November 1966: This Is How They Marketed 4x4s
The November 1966 issue of Four Wheeler included a number of fascinating advertisements from new vehicle manufacturers including Kaiser Jeep Corporation, Ford, International Trucks, and Toyota. Interestingly, pickup truck ads were absent and all of the ads were for what we now call sport utility vehicles. Here’s a look how the OE’s wrote ads 46 years ago.
Kaiser Jeep Wagoneer
Kaiser Jeep said that the Wagoneer “Looks as much at home at the country club as it does next to a prairie campfire,” and they submitted a photo to prove the former but left the latter to your imagination. The ad focused on fact that the Wagoneer was luxurious and off-road-capable, saying, “There isn’t another luxury wagon on the market that can go where this baby can. Mud, snow, sand, you name it.” The ’66 Wagoneer had a new V-8 and “all the automatic and power equipment you could wish for.” No one knew that the fullsize Wagoneer would have an impressive run of 28 years before it was discontinued. That’s a lot of campfires and country clubs.
Ford said that the Bronco, new for 1966, was the “toughest 4-wheeler ever,” and the company noted the vehicle’s racing successes in an apparent effort to back up this claim. The Bronco had several things going for it, including the fact that it was the only “compact four-wheel-drive” vehicle with V-8 power. The V-8 had a “special carburetor and oil pan to combat stalling or loss of oil pressure on steep grades.” The compact Bronco was produced for 11 years before it gained weight.
Kaiser Jeep said the Wagoneer looked at home whether camping or at the country club, Ford said the Bronco was the “toughest 4-wheeler ever,” but International said, “Here’s the car you’ve always wanted.” Wow, 4x4 buyers in 1966 must’ve been really confused about what to buy at this point. The Scout had a price of only $1,903.81 for the standard two-wheel-drive model and buyer’s had their choice of “seven snappy colors” and “six great styles, including hardtops, soft tops, and convertible.” They also noted each Scout was equipped with “a famous International engine.”
Toyota Land Cruiser
Not to be left out in the bold advertising department, Toyota said the Land Cruiser was “The pro way to go.” Toyota also boldly proclaimed, “Here’s the husky, power-packed 4-wheel drive that goes anywhere!” Fishing was apparently the most popular activity at the time, because the company said, “Its Big 6 cylinder engine 135 horses strong, can pull through wild bush country, slog, bog, or marshland to get you where the fishing’s great.” The company also noted that the “armor-like” rig had other features that “pros” prefer like nine forward and three reverse gear combinations.