1970 Plymouth Road Runner car TV commercial

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By Dave Ashton

We have dug up quite a few of these retro car commercials and featured them on the website, but probably none as surreal as this 1970 Plymouth Road Runner outing. Car commercials originally started out being completely factual, just giving us information about the vehicle like the type of engine and maybe some new features they bolted to the car. By the 1960s car commercials had started to play on our emotional sensibilities and by 1970 had started to get more sophisticated or like in this case became quite quirky.

When you have one of the most iconic cartoon characters in the form of Road Runner as your mascot, the fun aspect of owning one of these cars can definitely come into play and Plymouth did that very well throughout the car’s reign. This commercial shows a sweet old lady playing around with some birdbaths, getting soaked, then cutting to the car on a beach with a huge Roadrunner head on its hood, sprinkling the surrounding areas with a hosepipe, is a bit ‘out there’ to say the least. The ad. men back then must have been reading a lot of Alice in Wonderland or smoking some funny stuff for inspiration at the time or probably both.

You basically get one frame of factual information showing that the car has a ‘440+6’ engine, enough to subliminally plant in your head, but do you remember most from this commercial the old lady in the middle of birdbaths, the car, the strapline ‘Plymouth Makes It’ or the Roadrunner icon? Probably it doesn’t matter as long as you remember one of these when you next went to buy a car in 1970.

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