American Cars of the 1960s

IMG_1279American Cars of the 1960s by The Auto Editors at Consumer Guide
published 2010 by Publications International Limited
320 pages, hardcover

ISBN-10: 1-4508-0641-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-4508-0641-1

Purchased new (2013) at Chapters in store.

Remember when Mad Men debuted, and people got all caught up in the early 1960s again? The look, that slick Kennedy-era/Madison Avenue polish. While the television show was more about the characters than the industry they work in, there are glimpses of how the ad game worked then, and the automobile figured quite prominently in the series.

American Cars of the 1960s is a book is filled with the colour and energy of 1960s automobile advertising imagery at its best. It is comprised of images taken directly from the manufacturers’ brochures and magazine advertising. Each marque is grouped alphabetically, and then follows a year-after-year format, which is great for seeing how American automotive styling progressed through the 60s. It also shows how advertising was changing.

Brochures and ads heavy on illustrations in the early ’60s
evolved into more realistic photo-based pieces…

Some very recognizable auto ad artwork make appearances. The Pontiac section contains numerous pieces of Art Fitzpatrick’s iconic ‘Wide-Track’ work. Plymouth was out to ‘win you over’. You might catch a case of Dodge Fever. And you’ll be asked “Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick?”

It is important to note that this book includes images of three marques that ceased production during the decade. The last of Desoto, Edsel and Studebaker are found in these pages. Also interesting is to see how as the decade progressed, the Rambler name, once prominent in ads, is replaced by AMC.

It’s easy to see the allure of the images on these pages. Luxury cars in country club settings. Station wagons full of camping gear and picnic baskets. Personal coupes, sports cars and convertibles parked near golf courses and marinas. Images specifically created to lure you off your couch and into the showroom (hopefully a couple times in the decade) to trade your jalopy in on Detroit’s newest, shiniest, more powerful creation. Light on text and hard information, but heavy on colourful pictures, this book transports you back to when magazine ads and brochures did their best to sell you all the excitement and glamour of new cars in the 1960s.

This book is really just a lot of fun to flip through and soak up.

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1962 Chevrolet


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1964 Mercury


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1966 Chrysler


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1967-68 Lincoln

Pros: filled with colourful, original advertising artwork and photos
Cons: little in the way of substantial information
Where to find it: Amazon, ebay, retail booksellers (traditional and online)

You might also like…
Fifties Flashback: The American Car
Cadillac: The Tailfin Years
1960 Cadillac Sixty Special

6 thoughts on “American Cars of the 1960s

  1. rulesoflogic

    My first car was a 1967 GTO so this era of American cars holds much interest for me. I also think that 1963 was a very significant year in American automobile history with the introduction of: the C2 Corvette and the one-year only split-window coupe, the Riviera and the Studebaker Avanti.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. markcars2014 Post author

    The 60s to me are filled with so much good auto design. I don’t love Exner so much, but Engel’s work, GM under Mitchell, the Ford guys, even AMC, all had what I’d call hits. Slab-side cars look great and then so do the coke-bottle designs.
    And when sandwiched between the glitzy 50s and the baroque 70s, there’s such an elegance to the cars of the 60s.

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