It was a bad year for selling cars, especially big American cars. For those who are not yet alive, 1974 came towards the end of the OPEC oil embargo— and the resulting record high gasoline prices — and the onset of a mild recession.
The related social and economic turmoil of the moment largely explains the main themes of the print advertisements collected below. The Dodge Colt ad uses the word “Japanese” as code for efficient and reliable. The Chevrolet Impala ad reminds potential buyers that it’s always okay to buy a big car. Even the Buick ad is peppered with subtle nods to sensible frugality.
Indeed, only the Ford Thunderbird ad bucks the trend, touting the car’s huge engine and luxury pedigree. Question: Is it just us, or is the driver of the T-Bird looking through the super creepy sunroof?
Enjoy the ads and if you have any ideas, share them below.
Buick Le Saber
1974 Cars Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images