When flipping though my vintage magazine collection looking for an interesting piece of automotive advertising to share with you, I stumbled across this gem of an ad for the 1978 Dodge Magnum XE.
It’s not the look of the ad that caught my attention, it’s the totally outrageous story that’s being told.
A well dressed man in a tuxedo approaches a beautiful woman at a roulette table (in what I can only assume is a swanky casino) and opens with “Ever been….car-napped my dear?”
Say what!? Seriously, Dodge?
If you were to play out this opening scene today, this guy would probably get maced, punched and promptly escorted off the casino’s premises with him asking himself aloud, “was it something I said?”.
But apparently in 1978, the appropriate way for this young lady to react is to say “Car-napped? How intriguing!” /facepalm
So now that I’ve set the scene, see how the story ends in this riveting piece of advertising, straight out of Mad Men, for the ’78 Dodge Magnum XE.
Introducing Magnum XE. An Exciting New Car-Napper From Dodge.
You’re looking at a magic means of transportation. The brand-new Dodge Magnum XE.
As much a statement of philosophy as it is a fine motor car; it is crafted in the belief that there is still room fro luxury and impeccable road manners to live side by side.
Consider Magnum’s cockpit. Thin-backed, low-profile bucket seats. Rich carpeting. Soft tailored vinyl. A most elegant and comfortable driving environment.
Yet there’s another side to Magnum. Sophisticated instrumentation.The optional tachomoter. The presence of anti-sway bars, front and rear. Hefty FR78X15 radials. A strong V8 with Chrysler’s Electronic Lean Burn System. Such things provide Magnum XE with considerable assurance underway.
Then there is all the electronic wizardry. Like headlights with clear, retractable shields. An optional electronic digital clock with no moving parts. An optional 40-channel CB transceiver integrated into an AM/FM stereo radio (even the antenna is automatically power operated).
The new Magnum XE. A remarkable automobile that beautifully combines the attributes of a touring car with those of a luxury car. A car that’s adventurous without being extravagant.
It is a car that must be driven to be appreciated. And you can do that at your Dodge Dealer’s.
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What do you think of this ad for the 1978 Dodge Magnum XE? Is it controversial even for its time? Is the subject matter completely outrageous? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.