Muscle Car Marketing


Whether or not you like the classic American muscle car – all heavily burbling hemis, bold stripes, murderous visages and redneck steez- you have to admire the audacity of their creators.

Heavy Detroit-wrought steel kept the blue collar masses of the ‘States in gainful employ and made it cool for a while to ally one’s self to the aesthetic of denim, smokes and beer. The Ad agencies of Madison avenue meanwhile were kept in clover by the marketing employed to sell this testosterone fueled dream to the American rank and file.

This was happening, remember, at the tale end of the 1960s and into the seventies. That other portion of the culture was wearing flowers in their hair, reeking of patchouli oil and preaching all that was opposite to what these cars represented.

The fact that this fragrant movement was clustered around the university campuses and the coastal capitals hints at the reason.

The muscle car was the projection into three tangible dimensions of conservative America’s distaste for all that hippie shenanigans – while the boys above Indochina carpet bombed hillsides and the Weathermen were sending letter bombs to The Man – buying a Dodge Charger was re-imagined as a positively patriotic act.

The solid colours and offset darkness of the muscle car colourways was reflected in the copy in these ads too – it’s full of short sinewy sentences, images of all American guys and girls – and hokum phrases like ‘shucks’.

Our favourite is the perfectly named and perfectly typeset ad for the Plymouth Fury.

Never mind the motor. Look at that font!