These classic winter advertisements might take the edge off this chill


It’s brutally, absurdly cold outside in much of the U.S. When it comes to your car, however, things could be worse. While a merciless polar vortex has left nearly 90 million Americans dealing with sub-freezing temperatures—including 25 million who’ve experienced lows of -20 or below—just imagine what it was like trying to keep your car on the road during cold winter months a century ago and even into the 1940s and ’50s.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/01/31/classic-winter-advertisements


Nowadays you don’t get fun ads like this but before just about any new car comes out there’s always a set of spy photos showing one being tested out in some far north location in deep snow. It always makes me think with whatever I’m driving, it it could make it through that it make make it through whatever I’m about to drive it in. Of course I don’t know if those cars get special winter prep, but I assume not much since they’re trying to test how well the basic car performs in the cold.


What great nostalgia…thanks for compilation. My dad, now 90, and I were just talking about this. He still lives in the rural house I grew up in, with steep roads that are often the last to get plowed…if ever. Yet we kids, somehow, always got our cars (most 6 volt systems) started and got out of there. Looking back I’m not sure how we did it. We did have snow tires, but they were bias-ply on rear wheel drive cars with open differentials. Multi-viscosity oil wasn’t common that I recall and I remember keeping starting fluid (unsafely) in my glove compartment. And then peering through the port-hole shaped clearing that those old weak defrosters would create. I also remember the distinct sound of tire chains that were too loose, or worse yet, when one broke. Saving grace was clearance…it took ALOT of snow to get high-centered…but I still managed it a few times. Had a scoop-shovel in the trunk, right next to the jumper cables and spare spark plugs, for that.
The good ole’ days weren’t all that great in some respects.