British Car Advertising of the 1960s

British Car Advertising of the 1960s

by Heon Stevenson


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British Car Advertising of the 1960s by Heon Stevenson

During the 1960s, the automobile finally secured its position as an indispensable component of daily life in Britain. Car ownership more than doubled from approximately one car for every 10 people in 1960 to one car for every 4.8 people by 1970. Consumers no longer asked “Do we need a car?” but “What car shall we have?”
This well-illustrated history analyzes how both domestic car manufacturers and importers advertised their products in this growing market, identifying trends and themes. Over 180 advertisement illustrations are included.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476667898
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 10/31/2016
Pages: 429
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Heon Stevenson has written for several classic car magazines. He is an Individual Friend of the History of Advertising Trust. He lives in Cambridge, England.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Preface ix

Introduction 1

Part One—Family Marques: Engines of an Industry

1. Austin: “You invest in an Austin” 33

2. Ford: “Made with care by Ford of Britain” 49

3. Hillman: “A better buy because it's better built!” 82

4. Morris: “People feel strong about Morris” 93

5. Reliant: “Make your family self-reliant” 102

6. Singer: “Motoring’s most elegant experience” 106

7. Standard: “There’s a real V.I.P. car” 117

8. Vauxhall: “Everyone drives better in a Vauxhall” 125

Part Two—Luxury and Sporting Marques: Aspiration and Escape

9. The “Bond Bombshell” and Other Specialists 155

10. Aston Martin and Lagonda: “Body beautiful (with a nature to match)” 163

11. Bentley: “Take a Bentley into partnership” 169

12. Daimler: “Prestige motoring in the modern manner” 173

13. Humber: “Luxury with a capital H” 181

14. Jaguar: “Grace…Space…Pace” 190

15. Jensen: “Pianissimo power” 200

16. MG: “Safety Fast!” 205

17. Riley: “Riley for Magnificent Motoring” 212

18. Rolls-Royce: “The Best Car in the World” 220

19. Rover: “One of the world's best engineered cars” 225

20. (Reliant) Scimitar: “Join the GTE set!” 237

21. Sunbeam: “For people with a ZEST for living” 242

22. Triumph: “Triumph put in what the others leave out” 249

23. Vanden Plas: “Prestige without ostentation” 260

24. Wolseley: “Buy wisely—buy Wolseley” 267

Part Three—Imported Marques: Britain Embraces the World

25. Volkswagen, Renault and Citroën: Special Cases 279

26. Alfa Romeo to Wartburg: Importers Spread Their Wings 294

Conclusion 309


1. Year Letter Suffixes of Car Number (License) Plates 321

2. United Kingdom Purchase Tax Rates for Four-Wheeled Passenger Cars 322

3. The Value of the Pound 1958–1970 (2001) 323

4. The Value of the U.S. Dollar Against the Pound: Exchange Rates (1958–1970) 324

5. UK Car Production, Registrations, Exports and Imports (1958–1970) 325

6. Imports of Cars from Selected Countries (1958–1973) 326

7. Exports of Cars to Selected Markets (1958–1970) 327

8. Leading Automotive Advertisers (January–May 1968) 328

9. Division of Advertising Expenditure by Media Category (January–May 1968) 329

10. Car Manufacturers’ and Importers’ Advertising Agencies (1958–1970) 330

11. Contemporary Estimates of Advertising Expenditures by Marque and Model 337

12. Ages and Incomes of Owners of New Fords (1963) 357

Notes 359

Bibliography 381

Index 401

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