Collecting Classic Car Ephemera
Pontiac Ventura: In the glory days of the automobile, the advertisements spoke volumes. From the black and white photos of the early Tin Lizzies to the art deco looks from the 50s and 60s, automobile advertising shows so much more than the cars on the pages. Ephemera from the earliest decades of the automobile capture the identities of the decades. These early ads set the stage for the reality that cars were more than just a form of transportation, but they were a way for individuals to show their style and personality.
General Motors Shines in Early Print Ads
Some of the most attractive print ads were from General Motors in the 1960s. The mid-century modern designs included artistic renditions of the early muscle cars and family cars. The cars were drawn to look wider and faster than anything that came before them.
Iconic Advertising Design from Early Mad Men
One of the most memorable and beautifully designed ads was for the 1960 Pontiac Ventura. The advertisement is not a simple photograph of the car, but it is an artistic painting of the car, with a finely dressed couple reclining on the side of the car which is parked in a secluded spot at a tropical resort. The subdued blues and greens created a dreamy and romantic style, while still providing necessary information about the early muscle car and its wide-track wheels. This advertisement would grab the attention of the female client, which begs the question: Did the advertisers (the early Mad Men) expect women to buy this car?
Collectible Ephemera with Bold Design
Ephemera includes more than print advertisements like the rare Pontiac Ventura ad. Collectors enjoy finding brochures, as well as factory magazines, and posters that cover their favorite classic cars. It is easy to see the design continuity and differences between manufacturers. For example, Chrysler ephemera from the 1960s all had the same design: a bold black banner across the top with the car’s name printed in white along with a single parking-lot photo of the car. This varied dramatically from the artistic angles and preppy settings that Pontiac used for its products in 1960.
Magazines Creating Fantasies for Drivers
Another highly collectible paper product is the Safari magazine from Pontiac. The General Motors division prized the idea of families taking their Pontiacs on memorable adventures, so the magazine covers featured destinations full of waterfalls, beaches, dramatic bridges, and iconic locales. Along with remarkable art and photography, readers could learn about the latest Pontiac news and imagine the perfect road trip in their glamorous Pontiac.