Dreams and Nightmares: the product promotion edition

Zippo ChryslerIn this latest collection of dream cars and nightmares, all the vehicles have something to sell. Are you buying? Let’s take a closer look at these strange yet compelling machines.  

 

 

Product promotion vehicles, or brand affinity vehicles as they are sometimes known in the biz, are nearly as old as the automobile itself. They date back to the time when cars themselves were novelties, and smart promoters quickly recognized their marketing power. Cars could be modified to take the form of all sorts of products, from shoes to milk bottles, creating effective and highly mobile sales platforms. The practice still works today.

Some promo vehicles have become famous in their own right—the Oscar Mayer Weinermobiles, the Zippo Chrysler. Many were so popular that they evolved through multiple design generations, like the Life Saver and Chicken Dinner Candy vehicles.

Promo car designs range from the bizarre, like the Moxie soft drink automobiles that were driven from mock horseback, to the almost attractive. We wouldn’t call the Wienermobiles beautiful, necessarily, but in their own way they are enjoyable to look at, and that’s one definition of beauty. As designer Brooks Stevens once said, “There is nothing more aerodynamic than a wiener.” Gallery below.

 

1923 Daimler Worthington's Ale
1923 Buick Moxie soft drink car
1921 Daimler TL30 Bass Pale Ale
Chicken Dinner Candy Chevrolet truck
Sillito's Bread Model T Ford
Zippo Chrysler
Lifesavers 1934 Dodge parade
1958 Oscar Mayer scale model proposal Brooks Stevens
Beer automobile unknown make and year
Norton 16H shoe sidecar
Apple Vendor Ford Model AA Truck
1953 Ford F-100 Chicken Dinner Candy
1967 Voxmobile guitar car
PepoMint Lifesavers Model T Ford
1936 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Tipo 1
1952 Dodge Oscar Mayer Weinermobile body by Gerstenslager
Chicken Delight convertible
Peters Bros. Shoes Oakland CA Chevrolet 490
Coca-Cola Mobile Fountain truck
Spammobile
Boston Lobster Feast VW Beetle
Red Bull Mini Coopers
Volkswagen Beetle Peepster
1932 Ford truck Blatz beer
Volkwagern Kombi Type 2 Gevalia Teapot
Citroen Hoover Vacuum
1929 LaSalle Moxie soft drinks

1923 Daimler Worthington's Ale

1923 Buick Moxie soft drink car

1921 Daimler TL30 Bass Pale Ale

Chicken Dinner Candy Chevrolet truck

Sillito's Bread Model T Ford

Zippo Chrysler

Lifesavers 1934 Dodge parade

1958 Oscar Mayer scale model proposal Brooks Stevens

Beer automobile unknown make and year

Norton 16H shoe sidecar

Apple Vendor Ford Model AA Truck

1953 Ford F-100 Chicken Dinner Candy

1967 Voxmobile guitar car

PepoMint Lifesavers Model T Ford

1936 Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Tipo 1

1952 Dodge Oscar Mayer Weinermobile body by Gerstenslager

Chicken Delight convertible

Peters Bros. Shoes Oakland CA Chevrolet 490

Coca-Cola Mobile Fountain truck

Spammobile

Boston Lobster Feast VW Beetle

Red Bull Mini Coopers

Volkswagen Beetle Peepster

1932 Ford truck Blatz beer

Volkwagern Kombi Type 2 Gevalia Teapot

Citroen Hoover Vacuum

1929 LaSalle Moxie soft drinks

5 thoughts on “Dreams and Nightmares: the product promotion edition

  1. Cars such as these seem to be restricted entirely to America, although I do note one British company did fit a fibreglass orange [as in the fruit] body to a BMC Mini. Fortunately though we seem to have been spared these sort of promotional vehicles in Australia, but then again we Aussies have never been known to buy any thing that uses a gimmick to promote it

  2. Again, MCG educates. For example, I did not previously know that candy bars used to have names like “Chicken Dinner”, “Denver Sandwich”, and “Lunch Bar”.

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