5 weird and funny car commercials of the past: Volvo’s sexism, wheels of Enzo Ferrari and the legendary E30 (Video)

5 weird and funny car commercials of the past: Volvo’s sexism, wheels of Enzo Ferrari and the legendary E30 (Video)

Why do we like vintage car commercials so much? Couple of decades ago art of visual effects and videography was not where it is now. Therefore, creators had to use different approach to make their clips interesting and dynamic. While car commercials of today are definitely cool, we like to look back at how some already classic cars used to be advertised. So that is what we are doing here today – we present you 5 interesting car commercials from the past.

This article is part of the series we have going on about old car commercials, you can find the entire list of articles at the very bottom of this one. Meanwhile today we are looking at how BMW E30, Volvo 145, Toyota pickup trucks, Fiat 128 and were advertised.

There is no denying that we love E30. We are following one restoration project and we’ve already covered 7 interesting facts about this car. However, while now it is gaining its classic status, back in a day it was just another car on the market. This is kind of a lengthy, but it is full of good stuff. For starts, there is a nice example of old commercial weirdness – some boats and 80’s graphics.

If you watched entire clip, you really saw everything. Nice convertible, fast M3 and, of course, an off-roading scene on the snow. By the way, if you like E30, here you can read 7 interesting facts about this famous BMW.

There is no denying that today the world is more about equality than ever. Back in a day a little bit of sexism didn’t really bother anyone. This Volvo 145 commercial is a perfect example of how different the world was back in a way.

To be completely honest, we have to admit that this was the lifestyle of choice in those days. And both men and women struggled with those massive estate cars. Comparably tiny Volvo 145 looks so refreshing squeezed in between those American monsters.

Ford F150 is the most popular car in USA. In fact, pickup trucks are immensely popular throughout the country. Of course, American manufacturers are dominating the market, but Toyota is not humble about its presence either. This is how it introduced its new line in 1985.

You can see how competitor trucks are standing on their back axles from… shock, maybe? Regardless, Toyota makes pretty much the finest pickups on the market – they are extremely reliable, unbeatable off-road and full of technology.

“When it comes to cars, you can’t fool the Ferrari” – a funny ad for a humble Fiat 128. Enzo Ferrari is a legendary name in automotive business, who founded the coolest brand in the world. However, according to this commercial, Mr. Ferrari himself used different cars for his own commute.

Enzo Ferrari drove many cars throughout his lifetime and Fiat 128 is actually not that weird. However, we don’t thing Ferrari drew a lot of inspiration from humble Fiats when creating his own masterpieces.

Finally, just look at how dreamy Mazda Miata (MX-5) commercial was. This little sports car is probably the most optimistic vehicle on the road and it seems like people behind this clip grasped its character very well. Just take a look.

Mazda MX-5 is the most popular sports car in the world. We are starting to think – maybe it is time that NODUM buys one…

These were all commercials we had for this time. Are there any vintage car commercials YOU would include into our list?

If you enjoy vintage car commercials, we offer two other parts of this series:

In the first article we showed creative clips about Ford Model T, classic MINI, SAAB 900 Turbo, first generation Volkswagen Golf GTI and Lada Niva

In the second we took a look at how Audi 100, Golf MkII, Volkswagen Passat, Opel Calibra and Fiat Multipla were advertised;

And in the third we watched M5 (E39), Porsche, Ford Mustang, Mercedes-Benz and Lambroghini commercials.

Martynas’ E30 – preparation and painting

Martynas’ E30 – preparation and painting

Martynas is restoring his E30 and sharing his experience with you. This time we are going to show and tell how he prepared and painted his car without professional equipment and a ton of money. While Martynas certainly has his hands growing from the right place, he had no experience in restoring cars. So hopefully this will be somewhat inspirational for you – you can do this too!

This is a second part of article series dedicated to Martynas’ E30. In the first article we looked over the condition of the car, main defects and Martynas’ vision of how it will look like when restoration project is completed. We invite you to read that article first.

In short, this E30 was not in a good shape. However, it is an old car and it could certainly be worse. While some rust was immediately visible, it was only an indication of what can be found underneath some of the body pannels and the layer of paint. So the first step in preparation for a new paintjob was removing fenders to inspect for rust.

E30 had to be partially disasembled to inspect for rust.

And, of course, there was rust. All plastic components that were on the way, such as the grill and the rear lights, were removed and then Martynas could start sanding old paint away. This, of course, revealed even more rust that was not previously visible as well as some pretty deep dents.

Deep dents and spots that rusted out were filled with autobody filler.

Rust was sanded away completely and bigger spots as well as dents were filled with autobody filler. As you can see in the picture, there were many spots that had to be filled and sanded flush with the rest of the body, but eventually, after several days, work was finished.

Car was primed outdoors – if weather is right, you can do that without a problem.

