The 1970s were a beautiful, simpler time for many reasons, but the sheer excellence of automotive advertising is one of those my personal favorite reasons. And this series of Ford Pinto commercials from 1971 will show you why.
Seriously. Gorgeous, prancing steeds. Pinto race cars. Competition on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Growing up, my school received a very large donation of National Geographic magazines at one point in time, so all the art rooms had a hefty stack of issues from the 1970s and 80s, and I loved collage day because it meant I’d get to sift through the old car and cigarette advertisements. I missed the good old days where advertising was done through a small essay of copy, a goofy slogan that wouldn’t make it today, and a photo of someone living their best life.
But because I was only a conscious child in the early 2000s, I didn’t grow up with old automotive commercials, which was truly a shame — but the existence of YouTube does mean that I get to relive the glory days on my own time.
Seriously. Ford was really out here calling the Pinto “frisky.” Ford really advertised the Pinto with a demolition derby. Imagine selling this car on the basis of anything but its cheap price, which I guess wouldn’t be good marketing, but damn. A demolition derby. It’s a good thing ol’ Socko managed to zip around the carnage, because otherwise he’d have been in for a real bad time.
For some further entertainment, head to the comment section of the video, where folks are lamenting the existence of modern cars and instead wishing for the lush ride of the Pinto to return. This video really is the gift that keeps on giving.