If you’re like me, you spend way too much time looking at youtube. As an auto enthusiast, I sometimes look at car commercials, partly because a lot of the old spots used animation to sell cars, but also to see film of brand new shiny examples of cars that have long been absent from the American road. I am always delighted when I stumble upon a live-action car commercial featuring one of my favorite cartoon voice actors on camera. Commercials like these…
Allan Melvin for Dodge Polara
See Allan Melvin (Magilla Gorilla) pilot the big, full-sized Polara (with optional air conditioning).
Dave Ketcham For Chevrolet Impala
Ketcham narrated over 100 Roger Ramjet cartoons (and also appeared in a few of Pantomime Pictures’ “Sesame Street” cartoon films.) He can be seen here touting the lovely, mildly restyled 1967 Impala. Carefully listeners may notice the Roger Ramjet sound effect near the end.
Arnold Stang For Chevrolet Laguna
The Chevy Chevelle was all new for 1973, and this was also the first year for the Laguna trim level (Distinguishable by it’s urethane nose, an unusual thing at the time.) Arnold Stang points out some of the advantages of this model.
Robert Ridgley And Dal McKennon For Ford F100
For years, the J. Walter Thompson agency and the Ford Motor Company would often employ humor to peddle their wares. Sometimes they used cartoons. Sometimes they used funny men. This time they used cartoon funny men.
John Erwin For Hot Wheels
1975 was actually the second year for the Hot Wheels “Flying Colors” line up. By Flying Colors, Mattel meant that they were printing designs right on the car bodies to try to make the dull new enamel colors (introduced without the printed designs in 1973) look more exciting. Erwin was, of course, the voice of Filmation’s He-Man, Reggie on The Archie Show, among much else.
BONUS: A John Erwin spot with a real car instead of a toy. Erwin appears here as a Ford salesman. By 1973 the Ford Mustang had grown from a pony to a mastodon. The 1974-1978 Mustang II was smaller, had attractive styling, and sold extremely well. Unfortunately the driving experience was far too Pinto-like.
Sid Raymond Drunk Driving PSA
Classic public service spot featuring Sid “Katnip” Raymond.
Paul Frees For Taster’s Choice Coffee
Paul Frees portrays an inspector (Inspector Fenwick-type) reviving his Eric Blore inspired voice to sell the new Frees-dried coffee.
Paul Frees For Opel Kadett
Sorry that last one wasn’t a car commercial, but it was too good not to show. This next one is an actual car commercial, although Paul Frees does not appear on camera. He does his George of the Jungle narration voice here. The elephant looks familiar too. Could this be Shep?