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Automobile Billboards – Selling Motorists the Vision of a New Car

There probably is no better time to sell a motorist on the idea of purchasing a new car than when they are driving by a billboard in their own car. Experiencing the view of a sleek and attractive new machine while passing by in an older, worn out, and out of date automobile can plant the idea of themselves being behind the wheel of that particular car.

As an example, the lead image of an Oldsmobile Starfire presents a view of “Something Extra” in the way of “style and performance”; the Chrysler billboard below uses only the word “Exciting” to entice a possible buyer into the showroom to see the latest and greatest offerings.

Tell us about your car buying adventures back in the fifties and sixties when these billboards were current, and what influenced you to purchase the “latest and greatest” automobile at the time?

Identify the year and model of the automobiles in images that are courtesy of Roger Wilkerson and Collector Car Ads.

1960s Chrysler Advertising

Edsel Advertising Billboard

1952 Ford Hardtop Bill Board


15 responses to “Automobile Billboards – Selling Motorists the Vision of a New Car

  1. Being a product of the `60s, the billboards I recall that stuck in my head were Chrysler Corp. ads in 1967 & `68 , with the little red heart with a hook on it! Gals in go-go boots laying across the hood of a new black `68 Charger, or poised near the front fender of a new Dodge Polara hardtop always caught the eye!

    • That was also the era of the “Dodge Boys” symbolized by a large Hoss Cartwright-type cowboy hat with two arrows through it. Sexist and politically incorrect by today’s standards in one campaign!
      The first billboard that came to mind were those from Mercury which pictured a sleek and powerful cougar on top of a dealer sign. That image said so much.

  2. The ad that helped finalize my decision of which car to buy as my 1st new car was a 2 page fold-out in Hot Rod Magazine for the new Formal Roof Fairlane Cobra Jet.. ! The ad car was dark green, but I order’d Meadowlark Yellow, 428, Ram Air, 4 speed, 2 outside mirrors, a rear seat speaker, tinted glass, tachometer, and the “Mandatory” disc brakes ! Lots of billboards in my part of the country before those days, ( Southeast) but not so many in the late 60s. Great subject today, thanks !!

  3. I’ve always taken note of the “extras” they have to add beyond the borders of the sign. IE: The right tail-fin and bottoms of the tires of the Chrysler, as well as the CHRYSLER letters. On the Olds: The right tail section as well as portions of the white sign at top left.
    I’m sure there’s a billboard industry term for these features that somebody has to build and place just right.

  4. I came up in the fifties and the south was full of billboards at that time. My dad worked for Ford and I was always on the lookout for Ford billboards.

  5. Of all the cars shown that Olds Starfire is the most desirable today from a dollar standpoint and for collect ability .
    Also those brushed aluminum body trim panels are extremely rare new or used and near impossible to restore.

  6. Old car design is cheap and but the engine of the old car is powerful rather than these days. I have analysis can you agree with me?

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