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    Car commercials from the 1980s were completely insane

    Car commercials from the 1980s were completely insane

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    For us!
    Now, there is a personal car that has exactly what we're looking for
    Now, there's an American car with the shape and the feel we've never seen before
    Ford has seen where we're going, Ford has heard us loud and clear
    Ford has seen the future, and now the future is here!
    For us!
    For us!
    Have you driven a Ford lately?

    Would you buy a car after this uplifting jingle filled your 1986-vintage living room? Ford thought you would, and it wasn't the only car maker making insane commercials. Buckle up as we take you on an information superhighway road trip.

    Inexplicable musicals / unnecessary jingles

    Jingles were still alive and well in the 80s, and many were aggressively bad. Most high-profile ads you see on TV these days simply co-opt tracks from successful artists to create an emotional bond with the viewer, but not in the 80s. In the 80s, you needed to pick random words and phrases from your ad copy and sing them for emphasis.

    Hell yeah, America!

    Greed was good in the 80s, but it wasn't exactly a decadent thrill ride for the American auto industry. Chrysler was in a do-or-die situation after ex-Ford CEO Lee Iacocca went to Congress to save his company with $1.5 billion in loan guarantees. For Chrysler, and some other US carmakers, it was time to reclaim the market from foreigners — to sell American made cars with American made parts assembled by American workers for America. Naturally, some of these commercials were vaguely racist.

    Highway to the Danger Zone

    The front-wheel drive Dodge Lancer is the performance sedan that will thrill you all the way to the red line
    Hold you to the dotted line
    Cover you down the line
    And impress you with its bottom line

    Faster than the competition? Check. Fuel-injected turbo power? Check. Front-wheel drive and nitrogen shocks? Check. Dramatic settings and action shots? Check. Intense musical score? Check. James Earl Jones? Check.

    Turns as tight as our turns of phrase? Check.

    Foreboding nightmare fuel

    Hello and welcome to this shady abandoned warehouse. Watch as pure witchcraft assembles this impossibly black murder machine on four wheels. See it drive into the night, with no human behind the wheel, as it prepares to consume America. Buy the Dodge Shadow.


    This is a commercial starring Grace Jones (who you may know as a villain in 1985 Bond movie A View to a Kill) driving a Citroen CX out of a giant Grace Jones head in the desert and then driving the car back into the giant Grace Jones head.


    The 80s brought cars electronic fuel injection, ridiculous dashboard gadgets, and buttons anywhere buttons could be squeezed in. The future was here, 80s car manufacturers said, and we have the graphics to prove it.


    Presented without comment.