Vintage Ads: Motor Trend’s 1967 New Car Issue – Ads Galore!

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Not only was the November 1966 issue of Motor Trend thick with information on the new 1967 domestic cars, it was also loaded with ads.  At the time, there was no more effective method for marketers to reach an audience of car enthusiasts than a buff book.  The results provide some great advertising eye-candy for us today.

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Pontiac had excellent placement on the inside front cover of the issue, with a 3-page gatefold that ran behind the fold-out cover.  For easier readability, I’ve included a larger scan of the bottom part below:

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I love the fact that you could send away a quarter to Pontiac Headquarters on Wide-Track Boulevard in Pontiac, Michigan and receive wall pictures, specs and stickers.  Great marketing to teenagers (and older) dreaming about cool cars.  Pontiac was a master at building customer affinity in the 1960s!

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For a Muscle Car ad, this one sure was boring…

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Renault’s reputation had been badly damaged by subpar products and dealers, so advertising tried to confront the issue head-on.  It was an early example of “apology” marketing.  Then, as now, this approach typically doesn’t work very well…

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An early version of “That’s not a Buick” advertising…

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The Camaro marketing emphasis was in full swing for 1967, with this nice 4-page ad unit.

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Coca-Cola was a major advertiser in Motor Trend in the mid-1960s, and their iconic advertising sure made you want a Coke.  When I was a kid, having a Coke was a major treat: very rare at home, but a little more prevalent at my grandmother’s.  Always served over ice too–just regular frozen water, not frozen Coke, though I bet those Coca-Cola cubes were tasty.  I have to admit I still love occasionally indulging in a Coke (never Diet!), and yes, still poured over ice!

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Given how small, logical imports were making some noticeable inroads into the U.S. market in 1967, it’s surprising that the Cortina was not more successful.  It certainly was practical–a 20 cubic foot trunk on a car this size was pretty amazing.  American Ford dealers must have been too busy moving Mustangs to bother with the baby British Ford.

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The standard Motor Trend annual subscription cost $5.00, which would equate to $37.00 today, while the additional “gift subscription” was $4.00 ($30.00 adjusted).  Today, you can get a year of the Motor Trend print edition for $10.00, while a year of digital costs $14.99.  Shows how much the world has changed!

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Years before WeatherTech floor mats became popular, Ford was busy hawking their carpet savers.  Nice business for dealers, and one of the classic ways to close a sale: “take this beauty home today, and I’ll throw in the floor mats for free!”