Then it was time to spray the primer. Most people think that this has to be done professionally in a painting booth. And it’s true – results should be better if you take your car to a paint shop. However, Martynas wanted to do it himself and there really is no reason not to try. While it is easy to mess up, you can always sand little drips or dust away. So Martynas sprayed his E30 just on his lawn outside of the garage. All wheels and windows were masked before this operation.

Preparations for a minor modification.

While results were not perfect – several insects and some dust landed on wet primer – proper sanding fixed everything. And then it was time for painting. This, of course, cannot be done outdoors.

Martynas put up a temporary painting booth in a garage using just some plastic sheets. The goal is to let the paint cure uninterrupted by dust, insects or rain. His make-shift painting booth worked just fine. He did buy a good quality spray gun, but didn’t spend a fortune on it. The colour is called “Extra Black” and it seems to live up to its name.

In the painting booth – just a normal garage space.


Almost done

One layer of paint and a couple of layers of lacquer were sprayed on the car. Paint layer was pretty much perfect, but there are some drips in the clear coat. It was made thicker for this exact purpose – imperfections will be gone in polishing.

Before plastic parts were put back into place.

This is how the car looked like after it was assembled back together.

Car mostly put back together

And this is what the new exhaust looks like.

E30 now has double a double tip exhaust.

With this exterior restoration is almost done. It does still require some polishing, but the clear coat is still not cured enough for that. However, E30 is already up on its feet – it is mechanically well and safe to drive. By the way, speaking of the feet, this came in the mail –

Brand new wheels.

But more about the wheels and how the car looks with them in the next article. Soon it will be time to start working on the interior of the E30, which is not in a good shape at all.

If you have any questions about the build, you can ask them on our Facebook page or via email nodum2017@gmail.com.

Audi S1 with tracks – a tiny tank is strong enough to destroy an entire beach (Video)

Audi S1 with tracks – a tiny tank is strong enough to destroy an entire beach (Video)

While SUV’s are good at going off-road, sometimes they are also stopped by some natural obstacles, such as deep snow or fine sand. Solution – tracks instead of wheels. Obviously, this transformation doesn’t really have a practical purpose, but some enthusiasts just enjoy looking different and driving in places where it shouldn’t be possible. Just look at this Audi S1 have fun on some beach in Europe.

You can simply buy snow tracks for a pickup truck or SUV. The conversion kit is simple to install and, if done properly, will not damage the car. However, in some cases some minor modifications will be needed. For example, we can see that bumpers of this Audi S1 have been cut to accommodate large tracks. Other than that, the car looks pretty stock, but we cannot say for certain. Have a look.

Obviously, these tracks are meant to be used in snow. We recon, this tracked S1 would probably look better in snow too – a standard Audi with a Quattro all-wheel drive system could drive around this beach without a problem. We definitely don’t know another S1 like this, so we can congratulate the owner for having such a unique little vehicle.

7 facts about BMW E30 that you might not know: M3 pickup? (Video)

7 facts about BMW E30 that you might not know: M3 pickup? (Video)

E30 is one of the most loved BMW‘s in the world. It is not immediately obvious why, but it is a nice car to look at. It features straight sharp lines and right angles. It is compact, yet athletic in a way. E30 is just full of character, which helped it to gain its international success. Today we present 7 interesting facts about E30 that you might not know.

BMW E30 – is the second generation 3 Series, produced between 1982–1994. In total, more than 2.3 million examples have been made, which means that the E30 is far from being a rare car. This is actually good, because people can modify it to suit their personal taste without remorse of damaging some historically valuable vehicle. In Nodum.org you can follow one of these projects – Martynas‘ E30 Coupe is getting restomoded into something rather interesting. But let’s jump into the 7 interesting facts about the E30.

The first Z Series car

BMW Z Series is a family of convertibles. You probably know the little Z3 and you have definitely seen the pretty Z4. However, the first Z car was actually the small and quirky Z1, based on the E30 325i running gear. It had a plastic body, an interesting shape and bizarre vertically opening sliding doors.

BMW Z1, the first Z Series car, was created using the running gear from E30. (Lothar Spurzem, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 2.0 de)

The first M3

BMW M3 is now an iconic performance car, which we can trace back to the E30. BMW wanted to race, so the E30 homologation had to be passed and, as you know, street cars are needed for it. That is why in 1985 the E30 M3 was born. It was built using a coupe body, but arches were expanded using a boxed design. Some people like it and some people don’t, because it looks like a modification done in someone’s garage. The most powerful E30 M3 had a 175 kW 2.5 litre engine and could reach 100 km/h in around 6 seconds. The last E30 M3 was made sometime in 1992.

Boxed arches – a bit of a controversial feature of E30 M3. (Rudolf Stricker, Wikimedia)

M3 pickup?

M3 is a very practical performance vehicle. But making it into a pickup just doesn’t sound good. However, the only M3 pickup produced by the actual M Division was meant to be used in the facility to deliver parts. It was made in 1986 by converting a normal 3 Series convertible into a performance pickup with a 2 litre engine. Later it got a proper 2.3 litre engine and it was still being regularly used in the M Division campus until 2012. Many enthusiasts created their own E30 pickups as well.

