How’s this for a fascinating discovery? Earl Scheib’s grandson Don Scheib is apparently having someone convert old 16mm films of Earl’s classic TV commercials to online digital formats for easy viewing by anyone! But these early commercials which made Earl Scheib so famous are not on YouTube. So I’ve provided the links below . . .
My own observations:
- I had only previously seen two Earl Scheib commercials on YouTube; one from 1977-78, and one from 1986. So when I saw these newly-released ads from the early ’60s, I immediately noticed that Earl looked a lot younger and seemed more friendly and personable than in later years. His voice is less gravelly, and he is articulate and believable. I can see why he was so successful. According to Wikipedia, Earl Scheib was born in 1908 in San Francisco. He worked at a gas station after graduating high school. For someone from a working-class background who never went to college, he certainly is well-spoken and obviously very intelligent.
- Earl is a master at marketing. He uses a lot of glorious and scientific-sounding adjectives and gimmicks and makes it all sound so rational and fair and desirable. Thus we have “Miracle Silicone Diamond-Gloss Paint” (available in 3000 colors) which “sparkles” (as verified by a gloss meter) and has “the hardness, lustre and brilliance of a diamond” and needs no waxing for three years; the automatic “Esta-Meter” which, when rolled across an area of car body damage gives an exact estimate of the cost of repairs (“It takes only ten seconds to know the truth!”) Earl Scheib makes his own masking tape, “Enough to reach to the moon”. He’s painted over 3 million cars. Finished cars are dried in a “Giant Infra-Red Bake Oven”. All this for only $29.95–no Ups and no Extras. How does Earl do it?
- You get to see a lot of Curbside Classics from the 1950s and early ’60s in these commercials, getting painted and then showing off their sparkly-new paint jobs.
- The ads were produced by Elliot, Unger, and Elliot in New York City. One of the voiceovers sounds like Cousin Brucie, but I’m not sure that it’s him.
After Earl’s death in 1992, his auto painting empire slowly collapsed. That’s what so often happens when the original creator of something passes away. Successors don’t have the same charisma and street-smarts and vision to continue something started by someone else. And if they do, it’s never quite the same. So, loved or reviled, Earl Scheib enters into the pantheon of American automotive men of renown.
(The first link is 7 minutes; the second is 33 minutes)