Here's a big ad from Chevrolet, hooting about all the fun you can have in their 1955 sport model lineup.
I don't know of any beaches that let you park your car right on the sand. There's too much danger of running over children playing with a beach ball, like in this ad. I was kind of surprised to see how much loft that girl is getting out of the ball. I mean, I know beach balls have almost no mass, but she's only about seven years old. Either she's got a great future in the Olympics or her dad pumped the ball up to 80 psi with the compressor. Also, dad could have a special 50/50 air/helium mix he uses just for inflating beach balls.
More likely, the artist just wanted to get the ball clear of the trees or something, to avoid a cluttered appearance. I think this may have been a mistake, as the beach ball is the first thing that drew my eye when I flipped the page. I bet the ball originally was a little lower in the picture, but somebody asked "What's with the giant sphere sitting on top of the trees?" This is just the kind of insightful remark you get from visually illiterate people on an advertising committee. So, the ball was painted out, moved up and now the little girl seems like a powerhouse. This is just conjecture. I have no idea how the creation of this ad worked out, really.
The artist is easy to identify on this one. Bruce Bomberger. He was a staff illustrator on a bunch of magazines around The Fifties. Here's a page full of his pieces that sold at auction. Nice stuff, but the final prices aren't listed. Boo. I didn't bother to check, but I'm sure you can find lots of eBay listings selling pages of Bruce's work, cut out of magazines and going for $10 a sheet.
This ad reminds us how spoiled we are with horsepower these days. The V-8s available in these cars had between 162 and 180 ponies, which is about what you can expect from a four-cylinder these days. There's more to a car's appeal than sheer power, of course, but these cars must have been a little pokey off the line, even compared to a Corolla. Still, I reckon more than a few readers would happily trade their current transportation appliance for one of these ancient Chevys.
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