Vintage Ads: Heart-to-Heart Car Ads

1993 Chevrolet Cavalier VL ad

If you are still unsure how to best please that special someone in your life for Valentine’s Day, take some advice from car ads.  As a Valentine’s Day treat for Curbside Classic readers, we’re dishing out a few heart-to-heart advertisements, full of helpful relationship advice and (more likely) a few laughs.

For example, to attain the affections of a lovely woman as shown above, try being cavalier about it – promise an enduring relationship and unsurpassed protection.  That, along with a red rose, ought to do the trick… according to General Motors’ advice, at least.

On second thought, maybe GM isn’t quite an ideal matchmaker.  The amusement factor here isn’t just the mildly provocative text and imagery, but that it’s promoting a… Cavalier VL.  Yes, the entry-level J-car for folks who could do without unnecessary things like a radio or tinted glass.  Not the type of vehicle that sends most car buyers’ hearts aflutter.

1955 Ford Fairlane convertible ad

Ah, that’s more like it.  I can see falling for a car with exciting color harmonies and a stout-hearted engine.  But yes, it’s that Thunderbird Styling that would really warm my heart for a 1955 Fairlane convertible.

Well, at least this is an exciting-looking car that our heroine here is losing her heart for.

1968 BMW 1600 ad

Heart-to-heart car ads weren’t just targeted to women – though ad agencies apparently thought that advertisements targeting men could dispense with heart graphics and roses.  Still, the text’s personification of automotive traits is amusing:


“If the car is a fickle, unreliable, attention-demanding shrew he’s liable to be a little short on affection.”

 “But if she happens to be a slim, lovely thoroughbred that performs like a dream, asks little, and is always ready to give her utmost, well… a man is only human, isn’t he?”


Well, that prose would make me spring for a charmingly well-mannered BMW any day!

2011 Honda Odyssey ad

We’ll conclude our Valentine’s Day special with a 2011 Honda Odyssey ad.  As an Odyssey owner myself, I can confirm that this is a totally accurate depiction of minivan life.  In fact, I left a trail of rose pedals leading to the sliding door just this morning.

OK, not quite.  But I do give Honda credit for creativity here – it certainly defies the frazzled-parent minivan stereotype.

Regardless of whether you’re commemorating Valentine’s Day this year, hopefully these ads brought some enjoyment.  And who could ask for anything more for Valentine’s Day than that?