This book provides a comprehensive history of American automobile advertising over a half-century span, beginning with the entrenchment of the ""Big Three"" automakers during the Depression and concluding with the fuel crisis of the 1970s and early 1980s. The well illustrated text follows a thematic rather than a strictly chronological structure, tracing the development of principal elements in American automobile advertising. Advances in general advertising layouts and graphics are discussed in Part One, together with the ways in which automobile styling, mechanical improvements, and convenience features were portrayed and highlighted in automobile advertisements over the years.Part Two explores the advertising themes that were concerned less with the attributes of the cars themselves than with shaping the way consumers would perceive and identify with them. Part Three addresses ads oriented toward the practical aspects of automobile ownership, concluding with an account of the advance of imported cars into America after World War II. The work includes photographs and illustrations from over 250 automobile advertisements, the majority of which have not been seen in print since their original publication.
Heon Stevenson has written for several classic car magazines, including Classic American, and has also written extensively on advertising and automotive history. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Historians and a Friend of the History of Advertising Trust. He lives in Cambridge, England.