Home » The 1960s Understood The Power Of Stripes: Cold Start

The 1960s Understood The Power Of Stripes: Cold Start

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Whatever you think about what was going on in America in the 1960s, I feel like it should be absolutely an unassailable fact that the era represented the high water mark for human and stripe interactions. I’m not sure humano-stripian relations have ever been better or more fruitful and creative. Look at these pictures from Ford’s 1966 brochure. The stripefulness is just off the charts, a real reminder of what we were once able to achieve.

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That went for other graphics, too. Checkerboards, Ben-Day dots, it was a golden era for so many graphical things. But stripes, man. It was a hell of a time to be a carefree young stripe, ready to take on the world.

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23 Responses

    1. I don’t think they did it from a photo. Two of these photos have the side panel reflection angles wrong. Not egregiously wrong, but just enough that it bothers my sense of detail. It’s still very impressive advertising art from the days when everything was done meticulously by hand.

      These were probably created before the first production cars rolled out. They may have used painted engineering models (full size or scale) if they didn’t have production cars available. If they didn’t, they should have.

      1. It’s a skill that develops with practice. You start by mastering a shine, like on an apple. I never got good at much more than that because I always wanted the result to be too perfect and could never settle on when I was finished.

  1. I don’t remember who said, “You can sell a young man’s car to an old man, but you can’t sell an old man’s car to a young man.” This brochure is what happens when you try to sell an old man’s car to a young man.

  2. I prefer the 70’s when the drug culture reached middle and upper management and they approved those wilder stripe packages on the cars themselves. Culminating, of course, into screaming chickens and cobra heads.

    1. Who are you…me?! For my money, the best/worst of them all has to be the Mustang II King Cobra flaming snake hood decal. I think it may have even come out before the infamous fire chicken?

  3. I don’t see what Ford was trying to convey in image #4, with the forlorn kid and couple who look like the spark left their relationship right around the time the mopey kid came along. Contrast that with image #1, with the lady striking a pose like a boss next to the same damn car. What should we take from this brochure? That the Fairlane 500 2 door was the perfect car for families that clearly want nothing to do with each other and young singles alike?

  4. “Hey kid, show some fucking enthusiasm, will ya? We’re trying to sell that Fairlane that you’re so nonchalantly denting with your meaty elbows.”
    – Henry Ford II (probably)

    1. Dad and son are glum because they had their hearts set on a Mustang, but mom looks pleased that she shut them down and got a practical Fairlane instead. She is also pleased that she can make everyone wear matching outfits.

  5. I love stripes on older cars. Sadly, just like grills today, the stripe packages became more absurd each year until they meant nothing and weren’t fun to look at. Late 70’s, they were a “performance” option. A 1978 Road Runner was nothing but a Volare’ with stripes. Nowadays, it’s either pin stripes or big fat racing stripes.

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