They just don’t make them like they used to. How often do we say that? In this case however, it really is true. Car commercials today are a rather tame affair. I’m not sure how things are in the US, but in Europe manufacturers cannot depict speeding or what could be considered dangerous driving in their advertisements. Toyota recently fell foul of the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK, who banned their GT86 commercial for portraying ‘speed or driving behaviour in a way that might encourage motorists to drive irresponsibly in future.’ Thankfully, there is still a vault of classic ’80s auto-commercials out there which we can relish in. These are some of our favourites…
(Above) The 1986 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, they build excitement and incredibly cheesy TV adverts apparently.
Paul Newman featured in this advertisement driving a silhouette R30 to promote the Skyline in Japan.
It wasn’t just Newman who was endorsing a Japanese manufacturer, here’s Dan Gurney at Willow Springs giving his seal of approval on the ‘new’ Celica.
A sensual advert from Nissan, featuring two birds randomly spliced into the footage. I’ve no idea why either.
Did you know the AE86 had its own music video? Me neither, but I sort of wish I still didn’t know. Sexy Sprinter.
In the UK, Ford were still putting the saying of ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ to good use.
A typically classy advert from BMW encouraging drivers to seek out their own rush hour.
A compilation of Porsche adverts including a 962 pitstop at Le Mans. Who says Porsche doesn’t have a sense of humour?
We can’t look at eighties commercials and not mention Volkswagen. An emotional roller coaster, complete with slow motion footage of child carrying cute dog. I didn’t cry, honest.
Another Pontiac commercial, which clearly shows the influence Tron had on the decade.
And it wasn’t just Pontiac which was influenced.
What has to be the, um, most abstract commercial I came across on my journey features a Grace Jones driving a Citroen CX out of her own mouth onto the salt flats, before eating the car and herself at the end. And you thought Japan made the weirdest adverts…
Which one is your favourite? If not’s featured here, show us!
The original RX-7 commercial was the best. I've never been able to find it again but they run over a fallen tree and drive it through a river, which makes no sense for a sports car.
Hey for the 2 birds, aren't they canaries? There for I think it might be a play on "Twin Cams"(twin canaries) . Idk, trying to make sense of it lol
You are missing the "Greatest-and sexiest-Car Ad of All Time" according to thetruthaboutcars.com - The 1980 Datsun 280ZX Black Gold! The guy in it looks like Gunther from the Ding Dong Song. For anyone who hasn't seen it, it's on Youtube. Also check out the Toyota MR2 commercial - it's an MR2 in a pinball machine. Doesn't get any more 80's than that!
I was going to say that you HAVE to post the Datsun Black Gold ad but Mr. Navarro beat me to it. Best ever.
that first one could pass as a music video. and are all volkswagen owners that happy?
gotta say my favorite is the sexy sprinter. because it makes me 'happy, so happy, uh-huh (SEXY SPRINTAHH)'