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Slogans of automobile companies from earlier times

In the post about the 101 year old woman and her Packard, I mentioned that Packard’s slogan was “Ask the man who owns one”. A couple other slogans and the makes of cars were:

Buick–“When better cars are built, Buick will build them”

Pontiac-- “Dollar for dollar, you can’t be a Pontiac”

Ford – “There’s a Ford in your future”.

Does anybody remember any more of these slogans?

“You meet the nicest people on a Honda.”

From the ad for a Honda 50.

See the USA in your Chev-ro-lay…

& of course the ill fated: “Volare”…Ricardo Montoban singing…

Tiger Woods & “This isn’t your father’s Buick”…

Like a ROCK!
Chevrolet, the heartbeat of america

“Ask the Man Who Owns One” - Packard

You want car slogans from earlier times?
I’ll give you earlier times!
These slogans date from the very early days of motoring, up to the 1930s:

Auburn–Once an owner, always a friend (Until the first repair bill?)
Beggs–Made a little better than seems necessary (How’s that for a fairly weak claim?)
Cole–The world’s safest car (Maybe back in those days…)
Commonwealth–The car with the Foundation (Was it poured concrete or cinder block?)
Driggs–Built with the precision of ordnance (I guess it went like a bullet!)
Jackson–No hill too steep, no sand too deep (Without 4WD??)
Lozier–The choice of men who know (Are you sure?)
Martin–The little brother of the aeroplane (It flies down the road?)
Maxwell–Perfectly simple, simply perfect (Hey–it worked for Jack Benny!)
Model–Hills and sand become level land (Did it come with a road-grading blade?)
National–The all ball-bearing car (Reportedly, the crankshaft ran in ball bearings, so that must have been a really expensive engine to build!)
Oldsmobile–Nothing to watch but the road (Gauges? What are those?)
Pilot–The car ahead (Was that what was in front of me this morning at the traffic light?)
Roamer–America’s smartest car (Hmmm…Not smart enough to stay in business for very long!)
Stevens-Duryea–There is no better car (Except for Packard, Peerless, Pierce Arrow, Rolls Royce, Daimler…)
Vaughan–Made in The Carolinas (You say that like it’s a good thing.)
Velie–The climax in auto value (Did they guarantee a happy ending?)
Westcott–The car with a longer life (Then why have I never seen one at an antique auto show?)

With thanks to the late Floyd Clymer and his auto books.

This is great. I remember Floyd Clymer’s reports on new cars in Popular Mechanics. Owners of a particular make of car were sent surveys and then summary results along with comments made by the owners were reported. Clymer then concluded the report with his own road test of the car. This was a monthly feature in Popular Mechanics back in the 1950s and into the 1960s.

My late father used to quote the slogan for the Jackson autombile. When he was growing up, his neighbor had a Jackson. “No hill too steep, no sand too deep”.

One slogan I remember from the 1940s was for Plymouth: “Plymouth builds great cars”. Another one from the 1960s was “Pontiac builds excitement”. The Willys company boasted about the newly introduced Willys sedan in 1952 that it was rated “Second only to Cadillac–a fine car at a fine price”.

I just remembered another slogan from the '20s or '30s:

Wills St. Claire–The car that made good in a day (Which day was that?)


It’s correction time.

The slogan for the Wills St. Claire (an expensive, high-quality car) was actually, “The Molybdenum Car”, so-named for the unusual addition of molybdenum to the high-strength steel alloy used in its frame.

The aforementioned slogan–“The car that made good in a day”–was actually used by Stutz, and was apparently a reference to the Stutz’s startling success in racing the first time that it appeared.

If I can think of any more, I will post them, and–hopefully–I won’t screw them up again.

Okay–here some others:

The Porter Stanhope–The only perfect automobile (Perhaps a slight exaggeration?)

Ford–Don’t experiment. Just buy a Ford (Circa 1905, that might actually have been a good idea, given how many makes existed for such a short period of time.)

KisselKar–The all-year car (You don’t want one of those cars that you can only drive in September!)

Chevrolet–For economical transportation (Perhaps one of the few reasonably honest slogans.)

Graham–There’s something about a Graham (Do you smell something?)

Hupmobile–Step up with Hupp–and also–Hupp has always built a good car

Plymouth–Buy wisely, buy Plymouth (But–the Ford folks told me that would be an experiment!)

Crosley–A fine car (As long as you don’t require an engine that lasts more than 15k miles or so.)

Nash–You’ll be ahead with Nash (I’m confused. The Pilot folks already told me that their product was “the car ahead”!)

Jeep–All over America, people are saying, “That’s the car for me”. (Or not)

Studebaker–First by far with a post-war car! (It was the first totally new design following WW2)

Tucker–The first completely new car in fifty years. (Very true, but…)

Chevrolet–Has the whole town talking (But…what are they saying?)

Imp–The little car with the big future (Ummm…no. This one vanished within a few months of its introduction.)

Packard–Packard’s the one for '51! (…and for just a few more years after that.)

Ford–The ablest car on the road for '52! (So–I shouldn’t even consider a Mercury or a Lincoln?)

Corvair–With the engine in the rear, where it belongs! (So–the Impala has its engine in the wrong location?)

Vega–The little car that grows on you (Like warts?)

“Porsche, there is no substitute?”

-From ‘Risky Business’

Edsel - "Once you’ve seen it, you’ll never forget it. . . . " (1958)
Volkswagen - “Think Small” (1959)
BMW - “The Ultimate Driving Machine” (1975)
Pontiac - “We Build Excitement” (1982)

One of my favorites didn’t come from a car, but rather a Chrysler/Dodge replacement parts slogan I saw at a dealer parts department:
“There is no substitute for quality.”
(and the dealer employees added),
"We ought to know. We’ve tried everything else."


The first advertising slogan that was used by Edsel was, “They will know that you have arrived…in an Edsel”.

The illustration accompanying that text was of an elegantly-dressed couple pulling up in front of a country club in their new Edsel, to the admiring glances of some bystanders.
Like most advertising–pure fantasy!

Re: VW

Another one of their slogans, and a very witty one to boot, was, “How the man who drives the snow plow gets to the snow plow”.

Rough Paraphrase From Rusty Memory -
“Why Drive, When You Can Take The Bus ?”
[Volkswagen Bus]
“A VW [Beetle] Won’t Float Indefinitely, But It Will Definitely Float”
[Bug Bobbing In Water Demonstrating Near Air-Tight Body Construction]


“Get your hands on a Toyota and you’ll never let go”.

From the era (early-mid '70s) when Mazda first introduced the Wankel rotary engine as an option for their US-market cars (this is a paraphrase, as I can’t guarantee precise wording of the slogan from their radio ads):

Other cars go boing-boing-boing-boing-boing.

How’s that for a slogan that is…weird?..abstract?..non-convincing?

Of course, it is better than the print-ad slogan that Mazda used a few years earlier for their rotary-engine Cosmo model that was marketed in Europe. This was in the era of “Pidgin-English” usage in almost all Japanese Owner’s Manuals and–as you will see–in their advertising as well.

What was the slogan for the Mazda Cosmo?
“Rotor engine is something new and untried.
Try it.
It might work for you.”

As the owners of early Wankel engines discovered, it didn’t work for them.

“Get your hands on a Toyota and you’ll never let go”.
Was This The Ad Campaign For All Their Unintended Acceleration Problems And Recalls ?

There was the “Get that great GM feeling!” campaign of the 80s. I remember my father grumbling about that great GM feeling after spending a thousand or so to fix the CV joints in his FWD Toronado.

Step down into a Hudson (apparently Hudson started the low-profile trend in auto bodies).