Brochure Classics: The Ladies of Broughamville

1974 Cadillac-041974 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham

I got the car brochure bug very early in life. One reason was that I came from a family of gearheads, so it was partially due to genetics. At a very early age–kindergarten and first grade–my grandmother would take me to Razz-Ma-Tazz (a long defunct kiddie arcade) and then to the Lincoln-Mercury dealer to see the new cars. I always would get a brochure. To this day, I still have the 1985 Lincoln full-line brochure, 1986 Town Car and 1986 Mark VII brochures received on those long-ago visits; I would have been 5-6 years old at the time. So, my brochure love goes deep!

1975 Cadillac-051975 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham

Thanks to family friends who knew of my love of cars, on two separate occasions I got a large cache of old car brochures, which made my addiction to vintage car literature much more acute. And thus began a wild and amazing spending spree on eBay between 1999 and about 2002. And by that time, I was naturally a bit more interested in the lovely ladies featured in many of these 1970s brochures.

1978 Ford LTD-081978 Ford LTD Landau

You see, back then, car companies weren’t in love with stark backgrounds, bland colors and bland design. Whether a BMW, Ford or Nissan, you are likely to see a gray car in a gray background with only the suggestion of a driver’s head in the shadows. Lame!

1977 Chrysler Brochure-041977 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham

Who is running today’s advertising agencies? Why does everything look the same? And I don’t mean the cars themselves, I mean the brochure pictures and art. Recently I picked up a brochure for the Audi A5 coupe, a car I’ve always admired. After flipping through it and only seeing black or silver cars featured, I put it back in the rack. It might as well have been black and white, so bland were the colors. Only the amber parking lights and taillights had color!

1978 Buick Full Line Prestige-32-331978 Buick Electra Park Avenue

So it is always a pleasure to dive into my old car brochures and admire the wide color choices and upholstery styles of what once was. And the pretty ladies oft-seen in said brochures only add to the appeal.

1980 Lincoln Versailles-051979 Lincoln Versailles

Yes, you could get interior colors! And leather was leather then, not the poor facsimile seen on many modern motors! And color! Lovely, glorious color: maroon, blue, green, white, dove gray, saddle tan and red.

1979-continental-111979 Lincoln Town Coupé

Even aqua velour!! Are today’s cars better than ’70s luxury yachts? By and large, yes. Safer, longer-lived in most cases, more efficient in most every case. But man, those Broughamy land cruisers of the Me Decade sure were snazzy, were they not? And ladies were classier too–not a tattoo or nose ring in sight! And remember when people dressed up? In a world where folks wear jeans and T-shirts to weddings, I feel like a man without a country with my golf shirts, slacks and loafers. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade. I’m rambling…

1976 Chrysler-141976 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham

Ah well, I can always go back to the ’70s with my trove of brochures. All you can do, when the flux capacitor hasn’t yet been invented.

1974 Imperial-08-091974 Imperial LeBaron

And hey, maybe it’s for the best. As much as I love ’70s cars and ’70s TV shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show, I am not sure if I would have enjoyed the bellbottoms, Nehru jackets and other “with-it” ’70s pop items!

1973 Ford Thunderbird-05 amp 061973 Ford Thunderbird (with phone!)