30 of the Most Creative and Hilarious Vintage Car Ads We’ve Ever Seen

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By: Lindsey Charleston | Published: Dec 13, 2022

In our lifetime, we’ve probably seen hundreds, if not thousands, of car ads. Most of them blend together. How creative can a car advertisement really be?

Source: yeahmotor.com

As it turns out, modern marketing has nothing on the car ads of the past. These vintage car ads are creative and hilarious, but they also teach you a little something you might not have known before.

It Doesn’t Even Have Power Steering

You would think that showing off your positive features would be the best way to sell yourself, but Porsche took the opposite approach with this ad for one of their older models. They listed off all the things the car lacks.

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Source: surfinginmap.club

And yet, they’re still confident the car would beat any other in a race. That confidence is part of the pull for people to invest in luxury vehicles. Porsche lovers would agree, the brand doesn’t necessarily have to sell itself seeing as they’ve already made its name.

Gremlins: Just Add Water

If the movie Gremlin taught us anything, then we know not to add water to gremlins. This is probably still the case even if “Gremlin” is just the name of a car. They sued this ad to show that the Gremlin is deceiving.

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Source: yeahmotor.com

There is actually a lot more space than you would think. You can pile the whole family into the car (including the dog) for the next family road trip.

Double Trouble

This is one of the most creative car ads we’ve seen from Hyundai. They’re not offering a 2 for 1 discount, although that would be amazing. They’re showing that you get double the incredible features in one car.

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Source: vintageadbrowser.com

$12,000 will go a lot further at Hyundai than at another dealership. And if nothing else, the ad stands out in the consumer’s minds and they might be more willing to take stop by the Hyundai dealership than Toyota.

We’re Not Saying You Should Lie to the Bank…

We would never encourage you to lie to the bank, but this vintage ad might. The Daytona ES is advertised here as an economy car that still has all of those amazing features of a flashy sports car.

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Source: roadandtrack.com

As it says, it has all those amazing performance features, but the price tag is very different from that of a Lamborghini. “What the credit union doesn’t know won’t hurt it”.

Fiat: The Animal Car

We’re not sure how the Fiat team came up with the idea to use animals for all their ads but they’ve become synonymous with these kinds of marketing techniques. It’s pretty ingenious that the car that claims to be more environmentally friendly would use animals to deliver its point.

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Source: zeroto60times.com

And, they’re delivering on this promise. The car from this ad had the lowest carbon dioxide emission range in Europe. We must admit, it’s a new and creative way to sell a car!

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Great Ride, Girlfriend Pregnant, Wife Knows

This is not the last hysterical Harley ad you’ll see here today, but it is certainly one of our favorites. This gentleman seems to have gotten himself in quite a pickle which has forced him to have to sell his bike.

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Source: yeahmotor.com

But, he does a great job at selling the features. Perhaps some marketers should take note. “Nice bike, fast, pretty, features custom grips, and great ride” are all the words Harley Davidson needs for their next worldwide advertisement.

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The Porsche For Young People

Porsche is well-known for promoting luxury with its car brand. But, to switch things up, they made the “car young people could afford”. It keeps the exclusivity of the brand while inviting more people to afford it.

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Source: ericrshelton.com

The ad has one perfect line that sums up the entire strategy: “The price also includes the name, Porsche”. Meaning, you’re paying for the car itself as well as the brand, which is something you can take pride in. Very clever.

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Toyota Not For Sale

This is one fo the most confusing ads we’ve seen. They describe the car’s color, features, etc. but then close the advertisement by saying it’s not for sale. <aybe this person just really likes their car and wanted to show it off a bit.

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Source: yeahmotor.com

Or, maybe they are using a “hard-to-get tactic” to make people want what they can’t have. That might just be some real marketing genius. We can’t be sure.

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BMW Making Enemies

They say all is fair in love and war. Maybe the same goes for car advertisements, or else MNW just has a lot of guts. They really target their competitors with this one. We don’t think they’ll be making too many friends this way.

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Source: autoevolution.com

But they might be selling more cars and that is the goal of an ad at the end of the day. It does make them stand out. We will give them that. Nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, right?

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A Failed Attempt From Volvo

We have to admit this is something of a failed attempt from Volvo. They are using Lamborghini as a point of comparison. Essentially, they are trying to convince the consumer that there is no difference between a Lambo with a trailer and a Volvo.

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Source: jalopnik.com

Are you convinced? Personally, we will have to disagree. We see an awful lot of differences between the two but to each his own!

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Don’t Laugh!

It might seem totally silly to think of policemen riding around in Volkswagon bugs, but they were actually used just for this specific purpose in one town in Alabama. Can you imagine a criminal being squished into the back of one of these cars to be booked?

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Source: vintageadbrowser.com

If they were looking to prove that they are set apart from the crowd, they have certainly succeeded. The simple text that reads “Don’t laugh” makes us do just that.

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All You Need to Know

This ad includes a joke that might take a little bit of car knowledge to really understand. This model was made primarily by M<itsubishi motors in Japan. 

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Source: productioncars.com

In an effort to market it to Europe and the U.S., they bring attention to this fact. “All the Japanese you need to know” is that it goes mighty fast. That’s enough for us to be intrigued!

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Trying to Fit a 7’1 Man in a Beetle

“They said it couldn’t be done. It couldn’t”. We love this strategy of admitting their shortcomings. So, you might not be able to fit into the Bettle if you’re a 7‘1 basketball player like the legendary Wilt Chamberlain.

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Source: indulgy.com

However, if you are shorter than 7 feet, like most of us are, this might just be the perfect car for you. Sometimes, honesty is what sells. People appreciate it.

