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10 Car Commercials That Have Not Aged Well

Maybe it would've been better to forget some of these car commercials.

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1986 Dodge Lancer

The performance sedan that will thrill you all the way to the red line is how Dodge marketed the Lancer in 1986 in this video. The Lancer wasn’t a bad little car but it seems a tad silly in retrospect that consumers still wanted some power with a five-door hatchback. All cars come with features you might not know about, and while the Lancer had a few odd features, these 13 weird car features may already be in your car without you knowing.


1986 Chrysler Laser

James Earl Jones doing the voiceover? What could go wrong for Chrysler with this ad? The competition is good. “We had to be better” is what Chrysler said in its ads, and boy, this could’ve been better. The graphics from the ad haven’t aged well at all.


1967 Chevy Camaro

The Camaro shouldn’t need some kind of ridiculous ad like this to sell; it’s the Camaro after all. But when the ad hit, the Camaro hadn’t become the car of lore that it is now. In fact, this was the first TV spot for the car. You will still see Camaros, both vintage and modern, all over the roads today, but these 15 vintage cars are a bit rarer (and you may wish they weren’t).

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1970 Chevy Nova

A long time ago, O.J. Simpson hawked a number of products, including one of the most infamous lemons ever produced: the Chevy Nova. In this commercial, the ’70 Nova is compared with O.J. Simpson in terms of horsepower and padding, and even cost-effectiveness. Of course, The Juice later made another vehicle infamous.


1980 Datsun 280ZX Black Gold

The year was 1980 but the music was still firmly in the ’70s disco era. You’ll have to watch the ad on YouTube to get a feel of the song. Datsun proclaimed the 280ZX Black Gold so rare that each one was numbered on an engraved plaque. This old ad included a line about the car having so many luxuries that there was scant room for options. These 20 really cool car tech add-ons will have you not caring about car options.

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1978 Ford Futura

The 1978 Ford Futura had eyes to the future, but looking back on this clip on YouTube, it’s tough to see how it’d get there outside of an alien abduction.

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Toyota Trucks

Upside-down trucks around the neighborhood will get somebody’s attention, but it comes across as really cheesy in Toyota’s ad.  The Toyota “Oh, What a Feeling” ad campaign became one of the more well-known in advertising.


1988 Pontiac

“Ride, Pontiac, Ride” will ring in your ears for a long time after you watch this commercial, provided that your eardrums haven’t burst from the obnoxious drumming and the, let’s say, soaring vocal spots. From 1988 to 1993, the Le Mans was German-designed and built in South Korea and it became one of the most reviled cars around. Comments on the web have called the car a “deathtrap” and  “Dumpster on wheels.” The 1990 model faced recalls for potential seat belt failures and a fuel system problem that could cause a fire. These 9 cars, however, are the most reliable and won’t likely require a mechanic.


Peugeot 205 GTI

Boy, oh, boy, this car ad from Peugeot seems like a James Bond film with its production quality. It begins with the car parachuting in, surviving a blown-up parachute, escaping a series of bombs dropped by a military plane, and dodging a helicopter. All in a hatchback. It’s hard to imagine a James Bond type going for such a vehicle.

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1978 Mercury Cougar

This Mercury Cougar ad on YouTube features Cheryl Tiegs inside a 1978 Mercury Cougar, accompanied by an actual cougar. Who’s the insurance carrier who signed off on that? The classic disco music in the background cemented the fact that the commercial wouldn’t age well. Just because the ads don’t hold up, though, that doesn’t say much about the cars themselves. These retro cars will remind you how cool cars used to be.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman