More by Robert Farago
Ah, the good old days, when you could actually tell one GM brand from another. For that matter, you could tell the year, make and model of about everything on the road.
I agree that these cars were too big and inefficient, and the handling was mostly terrible, but they were wonderful commercial art, and very evocative of the spirit of their era. Nostalgia doesn't mean you really want to go back to that era; in fact, by its nature, nostalgia has rose-colored glasses. But it sure is fun.
This is a great reminder of how product illustration has largely become a lost art. Many of those wonderful illustrations are the work of the legendary Van Kaufman and Arthur Fitzpatrick, often known as "Van and Fitz."
John DeLorean was a fan of this team during his tenure as head of the Pontiac division; their technique of "cheating" with the horizontal proportions made many a youngster (including me) lust after a wide-track Pontiac. Unfortunately, today this lack of realism in product presentation would likely prompt a lawsuit for false advertising.
One of these gentlemen was interviewed years later and stated that, some time in the early 1970's, Pontiac thought it would be less expensive to abandon illustrations and rely solely on photography for all promotional advertising. It turned out that the ad costs for that year far exceeded the budget, due to the uncertainties of photo shoots (weather, equipment failures, issues with models and products). Ironically, these factors were notably absent when the product and scene was depicted from the "perfect world" of the illustrator's imagination.
Well, this video slideshow gets a smile out of me. IMO, most of today's cars are either bland or tacky. They can't compare to the styling of the mid-1950s through mid-1960s. If I didn't live in the rust belt, which necessitates storing my good cars for the winter, I wouldn't own anything newer!