By Heon Stevenson
This publication presents a accomplished historical past of yankee motor vehicle ads over a half-century span, starting with the entrenchment of the "Big Three" automakers through the melancholy and concluding with the gas crises of the Seventies and early Eighties. The good illustrated textual content follows a thematic instead of a strictly chronological constitution, tracing the primary parts in American motor vehicle ads. Advances regularly advertisements layouts and pics are mentioned partially One, including the ways that car styling, mechanical advancements, and comfort positive factors have been portrayed and highlighted in motor vehicle ads through the years. half explores the ads topics that have been involved much less with the attributes of the automobiles themselves than with shaping the best way shoppers might understand and determine with them. half 3 addresses advertisements orientated towards the sensible features of vehicle possession, concluding with an account of the development of imported autos into the United States after global warfare II. Illustrations contain greater than 250 car ads, the vast majority of that have no longer been visible in print considering that their unique booklet.
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Extra info for American Automobile Advertising, 1930-1980: An Illustrated History
The car and train were described as: ... the newest things on wheels.... One is a streamlined train, rolling up new records on the rails. One is a motor car ... rolling up new records on the roads. Common to both is a break with the past ... a new point-of-view towards travel. The accompanying artwork was tastefully stylized, exhibiting the car’s Art Deco design features to maximum effect. When an improved 1939 model was announced, the bridge analogy was reworked to reinforce the connection between styling, body engineering, and the wider parallels in contemporary industrial technology which characterized much automobile advertising of the period.
I was cycling along the main street of the town.... Suddenly I became aware of a car coming the other way. I think it was electric blue — it was certainly something out of the ordinary. I realized in that moment of encounter that I had seen something that put everything else in the shade. 23 The design was a unique amalgam of “European” functionalism and that quintessentially American obsession with the technically superfluous, but visually dramatic, design feature. It was not necessary, for adequate visibility, to use such a dramatic rear window, yet it was this feature above all others that captured the public imagination.
Lincoln, whose photographic illustrations were well composed but who had no overall theme for 1955, suffered similarly. Dullest of all in 1955 was Pontiac, whose lack of direction, not to mention dynamism, was painfully obvious. While many middle-market advertisers had adopted photography 20 P ART O NE : F UELING A F ANTASY Multiple illustrations were popular until the mid–1950s. Photographers were beginning to take over from artists by 1954 (April 1954). 1. I GNITING D ESIRE 21 Lincoln’s 1955 advertising was conﬁdent and eye-catching, but otherwise lacked a consistent theme.
American Automobile Advertising, 1930-1980: An Illustrated History by Heon Stevenson