The best car ads are the ones with Easter eggs

Photograph Courtesy Japanese Classics

How many car ads and listings have you read in your lifetime? Hundreds? Thousands? Millions?

I remember scrolling through the paper’s classified ads while growing up. There was no way I was buying an Impala SS at only 14 years old, but a kid can dream, right?

Today, it’s part of my job: What’s the classic car market doing today?

Plus, sure, it’s fun.

Small insider tip: Not all ads and listings are created equally.

Many just provide the bare minimum: year, make, model, contact info.


How about some history of that model before delving into the background of that particular car? For some good examples, check out the Fantasy Junction and RM Sotheby’s pages.

I’ll wait.

Another personal favorite of mine: Japanese Classics in Richmond, Virginia. The name of the company might give away its specialty: cool cars from Japan, ranging from Nissan Laurel and Toyota Altezza sedans to high-performance models like the Subaru WRX STi and Nissan Skyline GT-R.

Whoever writes the listings for the company should get a trophy or a cookie something. While containing all of the facts and figures, they’re also full of personality–and, in some cases, what I’d call Easter eggs.

Take, for example, this bit of text buried halfway down in an ad for a 1998 Mazda Roadster:

The controls for heat and the fan are close by and the adjacent Pioneer touchscreen nav/radio works like a charm. It even comes preloaded with a bunch of Japanese marching band tunes in case you want to jam out like the good old days when your parents sent you away to band camp.

What tasty morsels can be found in its other listings? Guess I’ll have to keep reading–and maybe dream about buying something cool from Japan.

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stu67tiger Reader
2/22/24 5:27 p.m.

This one was being passed around on a couple different boards a few years back.  Original author unknown...

Vehicle Description:

Jensen built over 6000 Interceptors, continually developing and debugging the model for nearly ten years until it almost wasn't horrible. Alas, this is an extremely early example, so it's horrible in every conceivable way. 

Granted, as the 180th Interceptor ever made, this right-hand-drive '67 Type I could be worse. The first few dozen of these overheating, pig-handling, self-immolating rust buckets came with Vignale-built bodies of such staggeringly poor quality that the ENGLISH wouldn't accept them, which is saying quite a mouthful. Even as it is, this British-built version was apparently made from an alloy of salt, wet newspapers, and tuna cans. The front floors, both sills, most of the exterior front bodywork, and the left doorpost are all shot; the inner front fenders and box sections have taken a similar stroll across the periodic table, as have the lower parts of all four outer fenders. The hood, while fairly free of corrosion, appears to have been run over by a monster truck. 

On the upside, the greenhouse and rear clip aren't too bad. The rear suspension points are nice and solid, and the twin-sewer-pipe tube frame--miraculously escaping the usual rust ahead of the firewall that causes the entire front half of these cars to break off and roll away on their own--is totally sound. I can only chalk this up to a liberal coating of Limey lubricants having leaked from the sump and gearbox. 

The engine (a Jensen-spec Chrysler 383), transmission (787 Torque-Flite), brakes, and radiator were all supposedly rebuilt by the car's last owner. I half-heartedly buy it regarding the brakes and radiator, which look pretty new. As to the engine, I think he's defined "rebuild" as "a new can of Ford-blue engine paint." 

This fine example of how Britain lost its empire comes with good glass all around, working window motors, good (rare Type I) dash and console metal, the pathetic remains of four original Armstrong Selectaride shocks, and a fairly cursory paper trail. 

Vehicle Condition 

Pretty sorry-ass. But go ahead and email me with any questions, as I love to be reminded of that. 

Terms of Sale 

For starters, you can get it out of my driveway. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/23/24 8:23 a.m.

In reply to stu67tiger :

I’ll take it!

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