Print advertisements and promotional material from the ‘performance years’ covering two decades (give or take) from ‘53 to ‘73, were often all about the engine. It was a time when potential buyers were likely as interested in the engine as any other part of a car. If the car was classified by potential buyers or manufacturers and their ad men, as a performance car - then the ad campaign would often emphasize the engine.
In the 1950s, the focus was all about how amazingly modern and powerful the new ohv V8s were. Once consumers became used to being V8 drivers, adverts stopped showing images of the engine, but rarely failed to mention them in the text.
To cater for baby boomer muscle car lovers of the ‘60s, ad agencies spent a lot of money and effort on highlighting the finer points of the car’s power plant. Finer points being - power, technology, multiple carbs, bragging rights, and the sheer look of the thing: chromed rocker covers, decals, stylised air cleaners and various forms of fresh air intake systems.
A time before engines were hidden behind dull plastic covers…when engines were to be looked at and admired for their look as much for their performance. Check out the Tunnel Ram engine ads gallery here.