E30 – one of the most important cars in BMW’s history

Many historians and BMW fans agree that the E30 helped BMW transition from building small sporty cars to larger luxury automobiles. E30 was the first 3 Series to be offered as a sedan and as anestate. It was also the first 3 Series to have an all-wheel-drive and diesel engine options. And the first BMW to sell in big numbers in the U. S.

Friendship with E36

E30 was being manufactured up until 1994, but its successor, E36, entered production in 1990. How can it be? Well, at first, E36 was only made as a coupe and until other versions were made available, the E30 was still being manufactured. It was slowly phased out. Touring (estate version of the E30) was the last E30 to leave the factory in 1994.

E36 and E30 were manufactured together for as long as 4 years. (OSX, Wikimedia)

You have to be smart to modify a E30

E30 is actually not an expensive car at all. Many car enthusiasts bought them and started modifications without knowing what they were doing. For example, bricks or a concrete slab in the trunk are known to have been used to improve the handling. Nowadays, it seems that people who pick up a E30 for restomoding projects modify their cars tastefully and such weird fashions don’t exist enymore.

E30 convertibles were featured in Top Gear as well. The popular trio tested three almost identical cars, but two of them were badly modified. And so, the least modified one won the challenges by a huge margin.

Claus Luthe

E30 was designed by the German car designer Claus Luthe. He is regarded as one of the most important people forming modern European car design. In his portfolio we would find not only E30, but also Audi 50, BMW E28, and Volkswagen K70. Have you ever been in an Audi 100 C2? Its interior also has been designed by Luthe. He also supervised the design process of the E31 8 Series.


Those are all the facts we compiled for you for today. We invite you to follow our series of articles about this E30 – Martynas’s E30 is taking shape nicely.

Did we miss something? What other important E30 facts have not been mentioned in the article?

What happened to pop-up headlights? Can we expect them to make a comeback?

What happened to pop-up headlights? Can we expect them to make a comeback?

Pop-up headlights used to be so popular back in 1960’s-1990’s. And everyone liked them. They were presented as a design feature, making cars sleeker when lights are closed and characterful when opened. But sometime at the turn of the century they just disappeared. Why? Can we expect some manufacturer to bring them back?

1936 Cord 810 – the first car with popup headlights. (Sicnag, Wikimedia(CC BY 2.0)

The first car with pop-up headlights was introduced to the market in 1936 – it was Cord 810. A very handsome car, which was standing out with its design from the crowd even when it was new. Now it is a priced possession of some lucky collections, but its pop-up heritage got very popular only in 1960’s and 1970’s. Many sports cars in these decades were shaped like wedges so pop-up headlight sort of fit in.

Porsche 968 headlights were not actually hidden – they would just tilt back to flow into the shape of the bonnet. (Atlant, Wikimedia(CC BY 2.5)

One of the reasons why manufacturers insisted in installing pop-up headlights in their cars, despite the extra effort, was that people loved them. Another reason – US at the time had regulations that prevented any kind of aerodynamic headlight design. It basically meant that headlights had to be square or rounded, neither of which satisfied car designers. So hiding them from plain sight was a good option.

There were many special cars with pop-up headlights: Lotus Elan, first generation Mazda MX-5, Porsche 944, Lamborghini Countach, Toyota MR2, Mitsubishi 3000GT, BMW M1 and many more. There were other types of hidden headlights as well. For example, Porsche 968’s lights would tilt back to accommodate the shape of the bonnet. You would always see the lights, even when they were turned off, but they were slanted backwards to give the car that aerodynamic look. 1967 Ford Thunderbird had garage door style covers over its headlights. So why did hidden lights disappear?

Regulations on the shape of headlights were relaxed and so there was no reason to hide the lights. In fact, manufacturers took the opportunity to make the headlights stand out as a design feature. Pop-up headlights typically have a simple mechanism, but it is not always reliable. It is also some extra weight, cost and effort in the manufacturing process.

Lancia Stratos – one of the biggest heroes of automotive world – was also blinking with popup headlights. (contri, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 2.0)

Also, pedestrian safety became a major concern at some point. Pop-up headlights are sticking out of the smooth shape of the car and so they are imposing a greater risk of injury to pedestrians in case of an accident. And, finally, pop-up headlights are horrible in terms of aerodynamics, which makes cars slower and less fuel-efficient.

Lotus Esprit was one of the last cars to be manufactured with popup headlights. (PeteBergeron, Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)

These are the reasons why we are not going to see cars with pop-up headlights any time soon. If you want one, you will have to buy an old one. The last cars to be manufactured with pop-up headlights were Lotus Esprit and  Chevrolet Corvette C5, finishing their production life sometime in 2004-2005.

About Nodum

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