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Oil Crisis-era Car Ads December 6, 2008

Filed under: Energy Ineffiency,Gasoline — bferrari @ 4:36 pm

By Bob Ferrari

So you are trying to figure out just “what went wrong”, with the US Auto industry? To answer this question, we’ll need to travel back to the Oil Crisis of 1973… from there, we will let a long forgotten hit song and some old auto advertisements answer this question.

What was big back in 1973? Well there was this hit song by Dickie Goodman, Energy Crisis ’74 , which was a munging of a an interview where the dialogue consisted of snippets of hit songs and movie soundtrack snippets from that same year. It was very similar to another 45 hit record, Mr. Jaws.

Want to know what else was big? American cars, the bigger the better. While Europe and the rest of the world downsized many years earlier from small to tiny to microcars, the American automobile shrunk from the aircraft carrier 1959 Cadillac down to the battleship 1973 Ford Tornino.

You get the picture, the American car remained large and lumbering, more like riding a shopping carriage on a roadway made of water beds with the handling capabilities of a municipal stadium.

In this same vein and under the current penumbra of the big Three US automakers begging for a piece of the Big Bailout of 2008 while each of these executives flew to the big begfest in their own corporate jets, we take you back to the myopic 1973. To see with your own eyes the opening act of the end of the big American automobile.

10 MPG American automobiles

10 MPG American automobiles

Enter the Gas sipping Japanese import

Enter the Gas sipping Japanese import

Another gas hog

Another gas hog

Watch these automobile ads at the link below. The rest of the world “got it”, but apparently Detroit didn’t, back in ’73.., ’83..,’93…, or even 2003. 2008..hey they get it now!:


One Response to “Oil Crisis-era Car Ads”

  1. Josh Maxwell Says:

    Nice writing style. I look forward to reading more in the future.

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