Without doubt the cushiest job in the world during the 1970s must have been the motor industry ‘mad man’. Why? Well, there was a glut of marques battling for punters in an overcrowded market place – sometimes (as in the case of MG, Austin-Healey and Triumph) even within the same company! Jobs were well paid and plentiful, and you didn’t even have to be very innovative; there was basically just one strategy used to flog even the dreariest 70s rot box: stick a semi-naked bit of totty in front of the motor and take some snaps. Of course there were a lot more motor shows back then, but as long as the girls could dance around for a bit (and the beer, crisps and fags were covered by expenses), you were laughing.

Of course, as modern gentlemen, Rich, Steve and I are jointly horrified by the rampant objectification of the fairer sex in these adverts. But as automotive adventurists and keen historians we feel duty bound to document this dark period of seedy marketing tactics. To all our female readers we would just like to take this opportunity – fifty years too late, we’re embarrassed to admit – to apologize for this lazy, chauvinistic salesmanship. Sorry.


MotorPunk’s Top Ten Automotive Adverts of the Saucy Seventies

10. The Beauti-full 924 (1978) – see what they did?

A bit low brow for Porsche perhaps … but I suppose it’s only the one with the van-engine.

Beautiful Porsche 924

9. Sherpa Vans (1973) – For big load luggers

The hostess of 70s prime time family show, The Golden Shot, grabs the attention of 70s van-man.

Anne Aston Sherpa ad

8. Suzuki (1970) – Banzai smut

Suzuki Nookie

7. MG Midget (1970) – Handbrake smut

1970 MG Midget Advert

6. Thrush Mufflers (1979) – Well Stacked

Well Stacked Thrush Mufflers


5. TR7 (1978) – Wedgey smut

TR7 advert

4. TVR (1971) – Topless models at the London Motor Show

The 2500M, SM and Tuscan’s Earls Court Motor Show debut sparked a media frenzy that made TVR a front–page news story, but the models causing all the fuss were not petrol-powered. In 1971 TVR had two butt naked women draped over the cars in a publicity stunt that was to be remembered as one of the smuttiest, ever. Certainly, it was an event that made sure the gaze of most motoring journalists were well focused upon the TVR stand.


3. Reliant Scimitar (1971) – Choppers at the Earls Court Motor Show

It starts with a buxum gal trying to sell Dunlop D1 race wheels, but it’s the bizarre (and yet strangely predictable) Reliant performance that follows that lands this dodgy ad campaign in at third spot. What were they thinking? That chap could have had those gals’ eyes out, waving his weapon around like that!

2. Norton (1975) – Frontage

Norton Advert

1. MGB (1973) – Last Tango in Abingdon

There’s so much smuttery lurking in here, from the smouldering cigarillo to the film poster at the rear. The poor dear is clearly quite chilled too; she should have put a thicker blouse on because that MGB’s heater is bound to be knackered.


1973 MGB advert


About The Author

Darryl can usually be found up to his elbows in some unloved piece of BL detritus when he isn’t snapping and scribbling for various print magazines or producing the book on road tripping or tally-ho adventurers. As an occasional presenter on CBS's Carfection YouTube channel, his other hobbies include vintage Scalextrics, ‘60s Bang & Olufsen and dabbling in grassroots motorsport.

6 Responses

  1. Phil Meup-Withabiggun

    Dear God, they really were different times eh? As for the chilly young lass with the MG Roadster … you could hang your hat on them chapel pegs!

  2. Stuart Grigg

    Why are there so many negative comments about pretty scantily clad models advertising new cars in the 60s and 70s? That was acceptable then so why not just go with the flow accept it as part of our history and be proud of it? At least the girls were almost as good looking as the cars. Why make such a fuss over such little clothing. Good grief people get a life and stop being so sanctimonious !


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