Actually, you’re looking at a blatant manipulation of the Taurus to make it look wider than it really is. And no, it’s not that the whole ad somehow got widened in scanning or such; the print font and the Ford logo are all perfectly right-sized.
In case you’re not convinced, here’s what it really looks like:
Personally, I think Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman did it much better! 🙂
I thought about citing the Art Fitzpatrick and Van Kaufman ads in the recent thread about the Studebaker Starliner. They were very elegant looking. Apparently, AF/VK did artwork for other makes too including Cadillac, Buick, and even Opel, plus the US Postal Service: https://fitz-art.com/
Here’s a corrected image…yeah, this looks more like the right wagon!
I don’t know why they did this at all, making the successful Taurus wagon look more like the less successful “whale” Caprice.
Was anyone fooled at the time? or did it just sell anyway? False imagery in car advertising isnt new remember the micro people of the past used to make small cars appear roomy
Well they did sell, per the ad Ford noted many of the competitors had dropped wagons by this time. At one point in the 90’s Ford manage to sell ~50% of the wagons sold in the US and the Taurus was their best seller. Subaru took home second with ~25% of the total wagon market.
Of course the number of Taurus Wagons they sold in 1994 was small compared to the number of Explorers sold and the Explorer would soon kick the Taurus out of the top selling non-pickup spot.
I see the 1960 Ford was more than ten inches wider. Would be fun to have a Taurus wagon s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d equally wide:
The ’60 Ford was technically too wide in certain states. I think they got a waiver. Back then some states like Pennsylvania had very specific rules regarding dimensions etc. Same issue came up with dual headlights in 1957.
80″ is now the limit in all states, AFAIK, but some of the most recent GM and Ram full-size trucks are a shade over 80″ and yet don’t have clearance lights. I’m not sure if they applied for a waiver or what.
My parent’s had a new black 1960 Country Sedan wagon that our large family filled to the roofline on trips. I eventually owned a 1994 Taurus wagon. I have heard that the 1960 Ford wagon was the largest car built in the US that year. I can say for sure that, although much smaller and a bit ugly, the Taurus wagon was a much safer and more reliable car!
And here I thought this kind of tomfoolery was over and done with once the brochures and ads switched from drawings to photos in the ’60s.
Wow. that’s quite exaggerated. I was somewhat skeptical that this wasn’t some sort of a printing error, but I looked up other copies of this ad, and sure enough, they all seem to look like this. Amazing!
My favorite ad-widened auto!
It’s a harsh reality.
Yeah, this one was really blatant!
There was a lot of this in ads and brochures for 1956-58 Studebakers and Packards, with both drawn to minimize unattractive or dated features. The ’56 Packards looked longer, wider, and lower than they really were, with the overly tall beltline dropped some and the rear pontoon fender bulge minimized. The 1958 drawings for both Studes and Packards (I really want to put “Packard” in quotes) are especially amusing; the quad headlight pods are barely noticeable and the cars look more voluptuous and less stubby than they ever were in reality.
If they did it for appearance purposes, it certainly wasn’t required in order to look better than the competing Camry wagon. Woof.
Fitting as the other day I was wondering what a 92-97 Crown Victoria or Grand Marquis wagon would’ve looked like.
It’s the Taurus wagon on LSD. 😎
“Honey, does this ad make me look fat?”
Ford boasting about how they were still making wagons got me thinking about when they stopped. Wikipedia says the Ford Taurus wagon survived right through 2004. I can’t for the life of me remember seeing a third or forth generation Taurus wagon in the wild.
They weren’t uncommon in the midwest, though not particularly common either. Ford didn’t even bother to design the wagon part when they updated the Taurus in 2000. The final generation 2000-2004 Taurus wagons were just the 1996-1999 wagon with the 2000-2007 sedan’s front end.