Vintage Magazine Ads: April 1964 Car and Driver – With Full Color 1964 GTO Insert

CD April 1964 001 900

I’ve been enjoying Yohai’s 1980s vintage Road and Track ads, and I have a few old magazines, so let’s turn the time machine back to April 1964, and see a parade of almost all of the most interesting sports cars and sporty sedans advertised. Frankly, the content of this issue is a bit lack-luster anyway, as the VW 1500 isn’t all that exciting of a subject to cover with two articles. And they hated the new Rambler American’s handling. But maybe I’ll do them later….scanning takes quite a bit of time on my old machine, and as you can see, it’s got streaks in it. Time for an upgrade. Anyway, the multi-page GTO insert is more compelling than the VW by a long shot.

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The Porsche 356 was near the end of its long road, with the last update which included four wheel disc brakes.

I sat in one the other day, and I felt soooo at home. To bad they’ve doubled in price in jst the last three years or so.

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The new BMW. Here’s where the legend started. And with optional equipment to make up to 170 hp. I didn’t know that was available over the counter.  I found one of these in Portland, and my CC is here.

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There were several camera ads, including this one for the Honewell Pentax, which was of course the Japanese camera but then distributed in the US by Honeywell. A little detail I just learned: the word “Pentax” was originally a registered trademark by the German firm Zeiss-Ikon, but all German patents and trademarks were dissolved with their loss of the war (I didn’t know that either). So the Japanese firm of Asahi Opticals started using it in 1957.


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Oldsmobile really needed a new ad agency in 1964. This, one of a series of similar ones, is very weak. Compare it to the GTO insert a bit later. No comparison.


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Celebrity endorsements are old business.


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I’d come back glassy-eyed too…


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The only sexy ad is this one by an accessory seller.

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A very understated Corvette ad, which is all about the copy. Advertisement has changed quite a bit over the decades.


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Not very creative. Don Draper wouldn’t have approved it.


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Sony was the hot brand for electronics already.


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The Pirelli Cinturato was the other (non-Michelin) radial tire, with fabric belts instead of steel ones. What’s interesting is that they never use the word “radial”.


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Here it is, the highlight of the ads. Pontiac’s GTO was the big story of 1964, and its brilliant advertising was one of the keys to its success.

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Who wouldn’t want the tri-power, if just for the looks alone?


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An understated ad, but the XK-E looked great no mater what the setting, even with stripes from my scanner (yes, I cleaned the glass plate).


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I so wanted this for my VW 1200, but couldn’t afford it.


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Clever ad, as usual, but by 1964, the Ghia was in desperate need for more power. It was the last year for the 40 hp (34 net) 1200 engine, and it was not very sporty in its actual performance by this time. Especially since it cost about the same as the new Mustang that was coming out just shortly after this magazine hit the news stands.


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The Judson supercharger was popular with VW and MG owners. 50% more power, and 50% less engine life, or even less. These engines, especially the VW, were prone to overheating with too much boost and a big jump in power. Use sparingly….


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This was a low point for Fiat, until the new 124 range came on line. The 1200 was exceedingly rare in the US, as it competed with the beetle. The 600 was more common, for folks who couldn’t afford a Beetle. The 1500 was also rare.


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Saab rubs it in Ford’s nose.


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And the very next ad is by Ford, on the same subject. Given tat Ford was fairly new at this game, they could be forgiven to losing to the little Saab; 4.7 liters, to 1 liter.


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Not one of Peugeot’s better ads, but it does make a point. The bumpers and trim always stayed shiny on these, even if the body rusted in salt country.


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John Fitch was the premier Corvair tuner, and sold his own version, the Fitch Sprint.


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I only scanned one page of the classifieds. They’re not that compelling, as most of the cars are late models


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Who could predict in 1964 that a Japanese roadster would become the dominant car in its field? Or practically the only one?


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And on the back cover there’s this rather spirited ad for the Spitfire. 0-50 in 12 seconds…sassy indeed.