By on February 7, 2011

Back when I was semi-serious about photography— as in Pliocene Epoch photography with lots of chemicals and red lights— I scored a bunch of two-piece glass 35mm slide mounts at a camera store in Los Angeles. Most of them were empty, but a handful came with Chrysler dealership promotional slides from 1974.

This was about 1988, and so there wasn’t as much ironic distance between the era of the slides and the time of my acquisition; the slides just reeked of Chrysler’s Malaise Era desperation. I pictured the scene: a Chrysler Sales regional office somewhere in, say, Culver City. There’d be the whir and heat from the slide projector, the light beam cutting through the Pall Mall smoke, and a burly corporate axeman from Michigan trying to sound upbeat as he triggered slide after slide. Sell these goddamn Darts with the goddamn plush-cut pile carpeting, went the subtext beneath the optimistic-sounding sales talk, or the goddamn Japanese will have our asses! Cue sound of Corollas buzzing by outside…

Of course, what Dart buyers really wanted in 1974 was the Hang Ten Edition, complete with matching surfboard!

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5 Comments on “When Chrysler’s Slide Shows Weren’t In PowerPoint: Pinpoint Conquesting!...”

  • avatar

    Boy, I miss the pre-computer-generated artwork. I used to be a graphic artist “in the old days” when all that stuff was done by hand. It took real talent back then in several ways. The car reminds me of all the model variations of the Dart/Duster platform. The “convertrible” comes to mind as being somewhat useful. I owned a ’76 Dart Lite in the early mid-80’s. Nice ride, if slow. The young lady? Of course! Back then, out of the USAF, single and working two jobs as a janitor for J.C. Penney and as a jr. tech illustrator for Emerson Electric. Two jobs plus college. Those times in my life I do not miss. All those cars must be gone, too, as I can’t remember the last time I saw one.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    The girl in front of the Dodge van seems to be thinking: “Sigh, my grandmother had a Jordan, and here I am with this stupid Dodge van.”

  • avatar

    The surfer girl strikes a pose guaranteed not to incur the wrath of censors by revealing too much physiology. Compare that to today.

    Plenty of room in the back of that cargo van for the cowgirl and her friends,,,,,

  • avatar

    I love the poorly fitted gas cap on the Dart Hang Ten.
    Malaise era quality at it’s finest.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I’m sorry is there something in the third slide other than a girl in a red, white, and blue bathing suit? 

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