Let’s take a trip back to 1965. Gasoline cost 31 cents per gallon, a new car was $2,650, average rent was $118 a month and a new house cost $13,600. And some of our favorite television stars were selling things. Here is an example of how the stars supported their advertisers:
Despite the endorsement from Robert Vaughn, the Corvair is on Time magazine’s list of “The 50 Worst Cars of All Time.” It was also the subject of Ralph Nader’s 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed. Nader was the first to talk about cars causing air pollution and needing additional safety measures.
Nader was threatened and harassed by General Motors. Former GM President James Roche was called to appear before a Senate subcommittee in 1966 and publicly apologized to Nader for the company’s campaign of intimidation. Nader sued for invasion of privacy and won. Some of the money from the suit allowed Nader to lobby for consumer protection.The federal law to make seat belts mandatory took effect on January 1, 1968.
In San Francisco, if you wanted a Chevy, you went to Ellis Brooks. Now they sell all kinds of cars, including electric models. Here is the familiar jingle: