Old TV

UK television adverts 1955–1990


ATS (Associated Tyre Specialists): 1985

There’s no tread Joe!
Try ATS Joe!

Music!We keep the best tyres and the prices are low,
Just look in the book — there’s not far to go,
You get the best
And you get them for less,
We’ll keep the prices low Joe,
We’ll keep you on the go Joe.Music!

Audi: 1984

Vorsprung Durch Technik.

[Voice-over by Geoffrey Palmer]

Audi Quattro: 1980

It’s a miracle but we’ve made it!

Austin Ambassador: 1982

The new Austin Ambassador. What price would you put on a car like this?

[Mime artist puts on sign reading £9917]


[Mime artist swivels the first figure to read £6917]

Oh yes, that’s right. And how about this?
[Shows even lower prices, and mime artist faints]

The new Austin Ambassadors — expensive motor cars from only £5106.

Avis Rent-a-Car: 1962

We’re number two. We try harder!

BMW cars: 1975

The ultimate driving machine!

BP (1): 1968

BP sets the pace!

BP (2)

Britain at its best!

British Airways (1): 1970s

Following the merger of BEA and BOAC

Now there's British Airways, and now … the world is yours

British Airways (2)

Music! There's sunshine,
A familiar face,
A whole world waiting for you.
There's all the fun of getting there,
All the people and places,
British Airways can take you too.
We'll take more care of you,
Fly the flag, fly the fla-g,
We'll take more care of you…
Fly th-e flaaaaag.Music!

The world’s favourite airline.

British Airways Concorde: late 1970s

You leave. Arrive before.

British Caledonian Airlines: 1983

Music! I’ve flown with U.S. Airlines
And the girls are really nice!
And those beautiful Far Eastern girls
Do splendid things with rice!
German girls are so correct
And the planes are never late!
But there’s only one girl we want to see
As we reach the departure gate …….
I wish they all could be Caledonian,
I wish they all could be Caledonian,
I wish they all could be Caledonian girls!Music!

British Caledonian — we never forget you have a choice!

[Tune: “California Girls”]

British Rail (1): 1969

Mum and Dad, your old friend Monica, (you remember Monica), Uncle Fred …. all of them so far, yet so near … by Intercity. Off-peak returns can save up to four-bob in the pound! Aren’t they worth it — Mum and Dad, Monica, Uncle Fred? Intercity brings something good into their lives … you!

British Rail (2): 1982 (with Jimmy Saville)

Any minute now you’re going to see a cheap awayday return make an ordinary day into an extra special one for my friends here — as the train brings people together.

Music! This the age of the train — this is the a-a-ge …Music!

You hop on at one end then speed away safely and smoothly— with room to stretch out and move about. As it happens — the going’s almost as good as the getting there— and it’s so easy on your purse! Awayday is an off-peak ticket — so it costs you less! Spend a day with someone you care for— it’s much cheaper than you think because …

Music! This is the a-a-age …Music!
Of the train!

British Rail (3): 1985

(Various scenes at the Rail station set to appropriate tunes)

Music! If you’ve got a problem, I don’t care what it is.
I If you need a hand, I can assure you this,
I can help,
I’ve got two strong arms and I can help….Music!

Music!Do you know where you’re going to,
Do you like the things that life is showing you…?Music!
[Diana Ross: the theme from Mahogany]

Music!You don’t have to say you love me,
Just be close at hand….Music!
[Dusty Springfield]

Music!Step inside love,
Let me find you a place….Music!
[Cilla Black]

Music!Every breath you take,
Every move you make,
Every bond you break,
Every step you take,
I’ll be watching you….Music!

Voiceover: British Rail have come up with something called Customer Care School — by now most of our people have attended. You can notice the difference!

[Shot of information board which reads: Train not ready]

Music!Sorry seems to be the hardest word….Music!
[Elton John]

Voiceover: British Rail — we’re getting there!

British Rail (4): miscellaneous slogans

Let the train take the strain.

Inter-City makes the going easy … and the coming back
(latter part probably added when AwayDays were introduced)

We’re getting there!

Travel like a human being

City to city, heart to heart.

Butlin’s by the Sea

Holidays with young children can be a problem, but here at Butlin’s babies and parents have a wonderful time. Butlin’s really welcome babies. With … … special staff trained in childcare to give mothers all possible help, babies can stay in nurseries and playrooms for just as long as you wish. Nothing is too much trouble.

Castrol oil

Castrol is the masterpiece in oils.

(GTX oil): Liquid engineering [1970s]

Chrysler Sunbeam: 1977

[with Petula Clark]

Music!Put a Chrysler Sunbeam in your life,
Let it show all over your face,
You’ll have such a glow
That the folks that you know
Will think you’re in love.Music!

[Then the sales pitch]

Music!So put a Chrysler Sunbeam in your life,
Let it shine all over the place,
You’ll have such a high
As you go driving by
They’ll say it must be love.Music!

Cunard, c.1970)

The moving holiday, from Cunard.

Dagenite car batteries (mid-1970s)

Hold tight, it’s Dagenite!

Datsun 200B: 1980

Datsun 200B stocks are running out fast — so hurry for huge savings on the recommended retail price — at your Datsun dealer now!

Esso (1): 1950s

Happiness is a quick-starting car.

Esso (2): Late 1950s

Music!More people the whole world over
Like the products and service they find
At the E-S-S-O, yes sir ESSO,
At the ESSO sign!Music!

Esso (3): c.1959

Music!Oh the Esso sign means happy motoring,
The Esso sign means happy motoring,
The Esso sign means happy motoring,
Call at the Esso sign,
For Esso ExtraMusic!

Also added :

Music!and Golden Esso Extra,
Call at the Esso sign!Music!

Esso (4)

Tune: The Toreador’s song

Music!Esso-o sign means happy motoring,
Esso-o sign means happy mo…Music!

Someone says “No, no, the wronga da musica!”

And it finishes with a quick burst of the usual song:

Music!The Esso sign means happy motoring call at the Esso sign.Music!

Esso (5): 1964

Put a tiger in your tank!

Esso (6)

(sung by Dick Emery)

Music!My old ma said “Follow the car,
And don’t dilly dally on the way.”
Off went the car with the Extra in it.
Ma ran behind shouting “Wait a minute “,
She raced it.
She chased it,
She even tried to pace it,
Up and down the road she went all day.
You can’t beat a car with the Extra in it,
Get a tankful down your way.Music!

Esso (7): 1981

We in Esso believe: you can’t take steps to improve your business without also helping Britain.
You can’t show confidence in the country’s future without investing in the country now.
You can’t invest in new industry without generating new jobs.
You can’t develop new technologies without training new people.
And you can’t climb out of a recession by pointing your nose down-hill.
This year, we will be investing six hundred million pounds — which is good for you, good for us, and good for the future of Britain!

Fiat Supermirofiori: 1982

To turn a Cortina 2 Litre GL into the 1982, 2 Litre Fiat Supermirofiori,
there are some things you’d have to add:
The twin-cam engine
The power steering
The 5 speed gear box
The velour upholstery
The electric windows
The central locking
Of course, there are some things you’d have to subtract —
including about £800 from the price!
Then you have it — the 1982 Supermirofiori!
It’s a good year for Fiats!

Fiat Strada: 1979

Hand-built by robots.

[Tune: “Figaro”]

Firestone tyres: 1965

Where the rubber meets the road.

Ford Capri: 1969

The Ford Capri. The car you always promised yourself.

Ford Cortina: 1982

Poised confidently above the hustle and bustle of everyday motoring are the 1982 model Ford Cortinas.
They’re as solid as a rock, as reliable as time, as comfortable as your favourite armchair.
And, with more equipment than ever before, they’ve got success written all over them.
Well … written on the boot to be more precise!
The 1982 Ford Cortina — more than ever a car above comparison!

Ford Sierra: 1985

Brands Hatch, October the 6th 1985 — a big day for the Ford Sierra! It’s one of the most handsome estate cars ever designed. It’s a fuel injected, 2 litre sports saloon that’s capable of 118 miles per hour! It’s a 4-wheel drive, high performance machine that’s been acclaimed by motoring writers.
It’s a 90 horse-power, 1.8, family 5 seater. And it’s made Andy Rouse British Saloon Car Champion! The Ford Sierra’s time has come!

The New Ford Sierra: 1982

The shape of this car isn’t just a designer’s dream it was honed by the wind. The New Ford Sierra is one of the most efficient, aero-dynamic driver’s cars ever made. Test-drive the New Ford Sierra yourself — it’s man and machine in perfect harmony.

Ford Zodiac, Zephyr, and Consul MK2: 1956

Ford again sets the fashion with the three graces — the new Zodiac, the new Zephyr, and the new Consul. Each has the new Ford line — longer, lower, even more elegant. The new Consul, Zephyr, and Zodiac are not only more beautiful, they’re following the latest advances to give you better motoring in every way. The beautiful styling of the new interiors spells comfort and elegance in every line. The wide curved windscreen makes driving easy, safe. Beautiful from every angle these roomy six-seaters — the new Ford Consul, Zephyr, and Zodiac offer the motoring you have dreamed about at costs you can afford.

Global Holidays: 1981

Travelmasters at Global offer a wide range of great value-for-money holidays to:
Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.
Save money on holiday related items when booking a Global holiday at Travelmasters!

Glenrothes, Fife

Glenrothes, Fife.
Good for business, great for life

Godfrey Davis car hire: late 1950s

The first name in car hire.


Go, go, Goodyear!


Puts you in the driver’s seat.

Honda Moped: 1981

Music!Standing in your own home
Shopping on your two feet
Never see your old friends — except at weekends
It’s time you broke away …
Believe in freedom, believe in Honda
Going where you like, a Honda bike and you!
Believe in freedom, believe in Honda
Going where you like, a Honda bike and you!Music!

[On-screen prices ranged from £255 to £339 with: “Pre-delivery inspection and number plate extra”]

Hoseasons: 1970

Music!Now is the time to drop us a line
For your Hoseasons boating brochure
We’ve got all kinds of craft that’ll suit you just fine
For messing about on the water.
Sail-boats, canal boats, and cruisers too,
All Britain’s waterways waiting for you
So now is the time to drop us a line
For your Hoseasons boating brochure!Music!

[Tune: Messing About on the River]


It’s much less bovver on a Hover!

Jaguar cars: 1950s

Grace, space … pace!

Kwik-Fit: 1983

Music!Oh you can’t get quicker than a Kwik-Fit fitter,
You can’t get quicker than a Kwik-Fit fitter,
You can’t get quicker than a Kwik-Fit fitter,
We’re the boys to trust!Music!

Laker Airlines (Skytrain): 1977

If you’re planning a journey over the Atlantic, we know what we’re talking about!

[Freddie Laker]

(British) Leyland cars (1): 1975

Drive a beautiful bargain from British Leyland Superdeals

Leyland cars (2): 1977

Italian owner: This Allegro is the best foreign car I’ve ever owned!

Englishman (to Leyland car salesman): It’s got to hold five people — in comfort mind! — and do nought-to-sixty in about nine seconds. I want a five-speed gearbox, adjustable steering wheel — not as extras! And I must be able to lock all the doors at a flick of a switch — And five doors, and reclining seats — can’t help me of course, can you?

Salesman: The new Rover 3500, sir! Leyland Cars — Austin, Triumph, Mini, Jaguar, Daimler, Princess, Morris, Rover — all with Supercover, and a great deal more.

Music!Great cars and a great deal more
From Leyland super cars!Music!

Lunn Poly

Get away!

Madame Tussaud’s (1)

Madame Tussaud’s — where the people meet the people.

Madame Tussaud’s (2)

Madame Tussaud's. Where wax works.

MG Midget sports car: 1960s

Your mother wouldn’t like it!

Michelin Tyres (1)

Switch to Michelin and get a grip on your car!

Michelin Tyres (2): 1982

Music!Switch to Michelin — get a grip in the wet,
Switch to Michelin — a great ride in the wet,
Switch to Michelin — get a grip in the we-et,
Switch to Michelin
And insist on your water!
Switch to Michelin
And insist on your water!Music!

The Mini: 1970s

(With Spike Milligan)

Look at this!
Small engine!
Easy maintenance!
Cheap on petrol!
……? brakes!
Goodness me!
Small on the outside, big on the inside!
Don’t forget! Fly the flag — drive it!

Mitchell Self Drive

Where people come first — and come back again!

Mobil Oil Co. Ltd: 1970s

Music!Only 24 toasters from Scunthorpe,
Only 6 double beds from Torquay,
And I can’t decide if I will
Buy a diamond ring or a drill,
And if I want to
I can add to
My Premier Points with cash
If I haven’t driven enough!Music!

[Tune: “24 Hours from Tulsa”. Premier Points was adopted by a few corporate companies, selected by Argos, including Mobil.]

Morris Mini Minor: 1959/1960

You don’t believe it do you? Ah, but wait until you step inside the Morris Mini Minor. There’s so much room for four people, and so much parcel space — everything stows away so neatly and easily. Four happy people in a big, big, little car — a big little car for under £900. It does 70 miles per hour and up to 50 miles per gallon. Sit in it,drive it, try it. The Morris Mini Minor — see your dealer.

National Airlines (Later Pan-Am): 1970s

“I’m Margie — fly me!”

National Benzole (1): 1963

Get away people get Super National.

National Benzole (2): 1978

National's the one place on earth
You get service with a Smurf!

New York USA (Tourism): 1977

This morning a great city woke-up to a new day.
Millions of people crowded streets, businesses, theatres, restaurants and stadiums —
And one simple phrase was repeated over and over again:
“I love New York!”
“I love New York!”
“We love New York!”
“Now more than ever!”
Come, see New York — united in its finest hour!
And you’ll say it too!
“I love New York!”

Nissan Jubilee Sunny: 1984

The Nissan Jubilee Sunny! This special edition is at your Nissan Datsun dealers right now! Even higher specification at an extra low drive-away price — just £4,695 on the road — complete!

North Sea Ferries: Early 1970s

(With Kenneth Williams)

No, now you mustn’t laugh!
Book North Sea Ferries from Hull to Rotterdam or Zeebrugge…and you’re laughing!

Oldham batteries

I told ’em Oldham.

P & O Cruises: 1970

Music!You could use a cruise with P & OMusic!

P&O Ferries

Don’t just get across — cruise across!

Pan Am: c.1969

Pan Am makes the going great!

Peugeot Cars

The Lion goes from strength to strength!

The drive of your life!

Pirelli Tyres (1): 1979

Thriftymost on your bankybalancer!

[with Stanley Unwin]

Pirelli tyres (2): 1982

At Pirelli, when we build a tyre, we build it to rely on.
We brace it with three hundred yards of high tensile steel.
We bind it with eight hundred yards of flexible fibre cord.
We encase it in twelve individually formulated rubber compounds.
And we finish it with a unique, computer designed, tread pattern.
No other tyre can give you Pirellibility!

Pirelli tyres (3)

Really weird imagery with Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground playing over it.

Pontin’s Travel

Advertisement ending up with Fred Pontin saying
“Book Early”
and frozen in the thumbs-up pose for ten seconds. 

Raleigh bicycles: 1977

Hello-o! I’ve got a new Raleigh!

Quite right too!

Er-r I’ve got a new Raleigh!

It’s the most popular bike in Britain!

Hey! I’ve got a new Raleigh!


Hello — I’ve got a new Raleigh!

Yes! it’s got style!

I’ve got a new Raleigh!

I ride Raleigh for a living!

Noel’s got a new Raleigh!

[With Noel Edmonds]

Regent Service (petrol) Stations: 1960s

Music!QCS, QCS, here’s the meaning of QCS:
Quick and Cheerful Services,
It’s your Regent Station — QCS!Music!

Renault Dauphine (1): c.1957

It's got style and power,
70 miles an hour –
The Renault Dauphine.

You know its class
Each time you pass
A Renault Dauphine.

A penny-farthing a mile
And you travel in style –
The new Renault Dauphine!

Renault Dauphine (2): 1960s

(Car dashing around, cornering with agility in the dark during heavy rainfall)

Men: Music!She holds the road, whatever the load.Music!

Women: Music!That’s Aerostable suspension!Music!

All: Music!The Renault Dauphine.Music!

Renault 5 (Le Car) (1):1970s

What’s yours called?

Renault 5 (Le Car) (2): 1970s

Music!In a 5
You feel much more alive
In a 5
You’ll enjoy the longest drive
In a 5
You’re never out of place
In a 5
You’ve got a lot more space
In a 5
You get a smoother ride
In a 5
You can take it in your stride
In a 5
You’re travelling in style
In a 5
It’s cheaper mile for mile
In a 5
It’s surprising what you save
In a 5
Got a 5, come alive, in a 5.Music!

Renault 11: 1984

(A commuter gets into his Renault 11 and switches on the radio)

Music! Radio Flying EyeMusic!

Presenter: It’s 8:30 and right let’s get this road on the show
and see what the traffic looks like from the Flying Eye….

Flying Eye: Thank you Graham. Well, things are actually looking a bit bleak this morning! A lorry’s shed its load at the entrance to the Blackwall tunnel, Euston Road’s at a standstill, and there’s a two-and-a-half mile tailback on the elevated section of the M4. Get out of that if you can!

(The Renault 11 driver takes a fast scenic route and arrives at his London office.)

Voice-over: Renault 11 for drivers who know it’s tough on the streets!

The Flying Eye: So if you haven’t left for town already … forget it!!

Rolls Royce (1)

At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock!

Rolls Royce (2)

Trusted to deliver excellence!

Shell petrol (1): 1950s

Over the hills and far away
With Super Shell and ICA.

(ICA stood for “Ignition Control Additive”)

Shell petrol (2): 1962

Music!We’re going well, we’re going Shell,
We’re going well on Shell, Shell, Shell,
Keep going well, keep going Shell,
You can be sure of Shell!Music!

[Bing Crosby]

Shell petrol (3): 1962

(Mr Shell tunes in a car radio — Bing Crosby sings)

Bing: Music!I’m going well, I’m going Shell …Music!

Mr Shell: Good heavens! I know that voice!

Bing: Music!I’m going well on Shell, Shell, Shell….Music!

Mr Shell: It’s Bing Crosby!

Bing: Music!Britain is great — well let’s see it in state!
You can be sure of Shell.
In the Emerald Isle you drive with a smile —
Nothing but fun on Shell, Shell, Shell …
Ahh — you can be sure of Shell.
On the old heather track … well hi Mac!
I’m doing well on Shell, Shell, Shell —
I’m going well on Shell.
Now it’s the end of the trip and it’s back to the ship —
What a wonderful time on Shell, Shell, Shell!Music!

Mr Shell: Thanks Bing!

Bing: It’s a pleasure Mr Shell!

Music!Keep going well, keep going Shell —
You can be sure of Shell!Music!

Shell petrol (4): 1960s

(with Sammy Davis junior)

Music!What a day feeling swell,
Hey say, Mr Shell,
Let’s do the town on Shell, Shell, Shell,
(Mr Shell: “I’m with you Sammy”)
Well hop right in,
We’ll see the lot on Shell
I say will you stop at the ritziest shops
We’ll swing around on Shell.

Got a smart tit for tat,
A brolly and that,
I must have a flower in my lapel,
There goes my horse,
Last round the course,
But I’ve got my shirt on Shell.

That’s made the show
With a minute to go,
You’re always there on Shell, Shell, Shell.
Keep going well, keep going Shell,
You can be sure of Shell.

Keep going well, keep going Shell,
You can be sure of Shell!Music!

Shell petrol (5): 1960s

[Car whizzes past]

That was Shell, that was.

Shell petrol (6): c.1983

Mastermind questioner: What do you do when you see a service station without the Shell Mastermind sign?

Dr Beak, ornithologist: Pass.

Questioner: Correct!

Voiceover: £150,000 has already been won — simply by matching the correct questions and answers in the Shell Mastermind competition! Visit a Shell station soon — and make the most of motoring!

Singapore Airlines

A great way to fly!

Texaco (1): 1970

Music!Texaco. Raring to go!Music!

Texaco (2): 1973

Go where you want to go. Texaco.


The car in front is a Toyota.


You can trust your car
To the man who wears the star.

Thomas Cook: 1984

Don’t just book it,
Thomas Cook it!

Triumph TR7 Sports Car: 1976

It doesn’t look like you can afford it!

Trusthouse Forte hotels: 1972/3

Music!The biggest smile in Europe!Music!


Best bill of fare in the air.

Unipart car spares (1): 1970s

The answer’s yes! Now what’s the question?

Unipart car spares (2)

Thousands of parts for millions of cars!

Vauxhall Cavalier: 1985

Whether you want economy or performance, the Cavalier is hard to beat on paper — but on the road … it’s arguably the most impressive car of the eighties! Its interior puts everything in touch with the driver! Its 1600 engine develops more power than many other cars in its class! And it handles with the bite and precision you find only with front-wheel drive. It’s a car designed entirely for the enjoyment of driving.

Put yourself in the picture and test-drive the Cavalier.
It’s better … by design!

Vauxhall Nova: c.1983

It’s the Nova and it’s neat; you can take it out to lunch!


If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen!

Warner Holidays: 1971

Music!Holiday the Warner wayMusic!

Product unknown, possibly oil

A scared little car asks a bigger one in a traffic holdup:
"Do you wake up screaming in your garage at night?"
and is reassured by an avuncular car drawn up next to it.

Adverts wanted

BOAC with John Le Mesurier, 1970s,

Goodyear tyres

Hercules bicycles

Honda motorbikes


Mobiloil (jingly tune and little blue men)

Ladbroke Holidays (Caister Sands) c.1970

National Benzole

Olympic Airlines

Suzuki motorbikes

TWA with Peter Sellers

Vespa scooters

Warner Holidays

© Stephanie Jenkins
& Joan Williams

Visitors since January 2006: