an obvious Classic Ad Watch choice last weekend, and I'm here to apologize for that.

Last weekend was St. Patrick's Day, where we celebrate all things Irish. So what I should have done was posted a car commercial that honors my people's greatest contribution to the modern world (you know, besides boozehounding, self-loathing, police brutality and enterprise corruption): the DMC-12 DeLorean. What was I thinking?


Kidding! The DeLorean was clearly not Ireland's greatest contribution to the world. But while tons of cars have been built in Ireland by various manufacturers over the years, the DeLorean remains one of the most famous.

The problem is that when you really get down to it, the DeLorean wasn't good for much. It looked amazing, but it was underpowered, unreliable, tricky to park thanks to its gullwing doors, and it was also kind of a disaster for the Irish government. Were it not for Back to the Future, it would be about as fondly remembered as the Bricklin.

You know what else it was bad at? Being a spy car.

This Spanish-language Volkswagen ad from the early 1980s shows us why. Our hapless James Bond lookalike needs a getaway car, but he has to deal with the DeLorean's refusal to start and litany of useless gadgets (some of which remind us of The Spy Who Loved Me's Lotus Esprit, which is funny considering the similarities in those cars. Probably why they picked it.)


So what does Mr. Generic Spy do? He ditches the DMC-12 for a Beetle. It may not be flashy, but it gets the job done.

I wish I knew more about this ad, like when it aired or what country it's from. If you know, sound off in the comments.

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