Vroom Vroom: Vintage Sports Car Ads from the Past

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2016 by

Vintage Sports Car Ads Feature BannerThe golden age of sports cars is deep in the rear view mirror now, which makes it a perfect subject for the 25th edition of the Vintage Ads Series. Muscle cars, sports cars targeted for families, and the rare ads pushing women to own their own fast car all make an appearance this month.

As always, we want to know what you think. Leave a comment telling us which ad you like best, or dislike most, and stay tuned for next month’s edition of the Vintage Ads Series.

In case you’ve missed any of the previous entries, have a look back and see what we’ve featured so far.

Vintage Beer Ads                                    Vintage Car Ads
Vintage Cigarette Ads                          Vintage Fast Food Ads
Vintage Candy Ads                                Vintage Lingerie Ads
Vintage Horror Movie Posters           Vintage Shaving Ads
Vintage Christmas Ads                         Vintage Winter Ads
Vintage Valentine’s Day Ads              Vintage Vacation Ads
Vintage Medicine Ads                          Vintage Liquor Ads
Vintage Baseball Themed Ads          Vintage Soda Pop Ads
A Vintage Look at the CFL                  Vintage CNE Ads
Vintage Halloween Ads                       Vintage Moustache Ads
Vintage Merry Christmas Ads           Vintage Video Game Ads
Vintage Valentine’s Day Ads II          Vintage Computer Ads 

American Motors

Not the biggest name in cars, American Motors still wanted to compete in the crowded sports car market, and the 1970 AMX came in at the right price point to do it. With a V8 engine and all the high performance and luxury accessories you’d want, there’s no doubt that American Motors took their best shot.


“We realize that, for some of you, driving and automobile is about as exhilarating as riding an escalator. That’s sad.”

I love that writing, the ’77 Camaro is automatically positioned as what’s exciting about driving, even before we get to the rest of the copy.


Datsun may not come to mind right away when you’re thinking about sports cars, but they were in the market with the Z-car and all of it’s sports car qualities. We aren’t exactly sure what year this ad is from, but the 240-Z last year in production was 1978.


Before there was native advertising, there were car ads like this one from Dodge. Yes, the photo takes up 2/3’s of the ad, but with 3 columns of tightly written copy, there’s no doubt that the story is important to the overall advertisement. Fast forward 40 years and the image is smaller, and the copy is longer, but the similarities are there.


Finally, a sports car ad targeted to women, it’s almost as if Ford is the only brand that recognized that women might actually want to drive a fast car. The line about the diary doesn’t need to be there, really, but otherwise it’s nice to see a woman in the ad as a potential driver and not just a passenger.


A long standing tradition in advertising is the product comparison, and Jaguar did it well here. Versus the Porsche 911E and Mercedes-Benz 280SL, it looks like the Jag XKE comes out on top, and so does Britain.

British Leyland

Buried in the bottom corner we see what little specs British Leyland wants to share about the MGB. But, front and centre is the woman that they want you to think about along with the car.

The “your mother wouldn’t like it.” line could be about her, or the car, it’s hard to say.


A 318 V-8 sounds like muscle, not school morning carpools, but the Plymouth Satellite seems to be ready for both. With room for 6 and power to spare, there’s nothing Plymouth wants you to think you can’t do in this car!


“It could only be one car”, with just one line Porsche has separated itself from the competition.

The 911 lost in its comparison to the Jaguar, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a classic. Even with a 6 cylinder engine, the Porsche competes with the American muscle that once ruled the road.

Triumph Motor Company

Lastly, but only alphabetically, Triumph rounds out our list. Like the Dodge ad above, the 3 columns of copy are a precursor to the long copy native ads we see today, but still had the vintage elements of days gone by.  Plus, a red sports car will always catch our eye.


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About Joshua Murray

Fuelled by ideas, opportunity and coffee, Joshua attacks the social media landscape every day with a purpose. His experience in retail, customer service and public relations have combined to give him a 360 degree view of social media for brands and he is committed to helping all of his clients leverage their voice in the social sphere.