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The Return of the Colt

We have to assume the first Colt ad performed well because they brought it back and doubled down on the joke. Again, they plug in some Japanese to let the consumer fill in the gaps in the ad.

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Source: productioncars.com

They even used a similar layout with the car positioned in front of the same scene as the last ad. This will bring the consumer’s attention to the new car and make them remember the last ad that they liked so much. Genius!

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Muscle or Beach

This Dodge is the mullet of cars. By that, we mean that there is all this “business in the front and party in the back”. The Dodge Shadow 1992 is basically 2 cars in 1.

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Source: mechanix.us

Keep the top up for when you have those business meetings. But take the top off when you head to the beach. Now, the consumer doesn’t need to decide between business and style.

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Got Something to Hide?

While other cars sell luxury, style, etc. the ‘66 Impala is selling something else entirely and they‘re doing it with humor. They selling the extra space. 

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Source: thisisnthappiness.com

If you have something to hide then the Impala has a place for you to hide it. Or, if you just need a place to store all of your regular things, the Impala might be the right car for you.

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It’s All About Balance

This ad is proving to us that life is all about balance and choosing what kind of love is most important to you. We know that people who love bikes really love bikes.

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Source: graphicdesignjunction.com

But this is proving to us that you don’t always have to choose. You can have the best of both worlds! Which form of love do you prefer?

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From $11,000 to 149 MPH

Most car companies that boast about their speedy engines talk about how quickly their vehicle can go from 0 to 100 MPH. It’s one of the standards that people base their opinions of different cars on.

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Source: cardomain.com

But, have you heard of a car from $11,000 to 149 MPH? Not only are the marketers expressing how fast the car is, but they’re also proving how many options the consumer has when picking from the different models of the Dodge Daytonas.

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How to Turn Any Car Into a Convertible

This ad isn’t for a car specifically, but is one of the most creative car-related billboards we’ve seen. It’s being used to warn against tailgating. Turning any car into a convertible might sound great.

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Source: carcanyon.com

But it’s not all that great when the top of your car gets taken out by a truck. This is the only warning we need to hit the breaks and slow down a bit. 

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Save a Parking Metre

This is another amazing example of a perfect billboard ad. This one is one of the most inventive ads we’ve seen. The Smart car is not only one of the smallest cars on the road but it is also a very cost-effective vehicle.

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Source: yeahmotor.com

The brand highlights both of these aspects here in this ad. Save a little extra cash by saving a parking metre. It’s the car for those of us who don’t need very much space.

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The Boldest Ad

Citroen might hold the title for the boldest car ad. They are really looking their competition dead in the eyes and comparing themselves flat out. How do they measure up to these other cars?

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Source: randomwander.com

It’s faster than a Ferrari (but not really if you read the fine print). It has the same amount of wheels as a Rolls Royce (but so does every other car). And, it has more trunk space than a Porsche.

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Beauty Contest

Subaru sets itself apart by congratulating its competition on fighting for beauty. Meanwhile, they’re focusing on their engine and making their car the best possible.

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Source: pinkbike.com

We like that they took this stance. They’re setting themselves up as the car for people who care about more than looks. It might not win the beauty contest but it did win the 2006 International Engine of the Year competition.

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The Rose to His Jack

Apparently, a great way to sell cars is to remind everyone of their favorite movie. This ad involves 2 people impersonating Jack and Rose from the Titanic in the iconic scene. But, why did this sell cars?

 

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Source: zeroto60times.com

Well, it shows how big the sunroof is, of course! It’s ironic that the Fiat would promote that they have any big features considering their cars are typically very small!

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The Chess Game

This one involves so many car ads it’s hard to keep track. But if you’re good at Chess, you might be able to see what is really going on here. There’s a car billboard in the back there which BMW outshines with their “Checkmate” board.

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Source: wonderfulengineering.com

Then Audi came in strong with their “king”. But, BMW wasn’t about to let themselves be beaten in this game of Chess. They bring in a blimp to call the whole game off, essentially winning the advertisement competition.

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Protecting in the Event of Divorce

We hate to think that anyone would get divorced when they enter a marriage, but in the case that you do go separate ways, you want to make sure to protect your assets.

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Source: youngheaven.us

Apparently, this is the car protected by the most prenups. Aston Martin knows how to do things with style. That is for sure.

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No Getaway Cars

This ad is a perfect message to all criminals in Germany. There is no getaway car when the police are driving Porsches. In other words, you won’t be able to outrun them.

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Source: imgur

These are some of the fastest cars that exist. The ad basically asks the consumer if it’s good enough for the police, is it good enough for you?

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Happiness

According to this ad, size isn’t everything. And outside of the insinuation they’re making, this is true of cars. Good things come in small packages. In fact, happiness comes in small packages.

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Source: hiveminer.com

This is the car for those of us that don’t need tons of space and prefer a smaller model. But, we see what they did there with the clever innuendo.

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For Anyone Between 50 and 70

Initially, it might seem like this ad is targeting the older crowd. But, this is actually a clever ad to show how the car can easily overtake other cars on the road when going 50 to 70 MPH. 

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Source: hagerty.com

This is a pretty clever ad for having been put out in 1987. The GTi might have captured a whole new audience with this one.

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Is It a Sports Car?

Are you looking for a sports car? Or, are you looking for the run of the mill, cost-effective car? Well, the Ibishgu Covet ZXi might be both!

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Source: yeahmotor.com

This is a great marketing tactic because it makes it versatile. It’s not technically a sports car but it has all of the features of one. It’s the best of both worlds: practical and capable of reaching those sports car speeds.

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