David E. Davis, Jr. passed away this week at the age 80 years old. A former ad man for Chevrolet, he made his mark writing ad copy that told a story instead of focusing on the technical. After leaving Chevrolet, Davis went on to be a writer and later the editor for Car and Driver. He founded Automobile magazine in the mid-1980’s and was the editorial director of Motor Trend in early 2000’s. In 2006 he designed the internet magazine Winding Road and in 2009 was back at Car and Driver as a columnist.
BadBoyVettes reminds of some of the work he did at the ad firm Campbell-Ewald on behalf of the Chevrolet Corvette. Art Director Jim Bernardin talks much of David E. Davis on his website Old Chevy Ads where he tells the stories behind the ads. Of Davis, Bernardin says “It wasn’t until I began working with David E. Davis Jr. that we were able to make ads that I thought represented Corvette best.”
“Out-Of-This-World-Travel” is just one example of a David E. Davis Corvette ad that appeared in the Feb 1962 issues of Car and Driver and Road and Track magazine:
We can’t understand all the hullabaloo about manned space vehicles. We’ve had something out of this world since 1953. It carries two people in royal-suite comfort and it can take the measure of any distance you’d care to name, always delivering its passengers amazed and excited. We call it the Corvette, and you’ll call it the greatest car you ever owned. A test drive in a Corvette with the Fuel Injection V8 and four-speed box isn’t a drive at all, it’s an emotional experience. Pick your favorite bit of road, fasten your seatbelt, and place your right foot on that long narrow pedal on the right. Three shifts and a quarter of a mile later you’ve cleared out all the cobwebs and left all your troubles, not to mention everything else on the road, behind you. It’s a good thing that all cars aren’t this nice. Every good stretch of rod in the county would be jammed with ’em and we Corvette drivers would have to switch to sky diving or bird watching…
Old Chevy Ads